The City of Cedar Rapids Solid Waste & Recycling division will begin operating leaf vacuum trucks on Monday, April 3. Residents who choose to participate can expect leaf collection on their regular collection day unless the trucks are slowed by weather or volume, in which case the division will strive to reach any missed properties the following day. The program runs through Friday, April 28.
Participating residents should place leaves in long rows on the grass or parking area beside the street for collection by 7 a.m. on their normal collection day, and leaves must be kept out of the street and away from obstacles like mailboxes and poles. The vacuum trucks will not collect leaves from alleys. Residents are reminded that leaf piles filled with sticks and branches will be passed over, because sticks larger than six inches in length can cause the machines to malfunction. YARDY compost carts can be used to dispose of piles of sticks, loose leaves, and other organic materials all year long, with a weight limit of 300 pounds for the 95-gallon YARDY carts. Paper leaf bags can be used for any leaves that do not fit in the YARDY cart, and leaf bags, up to 40 pounds, will only be picked up if they are placed at the curb with a filled YARDY cart. As an additional reminder to residents, if cars are parked in front of leaf piles, vacuum trucks will not be able to collect leaves.
The loose-leaf vacuum program helps keep local lakes, rivers, and streams healthy by preventing leaves – a high contributor of nutrients, which choke out aquatic life – from entering waterways. The program also keeps leaves out of the street, reducing the number of leaves swept into the storm sewer and the likelihood of street flooding due to plugged drains. Find out more about the leaf vacuum program at CityofCR.com/Leaf.