One more round of leaf collection on Dec. 3 if weather permits

The City of Muscatine Fall 2021 leaf collection program is wrapping up and the Department of Public Works (DPW) reminds residents that December 2 will be the last day to rake out leaves for collection this year.

DPW has two crews wrapping up the second round of leaf curbside collection with Zone 7 collection starting Wednesday (Nov. 24) and Zone 8 on December 1 (see map). There will be no leaf collections on Thursday (Nov. 25) or Friday (Nov.26) due to the City holiday for Thanksgiving.

“Once we complete the second round, we will make one more trip through each zone,” Randy Howell, Roadway Maintenance Supervisor, said. “If residents still have leaves on the ground, we ask them to rake them out to the curb no later than December 2.”

DPW crews will begin the third round in Zone 1 and move to the next zone as soon as the previous zone is completed. There will not be a call-in option for leaf collection this year.

“Completing the third round is dependent on the weather,” Howell said. “Depending on the forecast, we may have to pull the trucks to prepare them for winter weather.”

As we move further into the winter season, the possibility of inclement weather increases and leaf collection operations may be suspended or terminated as snow and ice control take priority.

“We will make every effort to complete this third round as long as the leaves are not snow covered or frozen,” Howell said. “But at this time of year we have to be prepared for winter weather.”

Leaf piles blocked by cars will not be collected until the cars are moved. In addition, leaf piles with trash, branches, or other yard waste will not be picked up.

“Branches and grass clippings will clog up the vacuums and potentially could delay or stop the collection process due to repairs needed to the vacuums,” Howell said.

Yard waste (including branches and grass clippings) can be placed in City of Muscatine Yard Waste bags. The bags will be picked up on the residents refuse collection day if they are placed near the refuse container.

Yard waste placed in paper bags can also be taken to the Compost Facility at the Transfer Station.  The Compost Site will be open from 12-5 p.m. Sunday through Friday and from 9 a.m-5 p.m. on Saturdays and will remain open as long as possible in December, weather permitting, before closing for the season.

Here are some additional guidelines for leaf collection:

  • Leaves should be placed near, but not beyond, the curb and should be within reach of the leaf vacuum.
  • Leaves should be free of tree branches and twigs as they can cause the leaf vacuums to clog up.
  • All leaves must be placed outside of fenced areas.
  • Leaves are not to be placed in the street to avoid clogging storm drains.
  • Leaves should not be placed in the street or extend into traffic lanes, thereby creating traffic hazards.
  • Leaves should not be placed around obstacles such as mailbox posts, sign posts, and light poles.
  • Crews will not pick up leaves mixed with debris, logs, branches, rocks, plastic, metal or glass containers, or any other types of refuse.
  • Leaves should not be placed on City cul-de-sacs, vacant land, or city property except on the public right-of-way along the curb/shoulder area.

For more information, contact the Department of Public Works at 563-263-8933, email, or visit the Roadway Maintenance page on the City of Muscatine website.

Iowa DNR encourages top three ways to handle fall leaves –

Fall leaves are beautiful – until they pile up in your yard. Don’t send those precious nutrients up in smoke (it is actually illegal to burn yard waste in Muscatine on properties of two acres or less). Instead, put those nuisance leaf piles to good use. Leaves, small branches and other landscape materials can nourish your lawn, garden or community.

It’s easy:

  1. Compost.Composting leaves and food scraps is a great way to turn this waste into garden nutrients. A good compost mix needs both carbon (dead or dry leaves) and nitrogen (green materials like food scraps and grass clippings). Many types and sizes of compost containers are available. For tips on low-tech ways to compost, see a DNR tutorial.
  2. Mulch.Your lawn will love you if you chop up and leave your leaves in place. Leaves are a free, natural fertilizer that enriches your soil with organic matter. You can use your regular lawn mower. Or, use a mulching lawn mower to shred and mix leaves and grass into your yard.
  3. Bag it.If you have too many leaves or branches to compost, you can bag the leaves and tie up the branches to be collected or have a dropped-off at the Muscatine Compost Facility. The upside is that anyone can pick up composted materials for their yards or gardens from the Compost Facility.
  4. a) Yard waste is collected on a residents refuse collection day but only in bags with the City of Muscatine logo on them. (See GUIDLELINES).
  5. b) Yard Waste in any paper bag along with tree limbs and other trimmings can be taken to the Compost Facility during normal hours of operation.
  6. c) Residents of Muscatine and Fruitland can drop off yard waste free of change with proof of residency. A small fee is charged for non-residents.

For some, burning leaves seems to capture the nostalgic smell of autumn. But breathing leaf smoke pulls pollutants such as carbon monoxide, soot and toxic chemicals into your lungs. While it may smell good, smoke is especially harmful to children, the elderly, and those with respiratory or heart problems. Turning leaves into nutrients is the healthy way to protect your and your neighbor’s lungs.