The Iowa City Streets Division is ready to get underway with this year's curbside leaf vacuum service, beginning Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Printed maps identifying leaf removal zones are available in City utility bills and also at City Hall, the Public Library, Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, the Senior Center, and the Streets Division office at 3800 Napoleon Lane. A map is also available online at

Here are a few tips to make the process go more smoothly and efficiently for residents and crews:


  • Leaf Vacuum service will begin Monday, Oct. 17 in Zone #5, and proceed in numerical order, moving to Zone #1 after Zone #7 is completed. The process will repeat until the program ends on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
  • A schedule will be posted on the City’s website at and other social media outlets, indicating which zones staff will be working in over a five day-period. This schedule will be updated daily. You can also subscribe to receive e-mail alerts at under “Service Notices.” If you do not have access to the internet or social media, contact the Streets Division directly at 319-356-5181.

Preparing your leaf piles

  • Rake leaves into a pile on the City right-of-way area in front of your house (between the sidewalk and street curb). Be sure leaf piles are no further than five feet back from the curb, as the vacuum hose cannot extend further.
  • Only leaves should be raked into the piles. The vacuum cannot pick up yard waste such as sticks, brush and garden refuse.
  • Combine leaves into large piles, when possible. Crews are slowed down when handling multiple small leaf piles. The minimum size for one pile should be the equivalent of one yard waste bag.

How you can help your neighbors and leaf vacuum crews

  • Do not rake leaves into the street, as they can wash into the storm sewer, causing neighborhood flooding.
  • Place piles in an open area, away from mailboxes and signposts.
  • Parked cars hamper leaf pick-up. In 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 a temporary “No Parking” sign 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.
  • If parking on the street, avoid parking near leaf piles on pick-up days.

Some final reminders

  • Despite advance preparation, equipment breakdowns and bad weather can slow progress, and snowstorms late in the cycle can curtail the program.
  • Do not delay in leaf raking, as an early winter would require equipment and crews to be redirected to snow removal.
  • City of Iowa City yard waste bags may always be used if quicker pick-up is desired. These bags will continue to be picked up on your regular garbage day through January.
  • Iowa City residents may also take their leaves to the Iowa City Landfill at 3900 Hebl Avenue, free of charge.

If you have further questions, contact the Streets Division at 319-356-5181 or visit

Date of publication

Monday, October 10, 2016