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Town of Normal News

Posted on: November 3, 2021

Town Begins Fall Leaf Vacuuming; Map Indicates Current Collection Zone

Two men collecting leaves

Starting Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, the Town of Normal will begin vacuum leaf collection efforts for Town residents. 

“Normal crews spend approximately eight weeks vacuuming leaves. We ask citizens for patience especially this season because of labor shortages,” said Jason Comfort, operations manager of Public Works. 

The Town collects leaves in zones. To learn where crews are currently working (and where they’ll be next), citizens can check this interactive map which provides daily updates on the status of leaf collection. 

“Citizens often think their leaves will be picked up the same day as garbage and that’s not the case. Crews start in a zone and work in that zone until all properly placed leaf piles are collected. A typical zone cannot be completed in one day,” added Ryan Otto, director of Public Works. “As leaf collection continues, crews may cycle through the individual zones as many as five times before leaf collection ends.”

Zones marked in green on the map indicate where crews are currently working. The order of zone collection is determined by how quickly leaves fall which is typically dictated by the age and density of trees in an area. Zones in neighborhoods with older trees are typically visited/started first. 

The speed of leaf collection depends on several factors including volume, weather and potential equipment malfunction.   Following Town of Normal guidelines helps ensure the work is done efficiently and effectively.

 Leaf Collection Guidelines

  • Rake leaves on the back of curbs, to the shoulder of roads or at the edge of/near driveways.
  • Do not park in front of leaf piles.
  • Do not place leaves in the gutter or street. (Blocked storm sewers cause flooding.)
  • Do not place leaves in bags or carts during leaf collection season.
  • Keep leaf piles under three feet tall.
  • Separate sticks from leaf piles. (Sticks clog the leaf vacuum and slow the process.)
  • Avoid piling leaves around mailboxes, utility poles, guide wires and other obstructions.
  • Treat pumpkins as household waste, placing them in regular garbage.
  • Do not treat leaves as landscape waste during the Leaf Collection season. (Citizens can dispose of weeds, flowers or plants in open bags/carts at the curb through Nov. 26.) 
  • Leaf collection/vacuuming may continue beyond Landscape Waste collection, depending on speed of leaf vacuuming and how many zones are completed. 
  • Remember, open burning of leaves is against the law. 

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