When it comes to leaves, know before you throw 


City of Eugene Public Affairs Manager Eric Jones, 541-682-5523
City of Springfield Communications Coordinator Loralyn Spiro, 541-726-2233
Lane County Public Works Road Maintenance Planning Jennifer Paugh, 541-682-6905


When it comes to leaves, know before you throw


While a Springfield leaf looks pretty much like a leaf from Eugene or metropolitan Lane County, it’s important to know the differences, particularly if you’re planning to put your leaves out for collection.


Both cities and the county collect leaves for similar reasons. Removing leaves from catch basins, grates and gutters allows storm water to run off and prevents flooding. Keeping leaves out of the drainage system improves water quality because decomposing leaves use up oxygen that is needed by aquatic life in local streams and river. And removing slippery leaves makes streets safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.


In all three jurisdictions, property owners are responsible, and bear liability, for leaves that are placed improperly in the street or cause safety or flooding hazards. However, Eugene and Lane County allow residents to pile leaves in the street, while Springfield only allows bagged leaves to be set out for collection.


To get the best information for your particular property, determine which jurisdiction provides service in your area, then contact that agency. Here are the details for each jurisdiction:


City of Eugene

Eugene’s leaf collection and delivery program begins Nov. 12 and includes some new features designed to improve service. The biggest change will be the way collection crews and equipment are deployed around the city. After an initial focus on the central Eugene area, three crews on Nov. 18 will branch out into three “zones”: north Eugene, south Eugene, and west Eugene. Each crew will have the staffing and equipment needed to collect and deliver leaves and sweep streets after the leaves have been picked up. This will put resources closer to neighborhoods and allow unimproved streets (typically those without curbs and gutters) to be picked up during the first round of collections, rather than waiting until the second round.


One thing that won’t change is the continued emphasis on bike lane and sidewalk safety during leaf season. Property owners are liable for any injuries or damage that result from placing materials in the street, so don’t pile leaves in bike lanes and keep sidewalks clear. For the most current collection schedule and other information, go to www.eugene-or.gov/leaf or call Eugene Public Works Maintenance at 541-682-4800.


City of Springfield

In Springfield, leaves are collected in two rounds in two areas -- the west and east sides of town. Sanipac is contracted to pick up, haul, and recycle bagged leaves for residents within the city limits. Leaves must be put in medium-sized bags that contain only leaves. The bags should be placed curbside, not in the street, by 8 am Monday of the scheduled collection in that area. Landscaping, yard maintenance companies and citizens are not allowed to blow or rake leaves into the streets.


The first round leaf collection in Springfield starts Dec. 2 west of 28th Street then Dec. 9 east of 28th street. The second round starts Jan. 6 west of 28th then Jan. 13 east of 28th street. For more information about leaf pickup in Springfield, visit www.springfield-or.gov, call 541-726-3637 or email leafpickupprogram@springfield-or.gov.


Lane County

Lane County Public Works will begin its annual leaf pick-up program on Tuesday, Nov. 12.  The county collects leaves in two rounds in two general areas: River Road-Santa Clara north of Maxwell Road, and several Springfield locations generally just outside the city limits.


Lane County provides a leaf collection information line (541-682-8565) updated at 5 p.m. each Friday. It describes where leaf-pick up begins on a weekly basis. For more information go to www.lanecounty.org/LeafPickUp, call 541-682-6905 or e-mail leafcollection@co.lane.or.us.


Leaf Preparation Guidelines

•       In Eugene and Lane County, leaves must be in the paved roadway but piled at least 15 feet away from parked vehicles. Do not bag leaves.

•       In Springfield, leaves must be put in medium-sized bags that contain only leaves. The bags should be placed curbside, not in the street,

•       Do not pile leaves in bike or traffic lanes or on curbs or sidewalks.

•       Keep storm drains and gutters clear to prevent localized flooding.

•       Leaves are not picked up in private yards.

•       Do not mix in other debris such as branches, rocks, lawn clippings, pine needles, or trash.

•       Wait to put leaves in the street until the weekend prior to collection.

•       Consider recycling leaves as compost or mulch material.

•       In Lane County leaf pickup will be provided for curb and gutter streets only. In Eugene, unimproved streets will be picked during the first and second rounds.


Schedule Information


Nov. 12 to Nov. 15 in central Eugene, then in the North, south and west zones   Nov. 18 to Dec. 20. Second round starts Dec. 23.



West of 28th Street starts Dec. 2; east of 28th Street starts Dec. 9. Second round starts Jan. 6.


Lane County

Starting Nov. 12 on west side of River Road north from Maxwell to Beacon, then to the east side of River Rd, south to Division Ave. Then on to the unincorporated areas in Springfield   Second round starts Dec. 9th. Call 541-682-8565 for weekly updates.