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  • Writer's pictureTiffani Johnson

Leaf Collection *Important Change to Keep Residents and Crews Safe; Residents Required to Bag Leaves

Leaf collection begins in the District on November 9!

The 2020-21 leaf collection season includes an important change to keep residents and DPW crews safe and healthy. This year, residents will be required to use the “contactless” and more environmentally friendly process of bagging their leaves. Residents that receive trash and recycling services in households serviced by DPW must bag their leaves in paper bags.

Collections will still occur twice in each neighborhood, this year between November 9 and January 4, 2021. DPW will provide a limited amount of free bags to assist residents in the transition.

In addition to reducing residents’ and DPW employees’ risk of exposure to COVID-19, the change to bagged leaves also helps decrease the District’s carbon footprint by reducing reliance on diesel-powered vacuum equipment and gas-powered leaf blowers.

Download the Frequently asked questions; here.

What’s New in Leaf Season?

  • Residents that receive trash and recycling services in households serviced by DPW must bag their leaves in paper bags.

  • To be collected and composted, leaves must be placed in paper bags.

  • To help with the transition to the bagged leaf program, DPW will provide a one-time-only distribution of 20 paper bags to each residence it services. Paper bag distribution will begin at least one week before the start of leaf season.

  • Bagged leaves must be placed either in tree boxes or at the curb in front of homes on the Sunday of the week of the scheduled collection.

  • Additional paper bags can be purchased at area hardware, grocery and some retail stores.

What’s the same in Leaf Season?

  • Leaves will be collected from DPW-serviced residences twice during leaf season.

  • Leaves contained in paper bags will be composted, which helps to advance Mayor Bowser’s Zero Waste initiative.

  • Residents can get the latest information, track collections and view schedules by visiting or by downloading the MyDPW app, available on Apple and Android platforms.

  • Brochures with the schedules and a program overview will be mailed to each DPW-serviced household before the start of leaf collection.

  • For missed collections, residents can bring bagged leaves to five locations in the District. Residents may also report a “Bagged Leaf Collection (Missed)" by calling 311 (202-727-4404) or visiting—but they should wait until their neighborhood’s collection deadline has been completed.

What May Cause Schedule Adjustments?

As winter approaches, the DC Snow Team may be called upon to clear our city's streets. When this happens our leaf collection trucks will stop collecting leaves and be outfitted with snowplows and salt spreaders. Once the weather improves, the trucks are cleaned and outfitted to resume leaf operations. This process can take several days. Delays can also be expected when leaves are wet or frozen, as such conditions hamper our equipment's ability to function properly. DPW appreciates residents' patience and understanding when Mother Nature interferes with leaf collections.

View this announcement on the web:

2020 Leaf FAQ.pdf - 481.3 KB (pdf)

Contact Email:

Contact Phone:

(202) 737-4404

Contact Fax:

(202) 671-0642

Contact TTY:

(202) 673-6833

Office Hours:

Monday to Friday 8:15 am - 4:45 pm

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