Question? Problem? Need Help? Dial 3-1-1

Learn how SWEEP keeps Philadelphia clean through education and enforcement.
Learn about the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC), and what they are doing to keep our streets clean and safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

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. There are no bagged leaf collections at drop-off sites on Saturdays following a City observed 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, 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 Mechanical 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 have my street included in the Leaf Collection route?   

Mechanical leaf collection resources are presently at capacity. Only existing 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.


Carlton Williams

Streets Commissioner

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 Ln.

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 through various means of communication:

  • Press releases
  • Ads placed in community papers and
  • Streets Department website,
  • Streets Department’s Customer Affairs o 215-686-5560
o Email:
  • Contact 311
  • Voice mail messaging system will be used to notify residents in the mechanical collection boundaries of upcoming collection service
  • Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @PhilaStreets and @CleanPHL
  • Nextdoor social media site