Leaf Collection

Victoria residents have two options for leaf collection: scheduled neighbourhood leaf collection, or bagged leaves "call for pick-up" service. There is no limit to the number of loose or bagged leaves you can set out on the boulevard. 

UPDATE: January 17, 2018:

The Leaf Pick-Up program is a long-standing operation that typically runs from mid-October to mid-January. This year’s program has experienced service delays.  As a result, the anticipated completion date is now February 16, 2018 instead of the end of January. In attempt to catch-up on the workload the City is increasing collection to 7 days a week.

If you have any questions please contact:
P: 250.361.0600
E: parks@victoria.ca 

2017 Leaf Pick-Up Program Information

The 2017 program runs from October 16 through until January.

This year, the program includes two scheduled neighbourhood collection dates for each zone. Please refer to the table below.

Quick Tips to Prepare for Leaf Pick-Up

  • Leaves can be placed in loose piles, secured by wire mesh rings, or in clear, 100% compostable bags
  • Do not use other plastic bags, boxes or containers
  • Set out leaves only please
  • Place leaves on the boulevard, making sure they are visible and accessible from the street
  • Do not rake or blow leaves onto the sidewalk or into the street
  • Please follow the No Parking signs placed out ahead of crews

Help Prevent Flooding

  • Please keep gutters, streets, sidewalks and storm drain grates clear of leaves
  • Placing leaves in clear, 100% compostable bags prevents them from blowing into the street
  • Adopt a Storm Drain Grate: Please help us keep grates clear by sweeping away leaves and tree needles to allow rain water to enter freely, and avoid water backups on streets and into properties. To report a blocked grate please call our 24-hour line at 250.361.0400.

1. Scheduled Neighbourhood Collection 

This program now includes two deadlines for setting your leaves out on the boulevard for collection. City trucks will make one pass down each street after each deadline. The schedule is based on the expected leaf drop of the most common tree species, as well as consideration for neighbourhoods prone to flooding.

 Neighbourhoods First Deadline Second Deadline
James Bay, Fairfield, Rockland, Gonzales October 29 December 12
Oaklands, Fernwood, North Jubilee, South Jubilee November 21 December 20

Victoria West, Burnside Gorge, Hillside

Quadra, North Park, Harris Green, Downtown

December 3 January 3

 

2. Bagged Leaves "Call for Pick-up" Service

Victoria residents can contact the City's Parks office at parks@victoria.ca or 250.361.0600 to arrange for their bagged leaves to be picked up on the boulevard for free, within five working days. The service is available from October 16 to December 15, 2017.

Callers are asked to provide their first and last name, street address, phone number and number of bags. This service provides you with the flexibility of having your leaves picked up before your scheduled neighbourhood collection date.

Leaves must be bagged in clear, 100% compostable bags.

Where to Purchase Compostable Bags

Bags accepted:  Clear, 100% compostable bags, sizes vary (e.g., 33-litre standard size bags, 113 or 125-litre garden and waste bags).

Bags not accepted:  Other plastic and paper bags

Where to buy bags: Clear, 100% compostable bags measuring 89cm x 127cm in size can be purchased at the Customer Service Centre at Victoria City Hall and at the Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre. A 10-pack costs $12.50. The bags meet the US standard ASTM #D6400. Similar bags can be purchased at local retailers. Always look for 100% compostable bags that are marked ASTM #D6400 or EN13432.

Get tips from our local leaf expert.  Does he look familiar?

Backyard Composting

Mulched leaves are a valuable source of nutrients for potted plants, flowers, shrubs and trees. The City of Victoria encourages backyard composting wherever possible. By composting your own leaves, you also help reduce the emissions caused by leaf blowers, trucks and other powered equipment used by the leaf pick-up service.  For more information, contact the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre at 250.386.9676 or visit: www.compost.bc.ca

Leaf and Garden Waste Drop-Off

Victoria residents can drop off their leaf and garden waste for free year-round at the City of Victoria Public Works Yard, 417 Garbally Road, Saturdays, from 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Please note that garbage is no longer accepted at the Public Works Yard Drop-off.) Proof of residency is required in the form of a valid driver’s licence or a City of Victoria utility bill that indicates kitchen scraps and garbage pick-up service.

About Leaf Pick-up

Each fall, the City of Victoria collects approximately 7,000 tonnes of leaves from over 40,000 trees. Inclement weather and a late leaf drop are defining factors in how quickly staff can collect the leaves. Traffic patterns, school zones, road conditions, noise levels, areas prone to flooding and the types of trees on each street are taken into consideration when designing the leaf pick-up schedule.

First, the City focuses on collecting leaves from parks, sports fields, medians, parking lots, tennis courts and streets. Crews also ensure intersections and sidewalks remain clear for pedestrians.

Residential areas are next. Neighbourhoods with heavier volumes of leaves and early leaf drop, and areas with a higher concentration of large trees have their leaves picked up first. Neighbourhoods that are prone to flooding are given top priority.

The City has "pick-up" crews and "vacuum" crews for collecting loose leaf piles. "Pick-up" crews move the leaves with equipment such as blowers, tractors and rakes to a location that allows for easy access. "Vacuum" crews use a large unit that sucks up the leaves and blows them into a truck. Loose and bagged leaves are transported to the Beacon Hill Park Maintenance Yard for composting and reuse in City gardens.

City of Victoria Leaf Mulch

At the City of Victoria we process our own leaf mulch. Most of what we process is used within Victoria's 137 parks and open spaces. The City periodically assesses how much mulch is available and how much is needed for Parks.

Surplus leaf mulch is available for the public to self-load outside the Parks Yard starting in early spring, until the supply runs out. The pile of surplus leaf mulch is located outside the Parks Yard, at the end of Nursery Rd in Beacon Hill Park. Gardeners wanting to pick-up this free leaf mulch can use shovels and pitchforks, heavy machinery (i.e. bobcat) cannot be used to pick up leaf mulch outside the Parks Yard. Interested parties can call 250.361.0600 to see if free leaf mulch is available for pick up outside of the Parks Yard.

Surplus leaf mulch is also made available to community gardening projects that are developed by non-profit organizations and are located within the City of Victoria. If you are involved in an existing or a new community gardening project, contact the Parks Department at parks@victoria.ca or 250.361.0600 for more information.