Here are a few guidelines to follow if you opt out of Leaf Day Service because you'll be removing the leaves yourself:
- Make a note of what Leaf Service Zone you are in and when your Leaf Day Pickup Service is.
- Clear the street in front of your property from the curb to the center of the street.
- Once you've raked your leaves, you'll need to decide how to dispose of them.
- Are there any Leaf Depots this year?
- On Leaf Day, move your car off the street so our crew can provide a better clean.
- On Leaf Day, a supervisor will walk through to confirm the street in front of your property has been cleared so you aren't billed.
That's the date by which you must have the street adjacent to your property clear of leaves -- from the curb to the center of the street. See diagram below.
Note that some zones with more leaves need a second service, so those zones have two Leaf Days.
*To verify what zone you are in and confirm your service date(s), enter your address below:
LEAF ZONE LOCATOR (enter your street address)
We recommend clearing the street the day before your scheduled Leaf Day(s). Make sure that the street abutting your property line is clear of leaves from the curb to the middle of the street, as illustrated in the diagram below.
Click on image to enlarge
You have the following options to manage your leaves if you opt out of Leaf Day Pickup Service:
- Rake and bag your leaves for curbside recycling. Put the leaves in your yard debris bin to be picked up curbside by your garbage hauler. Note that haulers may charge extra for yard debris bags.
- Rake, bag and haul your leaves to a recycling center.
- Hire someone else to rake, bag and haul your leaves to a recycling center.
- Compost your leaves on site.
No. Leaf depots have been discontinued. Even with an increase in fees the last few years, the City didn't recover the operating costs of providing the service. Leaf depot usage dropped steadily the last several years due to more options for people to manage their leaves themselves (curbside yard debris service, onsite composting, and self-hauling to recycling centers). With the Street Leaf Removal Fee, our crews pick up all yard leaves, not just leaves from street trees, making it okay for people who pay the fee to rake leaves from their yard into the street. This reduces the demand for leaf depots. In addition, the City now provides weekly curbside yard debris pickup, making it even easier for people to manage their leaves through their curbside hauler. Note that haulers may charge for extra yard debris bags.
For information on self-haul recycling centers for disposal of leaves and other yard debris, contact Metro Recycling at 503-234-3000.
If you'd like the street in front of your property to be the cleanest we can get it, it's smart to move your car on your Leaf Day(s) so that our machines can get right to the curb to remove leaves and clean the street.
If you can't move your vehicle off the street, you'll get the best results if you rake your leaves past it into the middle of the street.
If someone else's car is parked in front of your property on Leaf Day, please ask them to move their car. If that is not possible, please do your best to rake your leaves away from the curb and beyond the car into the middle of the street so that our machines can pick up your leaves.
If you're in a neighborhood with Leaf Day parking enforcement
If your property is in the Inner Westside of Portland (Zones Northwest 1-4 and Southwest 1) or in Sullivan's Gulch (Zone Northeast 7), you must move your car or it will be ticketed and towed. These neighborhoods have asked for parking enforcement during leaf day because of the high number of vehicles parked on the street preventing our crews from picking up the leaves. Any cars on the street during Leaf Day in these neighborhoods will be towed at their owners' expense. Bail for a vehicle is $157, not including the cost of the citation. To locate your vehicle, call Police Auto Records at 503-823-0044.
If you're NOT in a neighborhood with Leaf Day parking enforcement
If you're not in one of those Zones, you're under no legal obligation to move your car. You won't be towed or ticketed. We do ask that you move your car, however, so you'll get a better clean in front of your property.
Click here for a one-page notice you may place on the windshield of any car parked on the street to remind people to move their car off the street for Leaf Day.
On Leaf Day, a supervisor will walk through to confirm the street in front of your property has been cleared so you aren't billed.
Our Leaf Day crews will include supervisors who will spot check your property if you applied to opt out. On your scheduled pickup day(s), supervisors will check to see if you put effort into managing the leaves that fall in the street in front of your property. They will confirm that your leaves were removed from the curb to the center of the street. They will also verify if you have no street trees or trees on your property that drop leaves in the street.
If you submit an opt-out application and fail the spot check, you will be billed for the Leaf Day service fee. You may also be subject to administrative fees, which may include the costs of the spot check, billing, appeals process, and additional customer service.
You will know if your property was spot-checked because supervisors will leave a doorhanger that tells you we were there and whether or not you passed.
Please be assured that supervisors will use common sense and good judgment to determine if you complied with the terms of the program. By observing the condition of the street and the amount of leaf debris along the curb, they will be able to determine if you made an adequate effort. If the amount of leaves is only incidental, probably the result of additional leaf fall overnight or wind or rain, you will likely pass the spot check. Supervisors are aware that some leaves from neighboring properties can drift into a cleared area and that leaves can continue to fall overnight.
However, if the amount of leaves and leaf debris is significant and clearly shows no pickup or cleanup effort, you will likely not pass the spot check. Leaves blown into the street from a neighboring property is not reason alone to fail a spot check.
In addition, if you say there are no street trees or trees on your property that drop leaves in the street and supervisors verify this fact in their spot check, you will pass. If supervisors find leaves in the street but no street trees or other trees on your property that could have dropped the leaves, supervisors will assume the leaves blew into the street from a neighboring property and you will pass the spot check. No street trees, no problem.
However, if you say there are no street trees and supervisors find that there are in fact trees in the planting strip or on your property that drop leaves in the street, you will fail the spot check.
If you are not in a Leaf Service Zone, you may not rake your leaves into the street.
Only customers in a leaf service zone who pay for the service are sanctioned by the city to rake their leaves into the street. See City Code regarding unlawful obstruction of a roadway, curb or sidewalk.
To learn about maintaining sidewalks, click here.
Call 503-865-LEAF (5323) to speak to a customer service representative Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.