CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Due to ongoing derecho debris removal, along with challenges related to lingering debris in collection areas, the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste & Recycling division will delay the start of our 2020 Fall Loose Leaf Vacuum Collection program. Instead of starting on Oct. 5, as originally planned, leaf vacuum collection will begin on Oct. 19. The start date was delayed two weeks to allow tree debris collection crews additional time to make an initial pass of streets. The Solid Waste & Recycling division urges residents to use the extra time to clear their collection area of sticks and debris that could clog the vacuum equipment.
“Planning for the loose leaf vacuum collection program begins in summer, when schedules are distributed to customers through their utilities bills and submitted for printing in the August Our CR Magazine,” explained Steve Hershner, Utilities Director. “While plans were to start our leaf vacuum collection program in the beginning of October, similar to previous years, we have been closely monitoring citywide debris collection efforts following the derecho. We determined a two-week delayed start will have several benefits this year.”
The Solid Waste & Recycling division is urging residents to use the time between now and October 19 to rake up any twigs, sticks, and lingering debris from their leaf collection areas. Sticks larger than six inches in length can clog the vacuum equipment and even cause serious damage, further delaying collection operations. Scheduled garbage, recycling, and yard waste cart collection continues uninterrupted. Customers should continue to set their carts at street in front of their home, and NOT the alley, by 7 a.m. on their regular collection day.
Another benefit of the delayed start is more time for tree- and nonorganic-debris-collection crews to make an initial first pass of streets. With ongoing collection of storm debris, solid waste, recycling, and yard waste all occurring from streets and not alleys at this time, a two-week delay will provide additional time to reduce curbside collection congestion.
Leaf Collection Basics
The leaf vacuum program helps our city protect our streams and the Cedar River. By keeping the leaves on the lawn and out of the street, less organic material, which can rob aquatic life of oxygen, is washed into our waterways through the storm sewer system.
- Crews cannot collect leaves if piles have sticks mixed with the leaves. Please fill your YARDY cart with sticks and other yard waste. YARDY carts are collected all year long.
- Rake leaves into long piles on the parking area or grass next to the street. Leaves must be kept out of the street. The vacuum truck will not collect leaves from alleys.
- Debris piles will present additional challenges for the start of leaf collection. Please ensure leaf piles are separated from any piles of tree debris (with branches, etc) and nonorganic storm debris.
- Keep leaf piles away from obstacles like your collection carts, mailboxes, cars and utility poles. If possible, remove parked cars from the street on collection days.
- During fall loose leaf collection, brown paper lawn and leaf bags are collected every week with the YARDY cart. Your YARDY cart must be used first; then paper lawn and leaf bags can be used for any additional leaves. Filled bags cannot exceed 40 pounds.
Leaf Collection Schedule
The City of Cedar Rapids will use an every-other week schedule based on which quadrant a customer lives in:
- Customers in the southeast quadrant will have collection starting on Mondays during alternating weeks. All leaves must be raked to the collection area by 7 a.m. on Monday. Collection days are scheduled for the weeks of:
- Monday, October 19,
- Monday, November 2,
- Monday, November 16, and
- Monday, November 30.
- Customers in the northeast quadrant will have collection starting on Mondays during alternating weeks. All leaves must be raked to the collection area by 7 a.m. on Monday. Collection days are scheduled for the weeks of:
- Monday, October 26,
- Monday, November 9,
- Monday, November 23, and
- Monday, December 7.
- Customers in the southwest quadrant will have collection starting on Wednesdays during alternating weeks. All leaves must be raked to the collection area by 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Collection days are scheduled for the weeks of:
- Wednesday, October 21,
- Wednesday, November 4,
- Wednesday, November 18, and
- Wednesday, December 2.
- Customers in the northwest quadrant will have collection starting on Wednesdays during alternating weeks. All leaves must be raked to the collection area by 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Collection days are scheduled for the weeks of:
- Wednesday, October 28,
- Wednesday, November 11,
- Wednesday, November 25, and
- Wednesday, December 9.
Fridays and Saturdays will be used as make-up days if heavy leaf volumes cannot be collected as scheduled. Crews will finish collecting leaves in each quadrant before moving onto the next quadrant. To ensure residents always know when leaves will be collected, all customers are encouraged to sign up for garbage and recycling text or email alerts at www.CRNewsNow.com.