Iowa City leaf vacuuming to begin - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City leaf vacuuming to begin

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- The Iowa City Streets Division is finalizing preparations to begin this year's curbside leaf vacuum service. The first day of the program is Oct. 18, when the vacuum is in the western part of Iowa City. Weather permitting, each designated area of the city will see the vacuum a minimum of two times before the program ends around Thanksgiving.

Printed maps which detail which days the leaf crews will be in each neighborhood are available in the city utility bills and also at City Hall, the Public Library, Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, the Senior Center, and the Streets office at 3800 Napoleon Lane. Maps are also available online at

Here are a few tips provided by the city to make the process go more smoothly and efficiently for the crews:

•Rake leaves in a pile on the City right-of-way area in front of your house (between the sidewalk and the street curbing). Be sure your pile of leaves is no further than five feet back from the curb. The vacuum hose will not be able to reach the leaves if they are too far back.

•Do not rake leaves into the street.

•Rake only leaves into piles. The vacuum cannot pick up other types of yard waste such as sticks and garden refuse.

•Combine your leaves into sizeable piles.

•The minimum size for one pile should be the equivalent of one yard waste bag.

•Do not pile leaves around mailboxes and signposts. Place the pile in an open area.

•When crews are scheduled to be in your neighborhood on two consecutive days (see map) this means the crews will be there one of the two days, but not both. Just remember to always have your leaves raked by the first day listed to ensure that you will get service.

•Sometimes if workload is light in their regularly assigned pickup territory, you might see crews in your neighborhood looking for additional leaf piles. These are "extra" trips and do not cancel your regular pickup days. Rest assured crews will be back in your neighborhood for your originally assigned pickup day.

•Parked cars cause problems for leaf pickup. In some areas of the city where on-street parking is heavy, there will be "No Parking" signs posted while leaf crews are in the area. Where calendar parking is enforced, leaf pickup will occur on the side of the street without parking. In all other parts of town, please be considerate when parking on the street and avoid parking near leaf piles on scheduled pickup days.

The city says staying on schedule depends on weather conditions and the equipment functioning properly. Equipment breakdowns and heavy rains can slow progress, and snowstorms late in the cycle can cause problems. The city advises residents to not delay in leaf raking, as an early winter would mean the equipment and crews must be moved to snow removal. Yard waste bags can always be used if more rapid pickup is desired.

Leaf burning and all open burning is banned by a city ordinance.

For more information, call the Streets Division office at (319) 356-5181.

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