Fall Leaves

Residents required to bag leaves for pick-up following changes to seasonal program


Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022 – Cleveland – This week, the Bibb administration announced changes to the seasonal leaf pick-up program impacting about one-third of the City’s 17 wards designated as high-generation areas.   

Residents will still have their leaves collected but must bag them instead of raking to the tree lawn.  

“The City’s program was never applied equitably citywide. In some cases, one side of the street was part of the program, and the other side was not,” said Chief Operating Officer Bonnie Teeuwen. “Now, our message to all residents is the same: if you want your leaves picked up, bag them and set the bags out on your designated waste collection day.”  

Residents are permitted to set out an unlimited number of bagged leaves in their yards, which will be collected with trash effective Nov. 1, 2022. 

Alternatively, the City recommends residents ‘leave the leaves’ alone.  

“Instead of raking them to the tree lawn or bagging them up for collection, an environmentally friendly alternative is raking them into garden beds or around the bases of trees and shrubs, where they will fertilize the soil as they break down,” said Cleveland's Director of Sustainability Sarah O’Keeffe.  

Another option is turning them into mulch by mowing over leaves and chopping them into small pieces. The mulched leaf layer is good for the health of gardens. 

Fallen leaves also provide an important winter habitat for wildlife including lizards, birds, turtles, frogs, and insects that overwinter in the fallen leaves.  

Dos and Don'ts for residents: 

  • Do bag your leaves and set bags out for collection on your designated waste day. 
  • Do mow over the leaves and use them as mulch or start composting.  
  • Don’t rake loose leaves onto the tree-lawn, they will not be collected. 
  • Don’t rake leaves onto the street, they will cause blockages in the sewers and problems in the snow.

Here is the FAQ for more information.