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Leaf Collection

Fall Leaf Collection

City of Milwaukee residents may rake leaves into the street from October 1 through November 15. Leaves collected are composted to make a rich soil amendment.

picture of fall leaf collection with equipment

Residents should rake their leaves into the curb lanes for collection. Sanitation Services offers these tips for successful leaf collections:

  • Do not put leaves in plastic bags - empty them into the curb lane. Leaves are composted but plastic bags do not decompose.
  • Do not put brush in the leaf piles. Keep these items separate between the curb and sidewalk. Call 286-CITY or request a brush collection online.
  • Keep piles 1' into the street, away from the curb. This helps ensure the equipment can collect all of the leaves and protects the equipment from being damaged and helps prevent flooding by allowing storm water to move to the storm drains.
  • Keep piles away from sewer grates, storm drains, and low hanging trees.
  • Include yard debris such as flowers and plants on top of leaf piles.
  • Do not include pumpkins, plastic bags, or any other items.

photo of leaves set out properly

Look up the start day of your leaf collection route. Leaf collection may not be completed on the start day of your route, leaf collection route times vary based on the amount of leaves to be collected:

Off-Season Leaf Removal

Leaves may be taken to a Drop-Off Center location. Please refer to our Drop-Off Centers for locations and hours of operations. Brush can also be taken to one of the City's Drop-Off Centers.

Leaf Mulching

Easier than raking, consider mulching leaves in place. This returns the nutrients right to your soil. Leaves can also be composted in your backyard.

What happens to my leaves?

Leaves are taken to the Waste Management compost site where Purple Cow Organics manages the material for 4 - 6 months to create a rich compost. Compost is then sold locally. Compost is a natural fertilizer that returns nutrients to the soil, improves its ability to absorb rain water, and keeps valuable resources out of the landfill.