Nov 16, 2021 - News

How to compost your leaves in Philly

Illustration of a pattern of paper yard waste bags.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Leaf collection is in full swing in Philly through Dec. 18.

Why it matters: The city's Department of Streets composts the fallen leaves, which reduces the amount of waste in landfills.

How it works: When it comes to getting rid of those leaf piles, you have options.

  • Bagged leaf drop-off events will be held at sites across the city.
  • Meanwhile, residents in certain areas will be able to rake leaves into the street by 7am on a specified mechanical leaf collection day, which varies by area.

Be smart: If you plan to bring your bagged leaves to a drop-off location, make sure you use a large brown, biodegradable paper bag, free of trash and other recyclable materials.

  • Drop-off sites won't accept other yard waste, like brush and tree limbs.
  • For mechanical leaf collection, residents should not bag the leaves, but rather collect them in the street.
  • On collection day, residents are encouraged not to street park in the area if possible.

Details: Drop-off events will be held between 9am-3pm on Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 11 and 18.

  • Mechanical leaf collections will take place in West and South Philly this Tuesday through Friday. Northeast Philly is slated for Nov. 22-Dec. 3, and Northwest Philly for Dec. 6-17.

Tip: Residents can also drop off their bagged leaves at sanitation convenience centers.

Fun fact: Residents also can receive up to 30 gallons of free compost, mulch and other organic material from the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center.


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