November 1 update: DPW has reversed course and will begin leaf collection on November 9th in the usual way – with vacuums picking up leaves raked into tree boxes along the street.
Council member Mary Cheh sent this update:
Today, the Department of Public Works (DPW) announced that the agency is reverting the leaf collections program back to vacuum collections and that residents will no longer be required to bag leaves this season. Starting today, just as in prior years, residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb or into the tree box in front of their homes. If you received paper bags from DPW, you are welcome to keep them. DPW will also collect bagged leaves and yard waste from paper bags during the collection season. The original intent of this year’s bagged leaf program was to minimize coronavirus risks to DPW crew members. However, the new bagging requirement proved to be a significant challenge for our senior residents and those living with disabilities. And so, after working with the Mayor and agency, including holding a Council roundtable, I am very pleased to share the announcement that new safety measures and improved sanitary procedures will enable traditional vacuum leaf collections to resume. Please help share the news with your senior neighbors and community.
The pickup schedule remains the same. Find more information in the original article below.
Twice every fall for years, DC homeowners have been asked to pile leaves in tree boxes to be vacuumed up by Department of Public Works leaf crews. But not this year.
DPW will collect only bagged leaves, and it will deliver 20 paper leaf bags to the single-family homeowners who regularly get trash and recyclables collected by the agency. What hasn’t changed: The bagged leaves should be left in tree boxes or at the curb. The leaves will be collected twice. And they will be composted.
Why are they doing it this way? The other method requires a large crew, and DPW wants to limit their numbers to protect them from Covid-19. DPW also says this is a more environmentally-friendly process than the diesel-powered leaf vacuum and gas-powered leaf blowers normally used by the crews.
When will the DPW leaf crews come around to your street? Leaf collection begins on November 9th, and Ward 3 residents east of Connecticut Avenue should have their bagged leaves out for collection by Sunday, November 8th. Leaf pickup is scheduled to begin two weeks later on the streets bounded by Connecticut, Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues. The second round of leaf pickup begins on December 20th and continues into late January.
Once the work is under way, you can track the progress here. And here’s more information about the leaf collection changes and the schedule.