During peak leaf season, bulk leaf collection by vacuum machine is performed by Department of Public Works (DPW) crews. Prior to bulk collection, leaves must be bagged in paper bags and placed at the curb for collection. These bags will be collected on the same day as yard waste and residential solid waste. For information on alternatives to collection, please visit the Sustainable Shorewood section of the website.
Leaf collection by vacuum machines normally begins on the third Monday in October and continues through the first Friday in December. These dates may be adjusted depending on the leaf fall each particular year. Crews make every effort to maintain a day-certain leaf collection schedule (PDF), providing the service to every home once each week during the leaf season. Additional information can be found on the annual leaf collection flyer (PDF).
Please be aware that vacuum leaf collection will cease if there is any type of frozen precipitation. The vacuum machines are unable to pick up leaves that have become frozen to the ground or are exceptionally heavy from water. Freezing rain, sleet, or snow will halt the vacuum collection of leaves; the vacuum attachments will be removed and the equipment converted for snow removal operations. After this point, loose leaf piles cannot be collected. If the weather forecast is questionable, residents are strongly urged to bag leaves for collection.
To reduce labor costs, improve efficiencies and enhance stormwater management operations, the Village purchased new leaf collection equipment for use beginning in 2022. This equipment automates collection by allowing the vehicle operator to control the vacuum hose. Leaves must be raked to the parkway within five (5) feet of the curb for collection. Please note, only leaves within this zone can be collected.
Please rake leaves into piles within five (5) feet of the curb on the parkway (the area between the sidewalk and curb), but do not place leaves in the street. Leaves in the street are more likely to clog inlet drains and cause street flooding. Excess leaves in stormwater also cause other negative effects. Please read more about nutrients on the Shorewood Waters Project page of the Village website.
Please DO NOT include any other yard waste debris in the leaf pile. The vacuum machines are unable to collect twigs, branches, plants, pumpkins or other compostable material as these plug the vacuum resulting in pickup delays and costly repairs. Leaf piles with these items will not be collected.