The Iowa City Streets Division is finalizing preparations to begin its curbside leaf vacuum service. The first day of the program is Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, and will begin in zones #5 and #6. 

The zone map is available online at or can be picked up in person at City Hall, 410 E. Washington St.; the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St.; the Senior Center, 28 S. Linn St.; the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center 220 S. Gilbert St.; or at the Streets Division Office, 3800 Napoleon Lane. 

Below are tips and reminders for preparing for the leaf vacuum. 

A map of the 2017 leaf zones
A map of leaf vacuum routes.


  • The Leaf Vacuum Program will begin Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Zone #5 & #6, and will proceed in numerical order, moving to Zone #1 after Zone #7 is completed. 
  • The process will repeat until the program ends on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. 
  • The City will post a weekly schedule on the City’s website at and to the City of Iowa City's Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor accounts, indicating where crews will be working over a five day-period. 
  • The schedule will be updated and emailed daily, sign up at
  • If you do not have access to the internet, email or social media, call 319-356-5181.

Preparing leaf piles

  • Rake leaves into a pile on the City right-of-way in front of your house, between the sidewalk and the street curb.
  • Your leaf pile should be no further than five ft. back from the curb, the vacuum hose will not reach any farther.
  • Only leaves should be in the piles. The vacuum cannot handle sticks, brush, garden refuse or other yard waste.
  • Combine your leaves into sizeable piles. It slows the crews down to have to work with 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, they may be washed into the storm sewer and can cause neighborhood flooding.
  • Do not pile leaves around mailboxes and signposts, instead place the pile in an open area.


  • Parked cars slow down leaf pick-up. 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 and consideration.
  • Where calendar parking is enforced, leaf pick-up will occur on the side of the street without parking.
  • Be considerate when parking on the street and avoid parking near leaf piles on pick-up days.

Final reminders

  • Leaf crews will not go back for missed piles of leaves.
  • Despite all advance preparation, equipment breakdowns, heavy rain, and snow can slow or end the program early.
  • Do not wait to rake. An early winter requires equipment and crews be redirected to snow removal operations.
  • City of Iowa City yard waste bags can be used if more rapid pick-up is desired.Yard waste bags will be picked-up on your regular garbage day through January.
  • Iowa City residents can also take their leaves, free of charge, to the Iowa City Landfill, 3900 Hebl Ave

Date of publication

Friday, September 29, 2017