The Iowa City Streets Division will again be offering leaf vacuum service in your neighborhood. Below you'll find information on scheduling, preparing leaves as well as other helpful advice and reminders. 


  • The City’s Leaf Vacuum Program will begin operations on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 in Zone 5, and will proceed in numerical order moving to Zone 1 after Zone 7 is complete and repeating until the program ends on Wednesday, Nov. 23.  
  • ​The City will advertise a schedule indicating the zones staff will be working in over a five day period that will be updated daily and posted to this page on the City’s website and to the City of Iowa City Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor accounts. You can also subscribe to receive e-mail alerts at If you do not have direct access to the internet, call the Streets Division at 319-356-5181. 

View the 2016 leaf zone map

Preparing your leaves 

  • Rake leaves in a pile on the City right-of-way area in front of your house (between the sidewalk and the street curbing). Be sure your pile of leaves is no further than five feet back from the curb. The vacuum hose cannot reach the leaves if they are too far back.
  • Rake only leaves into piles. The vacuum cannot pick up other types of yard waste such as sticks, brush and garden refuse.
  • Combine your leaves into sizeable piles. It slows the crews to have to look for and handle multiple small leaf piles. The minimum size for one pile should be the equivalent of one yard waste bag.
  • Do not rake leaves into the street as they can go into the storm sewer and cause flooding in the neighborhood. 
  • Do not pile leaves around mailboxes and signposts, instead place them in an open area. 

Parking impact 

  • Parked cars hamper leaf pickup. In some areas of the city where on-street parking is heavy, “No Parking” signs will be posted while leaf crews are in the area.
  • If you live on a street where there is heavy parking, and you wish to have “No Parking” signs placed, contact the Streets Division at 319-356-5181 for review & consideration.
  • Where calendar parking is enforced, leaf pickup will occur on the side of the street without parking.
  • In all other parts of town, please be considerate when parking on the street and avoid parking near leaf piles on scheduled pick-up days.

Final reminders

  • Despite all advanced preparation, adherence to these schedules depends on weather and equipment functioning properly. Equipment breakdowns and heavy rains can slow progress, and snowstorms late in the cycle can curtail the program.
  • We advise residents to not delay in leaf raking, as an early winter requires that equipment and crews be redirected to snow removal.
  • City of Iowa City yard waste bags can always be used if more rapid pickup is desired. The City's yard waste truck will continue picking up yard waste in your neighborhood on your regular garbage day through the month of January. 
  • Iowa City residents may also take their leaves to the Iowa City Landfill for free. 


Watch a brief video that features tips on how to best navigate the City of Iowa City Leaf Vacuum Program.