|November 2, 2011 -
The City of Knoxville's annual "Leaf Season" begins this week and Public Service Department crews will be visiting the city's neighborhoods to vacuum leaves between now and February.
Leaf collection season begins November 1, and concludes February 1, each year. During this period, the normal two-week brush schedule is suspended as resources are concentrated on collecting leaves throughout the city. Collection schedules vary heavily during the season based on tree density, age, type, weather events and other factors and are adjusted by managers in the field on a weekly basis.
Knoxville residents can find out when their leaves will be picked up by accessing the city's website at www.cityofknoxville.org and clicking on the "Leaf Pickup Schedule" icon on the right side of the page.
That directs the user to fill in their street name - residents don't need to include the house number or street type like drive, road or avenue - and responds by letting them know when public service crews will be in their neighborhood.
The schedules are done on a weekly basis so the date homeowners receive from the city's website will always be a Monday and that indicates crews will be in their neighborhood sometime during that week.
Schedules are subject to change based on weather conditions and other uncontrollable events, so users should periodically check the site for schedule updates. Further information is also available by calling 311, which is your direct line to the City of Knoxville and its services.
The availability of an online schedule is the result of a cooperative effort between 311, the Public Service Department and the city's Information Services Division.
This is usually the busiest time of the year for the city's Public Service Department, which will pick up more than 8,000 tons, or about 16 million pounds of leaves, from Knoxville's neighborhoods.
Leaf collection accounts for roughly 25 percent of the total yard waste collected by the city during a typical year. This year, however, that figure will be closely matched by the amount of debris crews picked up after violent storms that hit Knoxville in April and June.
While leaf season begins this week, and concludes in February, the bulk of the leaves in the city will be collected by Christmas. The city uses trucks equipped with suction devices to vacuum up leaves, which need to be raked to within five feet of the curb for pickup.
Please don't rake leaves into the street and try not to block drainage ditches if possible. Also please don't mix brush in with leaf piles.
The city will not pick up mixed piles of leaves, brush, or other refuse because the leaf collection equipment is designed to vacuum up leaves and can be damaged by brush.
Brush collection will continue during November, December and January but it's done on a limited basis, as resources are available.
For more information about leaf collection season, including how the city handles bagged leaves, please go to www.cityofknoxville.org/solidwaste/leaf.asp.