Leaf collection begins on Monday in Cedar Rapids, but with a change due to COVID-19

Tom Woodward/Flickr

Cedar Rapids residents planning to rake their yards this weekend in preparation for spring cleaning are in luck — leaf collection begins on Monday, April 6.

Residents can expect to have the leaf vacuum trucks come by their homes on their regular garbage day, unless trucks are slowed down by weather or volume. If that’s the case, the trucks will come by the day after, according to the city’s Solid Waste and Recycling division.

The leaves should be placed in long rows on the grass. Leaf bags will not be collected due to precautions the division is taking in light of COVID-19.

Residents should keep the leaf piles out of the street and away from mailboxes, signs, poles and trees. Leaves in alleys will not be collected. Cars should not be parked in front of the leaf piles because the truck will not be able to collect them.

Sticks and twigs should be placed in the YARDY cart, and litter should be placed in garbage cans, not with the leaf piles.

In a news release, the city listed the benefits of leaf collection and why the trucks are running during the pandemic.

Operating loose leaf vacuum trucks 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. The program helps improve water quality in our streams and river. When large numbers of leaves enter the storm sewer, the nutrients from decaying leaves overwhelm and choke out aquatic life. Leaf vacuum collection also assists in debris removal from streets, ensuring safe passage for vehicles/motorcycles and bicycles.

Leaf collection is expected to continue through Friday, May 1.

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