District leaf collection starts on Monday and runs through Jan. 20. Leaves clog storm drains and cause street flooding, which pollutes local water bodies. Leaf collection helps keep the Chesapeake and the Potomac clean(ish). In the past, D.C.’s collection consistency has been, well, terrible. But this year, the city is trying a different system.
Step 1: Watch For a Notification
You’ll have two chances to pile up your leaves for collection. While a full calendar won’t be posted in advance this year, residents will get at least one-week's notice via a variety of means like door-hangers, text updates, or the Department of Public Work’s Instagram.
Note: DPW only picks up leaves from residents who receive trash and recycling services.
Step 2: Rake Up Your Leaves
The Sunday before your collection date, pile your leaves into the tree box (see pic below) or the curb in front of your home. Do not pile it into the street. DPW will only collect leaves in these areas, so if they blow away … you’ll have to re-rake them.
Step 3: Say Goodbye!
Wistfully say goodbye to your fallen leaves as they get taken to be composted. DPW composts between 5,000 - 7,000 tons of leaves each year and you can pick up the free compost at the Fort Totten Transfer Station.
What To Do if You Miss It:
If you miss the first one, don’t worry, DPW gives every neighborhood two passes. If you miss both pickups, you can bring leaves in paper bags to the Benning Road or Fort Totten Transfer Stations for composting. And you can follow along with the city’s brand new live tracking tool.