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Bowser Administration Announces Changes for 2020-21 Leaf Collection Season

Monday, September 28, 2020
Residents Will be Required to Place Leaves in Paper Bags to Keep Crews and the Public Safe

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration, through the DC Department of Public Works (DPW), announced important changes to the 2020-21 leaf collection season to keep residents and DPW crews safe and healthy. This year, residents will be asked to use a “contactless,” more environmentally-friendly process of placing their leaves in paper bags. Collections will still occur twice in each neighborhood, beginning November 9, 2020 through January 4, 2021. DPW will provide 20 free paper bags to each residence serviced by DPW to assist in the transition.

“We recognize that this change in our collection process might be challenging, but it is necessary to help keep everyone safe as we all continue to adjust to life during the COVID-19 public health emergency,” said DPW Director Chris Geldart. “We are all in this together and hope to continue to have the support of residents as we work to maintain our on-time service delivery levels and keep our employees and District residents safe and our city clean.”

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

What’s new in leaf season?

  • Residents receive DPW trash and recycling services in households serviced by DPW must bag their leaves.
  • 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. Bag distribution will begin on October 30.
  • 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.

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 dpw.dc.gov 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 “Missed Leaf Collection“ by calling 311 (202-727-4404) or visiting 311.dc.gov. Resident should wait until their neighborhood’s collection deadline has elapsed before calling.