One of the many benefits of living in Boroondara is getting to enjoy the beautiful trees that line our streets.  

But the same oaks, pin oaks, plane trees and liquid ambers that bring shade in summer and rich colours in autumn create leaf litter that fills our bins and may block drains just when they’re needed the most. 

To address this, we run an annual bulk leaf collection program to help residents living in leafier areas collect the build-up of autumn leaves on their streets. 

This year’s collection begins this month. 

All other Boroondara streets will be swept fortnightly this autumn from mid-April until June. This is an increase to our regular 4-week street sweeping service and aims to keep our footpaths and roads safe for our community. 

Why leaves fall  

Ever wondered why leaves fall in autumn? It’s the tree’s way of saving nutrients for next spring. 

How it works  

  1. A leaf’s job is to turn sunlight into food for the tree. To do this, the leaf needs water.  
  2. When autumn comes with cooler days and less sunlight, a tree knows it’s time to prepare for winter.
  3. The tree will break down the water in the leaves and send the nutrients down to its strongest parts (such as trunks and roots) to protect itself. The nutrients will be stored underground until the temperature warms up again in spring. 

When we collect autumn leaves 

The leaf collection program starts at different times each year depending on different tree species’ behaviour.  

Our consultants and 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 considered 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, and our goal is to collect the last of the leaf drop by the last cycle of the program. 

How we collect leaves 

Once Council contractors 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 has done its job, the streets are swept with a street sweeper to remove a little more of the remaining leaf litter, leaving streets mostly free of leaves. 

How you can help  

To help us deliver the best quality service, we appreciate your support by being prepared in the following ways. 

  • Use your FOGO bin. We don't collect leaves from private gardens. Leaves and small sticks from your backyard can be placed in your FOGO bin.
  • Parking. On your scheduled sweeping days, please avoid parking on the street. If you can, please park in a garage or driveway, or in a nearby street where autumn bulk leaf collection isn't occurring that day. This way, our team can effectively clean your street and collect as many leaves as we can.
  • Stay safe. Keep clear of the machinery at all times to ensure your safety and the safety of others. 

More information 

We're constantly enhancing our website to provide customers with more personalised information. This is part of our effort to transform Boroondara.

The schedule for this autumn bulk leaf collection is now available. Find out when/if your street is scheduled by visiting our Find autumn bulk leaf collection days page.  

We'll also contact you by mail if your street is part of the autumn bulk leaf collection service.  

To request a printed copy of your street's schedule, give us a call on (03) 9278 4444.