Village crews pick up the leaf piles at Elmwood and Iowa in December 2007.

 Leaves on Oak Park trees haven’t yet started to change colors or fall to the ground. But fall is upon us, and the village will start making its rounds soon to pick up leaves from village streets.

Oct. 18 marks the start of Oak Park’s fall leaf collection program, where residents can rake any leaves into the street for weekly removal. The village asks residents to hold off on raking leaves into the street, though, until the day before your pickup day (see the map on the right).

Only leaves may be raked into the street, not grass trimmings or any other assorted yard waste. And they must be placed at least 18 inches away from the curb, according to a village press release. If you miss a pickup day, village hall is asking that you put the leaves back on the parkway until the following week’s scheduled date.

Here’s a list of tips on leaf disposal, provided by the village:

  • Consider alternatives to raking such as composting or using leaves as garden mulch.
  • Leaves only — do not add brush, grass clippings or yard waste.
  • Rake leaves onto side streets whenever possible, avoiding major thoroughfares where piles of leaves might create traffic hazards.
  • Do not rake leaves into or close to cul de sacs or traffic diverters. The equipment needs room to operate.
  • Keep catch basins clear of raked leaves to avoid localized flooding.
  • Dampen piles after raking to avoid wind-blown leaves.
  • Inform landscape services of the leaf collection schedule.
  • Do not park on or near a pile of leaves, which can hinder leaf removal. Heat from a car exhaust also could ignite the leaves.
  • Obey all parking restrictions — or risk a citation.
  • Drive carefully — leaves are slippery when wet and large piles may hinder visibility.

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