Each year, the Department of Public Works picks up fallen leaves during the autumn season. But now is the time to consider "going green" with leaf disposal. Using a mulching mower or composting your leaves instead of having them hauled away will save both truck fuel, air quality, and landfill space. There is nothing better than using composted leaves for mulching in your garden areas. Check the internet for more information for mulching and composting ideas.
But if you choose to participate in the curbside leaf collection program, here's want you need to know. Curbside leaf pick-up has two scheduled pick-ups for each resident, one in October and one in November. Each year, the Fall Palatine Newsletter will be delivered before leaf collection starts. In the newsletter is a map and schedule to help determine which pick-up section your home is in. Or you can check the "Leaf Collection Look Up Map" here online.
Leaf Collection Guidelines
You can help make the leaf collection process more efficient and safer by following some simple guidlines:
- Rake your leaves into the street and ready for pick-up by 7 a.m. on your pick-up day, but no EARLIER than 4 p.m. on the day before your scheduled pick-up day.
- Leaves should be raked about twelve inches away from the curb to allow rainfall to flow down the curb and into the storm inlet.
- If your street does not have curbs, line up your row of leaves on the pavement as close to the shoulder of the road as possible in order to leave the maximum amount of street surface open for traffic.
- Non-leaf material (grass clippings, branches, etc.) should not be raked into the street and/or mixed with the leaves. Non-leaf material can clog up the machines, delay the schedule, and be a safety issue for our personnel operating the equipment. Piles with any debris will be left at the curb.
- Leaves need to be raked INTO the street. Leaves that are raked just over the edge of the curb or left on the parkway will not be picked up as the leaf machines can do damage to the parkway areas.
- Do not rake around the cul-de-sac islands. Leaves need to be raked to the residential side as our machines are not equipped to pick up around the cul-de-sac islands.
- If leaves are raked out into the street after we have made our initial pass, we cannot return for a second time. Due to the large areas we need to cover in a given day, we can only make one pass through a neighborhood on its scheduled day.
- If rain is predicted, we ask that residents help out by cleaning the inlets in their neighborhood to help prevent flooding.
- Please do not park on the street on the day of pick-up in your neighborhood. The leaf machines are not able to get close to parked vehicles to pick up leaves and we will have to leave the leaf pile behind.
We May Start Early
There may be times when the quantity of leaves in one area is so heavy that the leaf collection crews will start early in that area in order to get a head start on picking up the leaves. When this is the case, crews will always return to your area on the regularly scheduled pick-up day, even if some of the leaves on your street were picked up a day or two ahead of schedule.
Sometimes We Get Behind
There may also be times when the crews get behind schedule due to weather, equipment problems, or the amount of leaves, but be assured we will be there. Your patience is appreciated. Street sweeping is part of the leaf collection process. Since the street sweeper moves at a slower pace than the leaf machines, street clean-up will often take longer than the pick-ups.
Leave Collection is a Two-Step Process
First the leaves are picked up and removed by crews operating the leaf machines. Second, the street sweeper does a final clean-up of any remaining leaf debris. Since the street sweeper moves at a slower pace than the leaf machines, street clean-up will take longer than the pick-ups.
What Happens if it Snows
In case of snow prior to the final leaf collection, leaves raked to the curb for collection would most likely be plowed onto the parkway along with the snow. Depending on the weather, every attempt will be made to collect leaves remaining or that have been raked back into the street. An early snowfall seriously hampers our leaf collection efforts because the same trucks that are used to pick up leaves are needed to plow the streets.
Call the Department of Public Works at (847) 705-5200 with any questions.