Leaf pickup, that annual rite of fall, gets underway next week in Corvallis and Sweet Home, and other cities will start their programs in the coming weeks.
Republic Services handles the pickups for Corvallis, Albany and Philomath, while it is a city function in Sweet Home and Lebanon.
Rules vary slightly from community to community, but the basic principle is the same: It is a relatively — depending on how much raking you need to do — painless way to make your leaves go away.
Here is a look at how it works throughout the mid-valley:
The program starts Monday and runs through Dec. 9 with pickups coinciding with customers' usual trash pickup day. Republic Services officials advise that:
• Residents should rake their leaves into rows on the street just before their weekly collection day.
• Rows should be long and narrow and 2 feet away from the curb, should not block bike lanes, storm drains or driveways or be piled near parked cars.
• Rows should consist of only leaves and not include brush, large branches or other organic debris. Leaves and other yard and organic waste can be also placed in yard debris carts.
The same Republic Services rules in Corvallis also apply in Albany, but the scheduling of the pickups is a bit different.
Republic will pick up three times during the leaf season. The first window is Oct. 25 through Nov. 5, the second stretch is Nov. 8-19 and the final set of days is Nov. 28 through Dec. 10.
City Public Works crews handle the program, which runs from Monday through Dec. 17. A key difference is that Sweet Home requires residents to call to request a pickup.
To schedule leaf pickup, submit a work request through the city’s website portal https://www.sweethomeor.gov/executive/webform/general-inquiry-andor-request-service-form or call 541-367-6359. Same day service is not guaranteed, and crews will pick up as the schedule allows.
Residents are asked to put loose leaves in piles on the street away from parked cars and a foot away from the curb to allow for water drainage. Piles should be larger than a 90-gallon yard debris cart and must not contain limbs, yard debris or any type of bagging materials.
Loose leaves can be hauled to the Public Works compound at 1515 Willow St. and disposed of for free. This service is for Philomath residents only and is not a commercial leaf drop site. Leaves only. No sticks, branches, bags or trash.
Republic Services provides curbside pickup of loose leaves on five Thursdays. This year those dates are Oct. 21, Nov. 4, Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 16. The same rules apply as they do for Republic customers in Albany and Corvallis.
Leaves may be placed in the street for pickup the weekend prior to a pickup date. Leaves may not be deposited on streets outside of these dates.
The Public Works Department handles the leaves, but there won’t be any pickups until Nov. 1, said director Jason Williams, who added the city plans to complete a full citywide water flush first.
Williams said the city will continue picking up until there are no new piles being placed in the right of way. Usually, he said, that means leaf pickups in some capacity until the first of the year.
Residents are asked to place leaves in the right of way, leaving a 1-foot open space for water to flow in front of the curb. Also, the program covers leaves only — no other forms of lawn or tree debris will be collected.