Leaf Removal Guide: 3 Ways to Remove Leaves From Your Landscape

Leaves are considered a solid waste and should be either recycled or disposed of properly to keep your landscape healthy.  With our leaf cleanup services, we'll place all the leaves on the street curb in coordination with the city's leaf collection schedule, haul them offsite, or decompose them through mulching.  Here is a guide for removing leaves and debris from your landscape to get your yard ready for the spring growing season, and to keep your lawn healthy and maintained:

1. Curbside Pickup: Loose Leaf Collection 

Residential properties in the City of Raleigh, Town of Cary, and Town of Apex have leaf collection available to them at no extra cost through their curbside leaf collection programs which are fully funded with tax dollars.  Please note: the collection pass schedule is subject to change based equipment issues or weather conditions.

2. Weekly Disposal, Hauling Offsite

Weekly Disposal: If you miss the opportunity for curbside collection, citizens can also have their leaves picked up weekly, year-round on their scheduled day by placing leaves in clear plastic bags, biodegradable paper bags, or a solid container. 

  • The City of Raleigh has biodegradable paper bags for leaf collection that can be picked up by Solid Waste Services. These are available for free to residents. Each resident may pick up a free pack of 5 bags from any of the following locations:
    • Raleigh Municipal Building – Fourth Floor
    • Raleigh Central Operations Facility – 2550 Operations Way, off Westinghouse Blvd
    • Raleigh Northeast Remote Ops Facility – 3224 Spotswood Drive
    • Raleigh Yard Waste Facility –  900 North New Hope Road
    • Raleigh Solid Waste Services Facility – 630 Beacon Lake Drive.

To set out yard waste in containers, the container must have lifting handles such as plastic or metal garbage can, no larger than 35 gallons, and weigh no more than 75 pounds when full.  Additional rules include limiting the number of bags set out for collection to 15 total.  

  • The Town of Cary does not allow plastic bags for yard waste collection.  Here are their rules:
  1. reusable containers with handles (maximum 32 gallon container, 25 pounds each)
  2. paper bags (25 – 50 pounds max) Unfortunately, yard waste contained in plastic bags or mixed with soil, rocks and trash will not be collected. 
  3. securely tied bundles that are small enough for one person to handle, not more than four (4) feet in length, not more than twenty-four (24) inches in diameter and with no individual pieces more than four (4) inches in diameter.
  • Limbs must be less than four feet in length and less than four inches in diameter. The Town offers a “Chipper Service” to help cut and grind tree limbs longer than 4 feet. Limbs must be less than 14 inches in diameter. Call 311 or (919) 469-4090 for more information or to schedule a chipper service appointment (fees apply).
  • The maximum volume of curbside yard waste consisting of reusable containers, paper bags, or securely tied bundles (see guidelines above) for regular collection at each home on one day cannot exceed 240 cubic feet (8 feet long by 5 feet wide by 6 feet tall).  

Town of Apex: yard waste collection is provided weekly with 3 types of trucks:

  • Vacuum Truck: collects leaves, grass clippings, pine cones, pine straw, weeds, small shrubbery clippings.
  • Chipper Truck: collects sticks and limbs, Christmas trees
  • Grapple Truck: collects large limbs, logs, stumps and roots that are too large for the chipper truck.

Hauling Offsite: 

  • Raleigh:  Take your unwanted leaves or other yard wastes to the city’s Yard Waste Recycling Center. It is located at 900 N. New Hope Road and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a minimal dump fee for this service.  MasterCard, Visa, checks with proper ID and cash are accepted.  For more information, visit here.
  • Cary: Citizens inside Cary city limits can also dispose of yard waste at the Citizen's Convenience Center, 313 N. Dixon Ave. at no charge.

3. Mulching

Turn your organic materials into a rich soil amendment by mulching the leaves.  Mulching leaves is not only better for the health of your lawn and garden but for the broader environment. It can be done quickly and easily at less cost and at your leisure. Most lawn mowers can be adjusted to a mulch setting, with proper blades and baffles to decompose the leaves into fine organic matter.  Mulched debris can be blown back into beds to provide a nutrient rich medium which will help insulate the soil and protect plants. 


If you would like for us to remove the leaves from your lawn, contact us today to schedule an appointment! 

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