Bag it - or leaf it alone?

Bag it - or leaf it alone?

EUGENE, Ore. - They don't call this season "fall" for nothing.

The leaves may be pretty to look at, but they're starting to create problems on area roads and bicycle lanes.

"If they're piled up it's an obstruction not just for cyclists, but even for cars and they can cause flooding which creates safety problems," said Eric Jones with Eugene Public Works.

Starting next Tuesday, November 13 Eugene and Lane County will start their leaf collection program. Springfield will start theirs on Monday, November 26.

"The leaves have to be places in the road where our sweepers and out vacuum trucks and those types of equipment can reach the leaves," said Jones.

But in Springfield it's a different story.

"To keep the leaves out of the roadway here in Springfield, we ask people to bag them," said Springfield community relations manager Niel Laudati. "So that's the big difference, if you're in Springfield, you bag your leaves."

Between the two cities, they see thousands of cubic yards of leaves every year, so they each do a few rounds of leaf collection.

"We range between 15,000 and 20,000 cubic yards of leaves a year. There are literally billions of leaves that come down every fall just in Eugene," said Jones.

He said there are a few key things to remember about leaf collection.

"Don't put leaves out early because wind and rain, no matter how you pile your leaves, will get all blown around and messed up," he said. "If you're gonna put your leaves in the street, you have to also do it so it's safe for the other people that use the street and sidewalk."

To help control pollution and prevent clogged storm drains, local governments work with homeowners to haul off the leafy debris deposited in yards by deciduous trees.

Here's what you need to know if you live on a street with curbs and gutters served by a leaf removal program.

Leaf Removal Schedule

Eugene www.eugene-or.gov/leaf

West/Central Eugene Nov. 13 to Nov. 26 and Dec. 27 to Jan. 7

North Eugene Nov. 21 to Dec. 6 and Jan. 4 to Jan. 15

Southeast Eugene Dec. 5 to Dec. 17 and Jan. 14 to Jan. 23

Southwest Eugene Dec. 14 to Dec. 28 and Jan. 22 to Jan. 28

Springfield www.springfield-or.gov

West of 28th Street, weeks of Nov. 26 and Jan. 7

East of 28th Street, weeks of Dec. 6 Jan. 14

Lane County www.lanecounty.org/LeafPickUp

Starting on west side of River Road north from Maxwell to
Beacon, then to the east side of River Rd, south to Division
Ave. Then on to the unincorporated areas in Springfield

Nov. 13 (call 541-682-8565 for weekly updates)

TBD (call 541-682-8565 for weekly updates)

Leaf Preparation Guidelines

  • In Eugene and Lane County, leaves must be in the paved roadway but piled at least 15 feet away from parked vehicles. Do not bag leaves.
  • In Springfield, leaves must be put in medium?sized bags that contain only leaves. The bags should be placed curbside, not in the street
  • Do not pile leaves in bike or traffic lanes or on curbs or sidewalks.
  • Keep storm drains and gutters clear to prevent localized flooding.
  • Leaves are not picked up in private yards
  • Do not mix in other debris such as branches, rocks, lawn clippings, pine needles, or trash.
  • Wait to put leaves in the street until the weekend prior to collection.
  • In Lane County leaf pickup will be provided for curb and gutter streets only. In Eugene, unimproved streets will be picked up only during the second round.