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The Leaf Collection and Recycling Program is one of several services provided by the Streets Department to honor the City's on-going commitment to recycling. This recycling program helps to reduce the amount of materials that reach the waste stream and saves landfill space. Mechanical collection and bagged drop off services are provided. Please note that ONLY leaves are accepted in this program. Yard waste - such as brush and tree limbs - is not accepted. 

What are the dates of the program? 

The 2016 Leaf Collection and Recycling Program will begin Monday, November 7, and will end Saturday, December 17.   

What do residents need to know?

Bagged Leaf Drop-Off

Bagged leaf drop-off will be offered city-wide on Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM (with the exception of the Saturday following Thanksgiving). The first Saturday is November 19.

Click here to learn more and for a detailed list of drop-off locations

Mechanical Leaf Collection

Mechanical Leaf Collection will be offered on a designated weekly schedule in areas with a heavy concentration of leaves. The service is offered on a designated weekly schedule.

Click here to learn more and for a map of areas receiving mechanical collection


Fall Leaves Collection Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the program changed to include only bagged leaf drop off?   

The program changes have helped to increase the amount of leaves recycled while reducing mechanical and fuel resources required for collection. There has been a significant increase in leaf tonnage with the inclusion of the 23 locations for dropping of bagged leaves.

What material is accepted in the leaf recycling program?  

Only leaves only are accepted in the program. Yard waste - such as brush and tree limbs - is not accepted. 

Why are leaves being collected in biodegradable bags only?  

Brown paper bags are biodegradable, and can be processed for recycling along with the leaves. This reduces contamination in the recycling process, and allows for significant improvement in operational efficiency.

Where can I purchase biodegradable brown paper trash bags?  

Brown paper bags are available at major home improvement stores. 

What happens during weeks with City holidays?  

No collection will occur on a City holiday. 

Will rain affect the cleaning schedule?  

No. Except in cases of extreme weather conditions, bagged and mechanical collection will occur rain or shine. In the event of adverse weather conditions, residents are urged to watch for updates on television, radio, in local newspapers, or by calling 311 regarding any changes in the collection schedule.

What if I see collection crews in my area ahead of schedule?  

Residents should not be alarmed if any collection crews are in an area ahead of schedule. Crews will be working to eliminate problem spots when possible and will return on the scheduled collection day.  

Why isn’t my street part of the Leaf Collection route?  

Mechanical leaf collection boundaries were drawn to include certain geographical areas of the city based on the heavy concentration of leaves in those areas. Unfortunately, the drawing of the boundary lines sometimes separates people in the same neighborhoods. As an alternative, residents may participate in bagged leaf drop-off program at the 23 designated city-wide locations during the six-week program. 

How can I get my street included in the Leaf Collection route?  

Mechanical leaf collection resources are presently at capacity. No new boundaries are being included at this time. If citizens would like their block to be considered when resources become available, they are welcome to submit a written request to the Streets Commissioner.

Michael A. Carroll P.E.
Acting Commissioner
Philadelphia Streets Department
MSB - 1401 JFK Blvd. - Suite 730
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Can I drop off bagged leaves at the Sanitation Convenience Centers?   

Yes. Residents can drop off an unlimited amount of bags to any of the six Sanitation Convenience Centers during the operating hours of Monday through Saturday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The locations are:

  • 5100 Grays Avenue
  • 2601 W. Glenwood Avenue
  • 3033 S. 63rd St., near Passyunk Ave
  • 300 block Domino Lane, near Umbria St
  • State Rd. & Ashburner St.
  • Delaware Ave & Wheatsheaf Lane

Please note that ONLY leaves are accepted in this program. Yard waste - such as brush and tree limbs - is not accepted. 

My area received mechanical leaf collection in previous years. Why isn’t my area included on this year’s schedule? or Why is my area being serviced less frequently than previous years?  

Sanitation managers re-evaluate the boundaries for mechanical leaf collection service each year, based on previous amounts of materials collected and available resources. Slight adjustments are made in order to provide the most efficient service while maximizing the available resources.

What happens to leaves once they are collected for recycling?   

The leaves are brought to Fairmount Park for composting. Interested residents should contact Fairmount Park at 215-685-0115 to inquire about any of their current programs.

How will citizens be notified about the details of the Leaf Collection Recycling Program?  

Citizens will be notified about the program in through various means of communication:

  • Major media press releases
  • Weekly press releases to community newspapers
  • City’s cable station Comcast Channel 64
  • Streets Department website,
  • Streets Department’s Customer Affairs
  • Contact 311
  • Voicemail messaging system will be used to notify residents in the mechanical collection boundaries of upcoming collection service
  • Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @PhilaStreets and @PhilaCleanSts