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Vacuum Leaf Collection Begins Next Week

by ARLnow.com November 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm 3,495 26 Comments

Arlington County’s vacuum leaf collection service will begin one week from today.

The vacuum trucks will be out from Monday, Nov. 12 until Friday, Dec. 21. The trucks will operate Monday through Saturday, except for Thanksgiving, on a set neighborhood schedule. To prepare for the vacuum collection, residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb but away from storm drains, and to remove stones, litter and other debris from the piles.

Biodegradable leaf bag collection started last Monday (Oct. 29) and will run on weekdays (except Christmas and New Year’s Day) through Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Collection takes place on the next business day after your regular trash collection day. Free leaf bags can be picked up at a number of locations around the county, as listed on Arlington’s residential leaf collection web site.

More information on leaf collection can be found in the county-produced video, above.

  • Ashton Heights

    Collecting leafs is such a waste of time; I just use my leaf blower to move them away from my property into the neighbor’s yard.

    And truth be told, leafs simply turn into compost, so why bother anyway?

    • DCBuff

      Uh, stop doing that, I’m tired of having to rake up your “leafs.” BTW, most of us in AH refer to what drops off our trees as “leaves.” To each his own.

      • Charles

        It would be better to MOW the leaves into mulch and just leave it over the winter to decay and feed the soil. Of course, that’s a difficult concept for most Arlingtonians, apparently, given how widespread is the leaf collection.

  • Quoth the Raven

    This is just such an awesome service the town provides. Love it.

  • John Fontain

    Time for my obligatory annual comment on this topic:

    “In a town with ‘green’ desires as strong as Arlington’s, I find it wholly ironic to see people remove leaves from their landscaping, ship them off to another site in the County, PAY to have them brought right back, and then spread them around their landscaping again.”

    • veeta

      Do people really do that? I see it more as people having their valuable leaves sucked up (depriving their plants of nutrients) and me getting a heckuva deal on mulch for my nearly tree-less garden.

      • Quoth the Raven

        No way. I see it as clearing my yard of the 400 pounds of leaves that fall on it every year, creating a horrible leafy mess. Some leaves are fine. Tons of leaves are not, so I love it when the truck comes!

        • John Fontain

          I love the leaf removal program too. But I do find irony in the many people who have their leaves removed only to then pay the county to come back and dump a load of leaf mulch in their driveway. Why not compost the leaves yourself or just pile the leaves up around the base of your plants and trees and let them degrade naturally? Why work to have them removed and then work to bring them back (and pay to do so as well!)?

          • veeta

            You do need to compost them or chop them up, or else they mat up and can cause problems. I do acknowledge that it is too large a job for some folks. I’m just glad we have so many large trees in our neighborhoods!

          • drax

            Sometimes that’s true. But I have simply raked some into my beds and it works fine. It’s just like it works in nature.

          • Leaf it to Beaver

            Too bad we can’t just burn them. Ash = great fertilizer.

            County mulch has tons of weed seeds in it. Learned this the hard way!

          • Loocy

            Yup! Weeds (including poison ivy) and snakes!

          • drax

            Burning = air pollution though.

          • Arlington, Northside

            The burning leaf pollution is minimal and is not very harmful.

            Although ash is better as a soil conditioner than actual fertilizer.

  • YTK

    I have some leaves on my rug……. Knock on the door when you get to my Nabe.

  • nom de guerre

    No one mentions the thousands of gallons of diesel fuel used by the trucks to vacuum and shred the leaves, transport them to the composting sites, not to mention the resulting emissions that pollute the local air.

    • drax

      Good thing people can’t burn the leaves any more.

  • Justin Russo

    Most of the leaves in my ‘hood are still green…it’s too early to send the vacuums around.

    • Arlington, Northside

      They used to run three rounds. Last year they did two. I hope they do two again this year, but I have not seen anything to indicate so.

      A few years ago they had done all three before the first oak leaves had fallen. At least now they try to time them with the predicted falling of leaves.

  • DynaFlash 8

    Burn them — the finest aroma of Fall, next to Pumpkin Pie.

    • DCBuff

      Yum. Pie.

  • Flutter

    That sucks.

  • WeiQiang

    Bag ’em with the lawnmower and compost them.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Tried that a few years ago, they just cloged up the lawn as thatch. No good.

      • WeiQiang

        Bag ’em and compost, not just chop ’em up and let ’em fall. Compost or put the chopped up leaves in the beds, per those who do that.

  • vacuum guy

    my job su#ks!


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