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Halloween decorations are out, locals are buying pumpkins, and the leaves are starting to turn. It’s that time of year again, and starting next month, the City of Alexandria will be resuming its annual leaf vacuuming and leaf bag collection.

On Monday, Nov. 1, the city’s leaf vacuuming and bag collection starts for those residents that receive city trash and recycling collection, the city said in a press release. Leaf collection is slated to continue into January.

The city is divided into five collection zones, with first-pass dates ranging from Nov. 1 to Nov. 16. Each of the city’s five collection zones will get three passes throughout fall/winter. Residents have three options for how to recycle leaves.

  • raking leaves to the curb for vacuum collection
  • collecting leaves in paper leaf bags for collection
  • Composting leaves and yard waste at home

The city noted that leaves in plastic bags will be considered refuse and thrown away as trash.

“Please do not mix brush or other items with leaves, as these items may injure City workers, damage equipment or private property, or cause delays,” the city said in the press release. “Free biodegradable leaf bags are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Bags will be available starting October 18. Please wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others while picking up leaf bags (limit 15 bags per residential household, not available for commercial use).”

Bags are available at:

  • City Hall (301 King Street): Monday – Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • City of Alexandria Self-Serve Shed (Roth Street and Business Center Drive): Available 24/7
  • Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe Street): Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Patrick Henry Recreation Center (4653 Taney Avenue): Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Mount Vernon Recreation Center (2701 Commonwealth Avenue): Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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(Updated 8:10 a.m. on 12/15/20) If you’re an Alexandria homeowner and put off raking: you’re entering the last stretch to get that yard cleaned up.

This week, Transportation and Environmental Services let locals know the city is entering the last phase of leaf clearing.

Leaf clearing started in early November. Residents are encouraged to collect leaves in biodegradable bags for collection or rake the leaves to the curb the day before their neighborhood is scheduled to be cleaned.

“Free leaf bags for residents who receive City trash services are available at City Hall, recreation centers, and the City’s self-serve shed on Business Center Drive,” the city said. “You can also use your own paper leaf bags for collection!”

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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For all Alexandria homeowners who struggled with a yard full of fallen leaves: your relief is here.

Starting today, the City of Alexandria is kicking off its annual leaf vacuuming and leaf bag collection service.

Today, leaf collection trucks are moving through the Seminary Hill and Carlyle neighborhoods. A website set up by the City of Alexandria shows the various leaf collection zones around Alexandria, the schedule for leaf collection, and a live-tracking of where the leaf collection vehicles currently are.

As of 11:30 a.m. today, three of the trucks were moving up and down neighborhoods along Seminary Road.

There are three ways to dispose of leaves in Alexandria, according to the city’s leaf collection website. Leaves raked to the front curb will be vacuumed by trucks sweeping through in scheduled passes through various neighborhoods. These leaves should be pushed into piles, with stones, litter, branches and other debris removed. Leaves should also be kept clear of storm drains or water meter covers.

Leaves can also be collected into paper bags, available for free at various city facilities. There is a limit of fifteen bags per household.

Finally, leaves can also be composted in yards, with a guide available online.

The Braddock neighborhood is also scheduled for collection sometime today. According to the website, leaf collection is staggered across Alexandria’s neighborhoods — though snow or rain could lead to rescheduling.

The current estimated dates for leaf collection are:

  • Seminary Hill and Carlyle: Today (Nov. 4)
  • Braddock: Today (Nov. 4)
  • Old Town north of King Street: Friday (Nov. 8)
  • North Ridge and Arlandria west of Russell Road: Friday (Nov. 8)
  • Del Ray, Potomac Yard, and Arlandria east of Russell Road: Thursday (Nov. 14)
  • Old Town south of King Street and west of N. Washington Street: Thursday (Nov. 14)
  • The West End and Eisenhower Valley west of N. Jordan Street: Wednesday (Nov. 20)
  • Old Town south of King Street and east of N. Washington Street: Wednesday (Nov. 20)

“City crews make three passes through each neighborhood zone,” Alexandria’s website notes. “It takes crews several days to complete each pass in each zone.”

Photo via City of Alexandria

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