REMINDER: Fall Leaves/Yard Waste Collection Begins Monday, October 1
The City of Madison Streets Division will begin curbside leaf and yard waste collection for the fall on Monday, October 1.
More information about leaf and yard waste collection, including a survey about how yard waste collection services, can be found on the Streets Division’s website, www.cityofmadison.com/yardwaste.
What is “Leaves and Yard Waste”?
Yard waste includes:
- Leaves, weeds, garden trimmings, and other leafy plant debris.
- Twigs less than 18" long.
- Pumpkins, crab apples, pine cones, etc.
When to Place Leaves and Yard Waste to the Curb
Residents have two options to learn when they should place yard waste to the curb for pick up.
Option 1: View the Map
Go to the Streets Division’s yard waste website, www.cityofmadison.com/yardwaste, and click the “View Pickup Schedule” button.
The button links to an interactive map that shows the areas of Madison that have crews working, and which neighborhoods should place yard waste out for pickup.
Once on the map page, enter your address into the top left corner. This will zoom the map into your immediate area. If your neighborhood is shaded green for “Pickup Pending,” you should get yard waste out for collection because crews will be around soon to pick up what is out.
The online map is updated at the end of each workday. Residents who use the map should check it regularly to see if their neighborhood should get yard waste to the curb.
Option 2: Call the Hotline
A recorded hotline is available to hear collection time estimates to determine when to place yard waste to the curb. The recording also details leaf and yard waste collection rules. The number is 608-267-2088. The hotline is updated weekly.
How to Place Yard Waste for Collection
Do not place leaves and yard waste in the street. Pile leaves and yard waste on the terrace or at the road edge.
Keep piles four feet from obstructions, such as utility poles and fire hydrants.
Do not mix brush and yard waste together. These are separate collection operations and they are processed differently. Yard waste piles mixed with brush will not be collected.
Yard waste and leaves can be piled loose on the terrace or road edge. Residents can place a tarp over the leaf piles to prevent them from blowing into the street.
Residents can also use in compostable paper lawn bags, or plastic bags, to prevent leaves and yard waste from blowing into the street. Compostable paper bags are easier for crews to collect, so if you elect to bag leaves please choose the large paper bags that are available at most major retailers. Plastic bags will work, but crews may need to slit the bags open to dump out the leaves, and they need to leave the plastic bags behind at the curb since there is not room in their trucks for empty bags. All bags should be left open at the top so crews can identify their contents.
The Streets Division has a goal to provide each residence at least three collection opportunities in the fall, depending on what weather conditions allow.
When collection begins on Monday, October 1, crews will continue to cycle through the city again and again until winter weather requires crews to move to snow and ice control operations.
In order for residents not to miss their collection opportunities, it is important that they monitor the Collection Schedule map or call the collection hotline to be sure material is curbside in time for pickup.
Keep Streets Leaf-free
Leaves and yard waste contain phosphorus. When it rains, water flows through leaf piles in streets creating a phosphorus rich “leaf tea” that travels through storm drains to our lakes. The excess phosphorus leads to toxic algae blooms, low oxygen levels, and green murky water in our lakes - none of which are good for animals living in the water or those who use our lakes for recreation.
Plus, leaf and yard waste piles can wash into the storm drains and clog them, which can lead to street ponding.
In addition to using the curbside collection service, Madison residents can bring their leaves and yard waste to any of the three yard waste drop-off sites.
The sites are open seven days a week from 8:30am to 4:30pm and until 8:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The yard waste sites are located at 1501 W. Badger Rd on the southwest side, 4602 Sycamore Ave on the east side, and 402 South Point Rd. on the far west side. The drop-off sites are for Madison residents only, and proof of residency is required in order to use the site.
Additional Information and a Survey
There are multiple opportunities to learn more about proper yard waste management.
Residents can consult this brief guide about other ways to protect our lakes by keeping the streets leaf-free.
The Ripple Effects website has a detailed information about leaf management and other important storm water issues. On the Ripple Effects website, you can sign up to receive text or email alerts on when the street gutter should be raked in advance of a rainstorm to prevent a release of nutrients into the storm water system. Ripple Effects is the website for the Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership.
Residents can also go to the Streets Division yard waste website, www.cityofmadison.com/yardwaste. Collection rules, the pickup schedule map, and a short video about the yard waste collection process can all be found there.
While on the Streets Division yard waste website, residents are encouraged to provide their feedback about yard waste collection, and other Streets Division services, via an online survey. The opinions shared on this survey will help the Streets Division improve delivering our services.
Residents can contact the Streets Division office that services their neighborhood to answer questions they may have about yard waste collection and the drop-off sites. Residents east of S. Park Street, and that includes the isthmus, can call the east side Streets Division at 608-246-4532 and residents west of S. Park Street can call the west side Streets Division at 608-266-4681.
Additional information regarding leaf and yard waste collection, the drop-off sites, and other solid waste services can be found on the Streets Division website, www.cityofmadison.com/streets.
- Bryan Johnson, 608-267-2626, email@example.com