One of the many benefits of living in our City is getting to enjoy the beautiful deciduous trees that line our streets.
But the same Oaks, Pin Oaks, Plane Trees and Liquid Ambers that bring summer shade and autumn colour to our lives also create leaf litter that fills our bins and may block drains just when they’re needed the most.
To address this seasonal inevitability, we operate an annual bulk leaf collection program, where we help residents living in leafier areas to collect the build-up of autumn leaves on their streets. This year’s collections start this month.
When we collect autumn leaves
The leaf collection program starts at different times each year depending on different tree species’ behaviour.
In consultation with arborists, council officers visit leafy streets in March to assess the trees and the seasonal factors that affect when they’re likely to drop their leaves.
Different species shed at different times and this is also taken into account when we create our bulk leaf collection schedule.
For example, a dry and warm summer means Plane Trees have dropped their leaves early this year, so we’ve factored that in when arranging our route for this year’s schedule.
But all the species are different - our goal is to collect the last of the leaf drop by the last cycle of the program.
How we collect leaves
Once council officers have blown the leaves off footpaths and nature strips, we use a special machine called a ‘leaf loader’ to collect most of the leaves from the street. Leaves are also blown out of gutters if they can be accessed.
The leaf loader was modified to collect heavy-leaf fall from our streets - previously it was used to remove snow from streets in the northern hemisphere.
After the leaf loader passes, the streets are swept with a street sweeper to remove a little more of the remaining leaf litter, leaving them mostly free of leaves.
You can help us by not parking your car on the street on scheduled leaf collection days and by not dumping leaves from your garden on the street. We do not collect leaves from private gardens.
The schedule for this autumn’s bulk leaf collection is now available - find out when/if your street is scheduled.