Annual Residential Leaf Collection
Each fall, the City of Victoria collects approximately 7,000 tonnes of leaves from over 40,000 trees.
The City offers leaf collection to residents in order to keep leaves out of storm sewers which can cause flooding, maintain clean streets and boulevards and produce quality mulch for City parks.
Residents have three options for leaf collection.
1. Leaf drop-off service (proof of residency required)
Leaves and garden waste can be dropped off year-round at the Public Works Yard, 417 Garbally Road on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2. Neighbourhood leaf collection
If you want to have your leaves picked up, pile your leaves on the boulevard in advance of the collection start date for your neighbourhood each fall. Bags are not required for leaf collection. City trucks will make one pass down each street following each collection start date.
3. Call for pick-up service
Call or email for leaf pick-up during the annual leaf collection program each fall. Leaves must be bagged in clear, certified-compostable bags. Bags must contain leaves only, no other garden waste accepted. Limit one pick-up per household.
Quick tips for leaf collection:
- Bags are not required for leaf drop-off or for neighbourhood collection but if you use them always use clear, certified-compostable bags (these can be purchased at City Hall)
- Do not place leaves in other types of plastic bags, boxes or containers
- Keep streets, sidewalks and storm drains clear of leaves
- Do not rake or blow leaves onto the sidewalk, into the street, or onto storm sewer grates
- To avoid contact with debris, such as sharp items and animal feces that may be beneath leaves on your property, it's a good idea to wear sturdy footwear and gloves
- Ensure leaf piles and bags are placed on the boulevard, and are visible and accessible from the street
- Avoid placing leaf piles on or against trees, power poles, signs and fire hydrants
- For properties without a boulevard, place your leaf piles on your property
- Please follow the ‘No Parking’ signs that will be placed by crews before collection begins
Ivy clippings, pine needles, soil, blackberry canes, rocks, morning glory, roots, garden refuse, stumps, compost, lawn clippings, branches, or any construction lumber or branch material from commercial tree contractors and landscaping companies are not included in the leaf collection program.
How are collection routes determined?
Various factors are considered in developing the leaf collection schedule including traffic patterns, school zones, road conditions, noise levels, areas prone to flooding and the types of trees on each street. Inclement weather and a late leaf drop may also impact leaf collection timelines.
Thank you for your patience while City crews work as quickly as possible to get to every street, park and boulevard in Victoria.
How are leaves collected by the city?
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.
Can I compost my leaves instead?
Absolutely. Mulched leaves are a valuable source of nutrients for potted plants, flowers, shrubs and trees. By composting your own leaves, you also help reduce emissions caused by leaf blowers, trucks and other equipment used by the leaf pick-up service.
For more information on backyard composting, contact the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre at 250.386.9676 or visit compost.bc.ca.
How do I report leaves blocking the sewer?
If you spot blocked sewer grates at risk of causing flooding and you're unable to clear it, please contact Public Works at 250.361.0400.
For inquiries about the residential leaf collection program, please contact us at 250.361.0600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Victoria Leaf Mulch
The City processes its own leaf mulch with leaves collected during residential leaf collection as well as from parks, sports fields, tennis courts, streets and other areas. Most of what we process is used within Victoria's 137 parks and open spaces.
Surplus Leaf Mulch Available Starting Feb. 1
Surplus leaf mulch is available for the public to self-load outside the Parks Yard at the end of Nursery Road in Beacon Hill Park until the supply runs out. Gardeners wanting to pick up this free mulch can use shovels and pitchforks. Heavy machinery (i.e. bobcat) is not permitted. You may wish to call ahead to see if mulch is available during busy times of year: 250.361.0600.
Surplus leaf mulch is also made available to community gardening projects that are developed by non-profit organizations located in Victoria. If you are involved in a community gardening project, contact email@example.com or 250.361.0600 for more information.
In 2020, the City also delivered leaf mulch to neighbourhood collection points for residents to use in home gardens.
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