Mayor Luecke launches leaf pickup project two weeks early

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Mayor Steve Luecke announced on Thursday that the the Division of Streets has started the city’s 2011 loose leaf collection two weeks early.  The city says this decision was made due to the amount of leaves that have fallen, along with the number of calls the city received (over 70 on Tuesday alone).

The city’s “call-in” loose leaf pickup program, originally scheduled to begin on Oct. 24, is now in operation.  After raking leaves to the curbline, residents can call 235.9244 to schedule a pickup.   The “call-in” program will continue until Nov. 3.

City Leaf-Vac crews will begin Operation Releaf - weekly automatic loose leaf collection, in the northeast quadrant of the city on Nov. 7, continuing clockwise around the city, until the program ends on Dec. 12.  Crews will sweep each neighborhood twice during this five-week period with the second round beginning on Nov. 23.

  • To review the complete map, click here
  • For a complete schedule, click here.
  • To review the complete guidelines in both English and Spanish, click here.

Special Note:  Operation Releaf will be suspended over the Thanksgiving holiday, leaf pickup will stop on Nov. 23 and resume on Nov. 28.

Important safety information: 

  • Do not allow children to play or hide in leaf piles. 
  • Please rake leaves to the curbline and avoid raking them into the street, as this can plug street drains causing them to flood whenever there is heavy rainfall or excessive snow melting. 
  • Please do not park on top or in front of leaf piles along curb lines, this can cause a fire and also makes it difficult for leaf vac crews to see the piles for pickup. 
  • Please separate all trash and debris from leaf piles. 
  • Crews cannot sweep up leaf piles containing sticks, trash, and other debris. 
  • Trash contaminates the recycling process and could damage the leaf vacuuming equipment. 
  • Crews will not pick up these piles and the property owner will be responsible for disposal of contaminated piles.
  • Avoid raking leaves to curb after crews have finished your street.  They will not return until the next scheduled day in your area, approximately three weeks later. 

Burning of leaves is prohibited in the city and is a violation of City ordinance.




Monday - Friday,  7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

All leaves, as well as yard waste, are recycled at the City’s Organic Resource Facility, diverting this material from our landfills. Mulch is then available to community members for free.  There is a small fee if staff assists with loading.  

The South Bend’s Division of Environmental Services’ Bureau of Solid Waste provides a year-round bagged leaf and yard waste pickup program.  Now, through Nov. 25 residents may place bagged or bundled yard waste at the curb for pickup on their regular trash pickup days.  Beginning, Nov. 28, and until next spring, residents can still place bagged leaves and yard waste at the curb, but must call the Bureau of Solid Waste, 277-8515 to schedule a pickup. 

Green Notes:  In addition to using the loose leaf option for leaf collection, paper bags or reusable containers for leaf and yard waste are also recommended.  Paper yard waste bags can be found at most supermarkets and home improvement stores. Reusable plastic containers, up to 50lbs. can also be used for leaves and yard waste pickup.

Recycling yard waste at home through the production and use of compost and mulch, including adding mulching blades to lawn mowers is also recommended.  While residents are also encouraged to take advantage of the compost and mulch produced by Organic Resources, composting and mulching yard waste at home is equally effective.  Residents can collect compostable materials in an outdoor bin or a dry, shady spot in the yard.  With exposure to moisture and oxygen these organic materials will break down into a natural, inexpensive alternative to toxic and costly fertilizers and pesticides.

(Source: This was a press release, courtesy of the City of South Bend)

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