FYI: ‘Extra yard waste, no extra charge’ month is here!

Extra incentive to get those leaves off the sidewalk and away from storm drains – November is the month when Seattle Public Utilities allows you to set out up to 10 extra bags of yard waste each collection date, no extra charge. From the full announcement:

Extra yard waste must be contained either in kraft paper bags or placed in an extra container that is clearly marked to indicate it contains extra yard waste. Please make sure your extra yard waste collection bags or container only contain yard waste, not food waste. Fallen branches and twigs can be set out for extra collection as well. These can be tied into bundles up to 4 feet long by 2 feet in diameter and tied with fiber twine. Do not use wire, nylon cording, or plastic banding.

As commenters have pointed out in past years, if the leaves have fallen on greenspace – your lawn, garden, planting strip – you can just leave them there to decompose as mulch. Otherwise, bag ’em up and get ’em out!

19 Replies to "FYI: 'Extra yard waste, no extra charge' month is here!"

  • Neighbor November 1, 2023 (4:43 pm)

    Also, please remember fallen leaves are the responsibility of the person upon whose property they fall, not the “owner” of the tree. As someone on a wooded lot with very mature trees, including a huge maple, I do clear storm drains and curb areas adjacent to my property. However, I will not apologize for leaves that end up in your driveway three houses down. Please find an HOA community if that’s the level of micromanagement you’d like. Inspired by an actual comment from a neighbor when I was out dutifully raking up huge mounds of leaves after the first big shed weekend before last. My trees are maintained and were there decades before your new-construction box. 

    • Tree Hugger November 1, 2023 (6:42 pm)

      Same thing happened to me! Newcomers to the PNW who hate big evergreen tree droppings. Wish you were my neighbor and not the tree complainer.

    • waikikigirl November 1, 2023 (6:52 pm)

      We too are constantly cleaning leaves from our “neighbors” trees but we don’t make a stink to them about the leaves. I think they think they don’t have to clean them up because the leaves have fallen from the trees in the parking strip and they didn’t plant them. I could be wrong but even though you may not have planted them and the City did they are still your responsibility to clean up out of the road, correct?Our yard and parking strip does not have trees to which the leaves fall in the Fall.

      • Neighbor November 1, 2023 (7:44 pm)

        Yes, everyone is responsible for the leaves on their property and egress. That’s why I was annoyed… I was out raking up the leaves along my curb, directly across the street, and in the two storm drains areas nearest my place.  Beyond what I needed to do, but being a good neighbor.

        • waikikigirl November 2, 2023 (7:02 am)

          Neighbor, you sound like a good neighbor…if anything look at this way, you’re getting physical exercise and keeping the “hood” from flooding. Good job! 

  • Sam November 1, 2023 (6:31 pm)

    Actually it’s irritating to pay for garbage pickup for leaves that come from down the street from a person who has an enormous maple tree onto a person property when in fact they have no trees that lose leaves and clog up gutters on a person house. But that’s life and it’s helpful to put some of the leaves around little plants to help them during the winter and encourages worms. I prefer to plant rhododendrons that pretty much don’t lose their leaves.  It’s also a pain for neighbors who don’t maintain their large trees.

    • Shady November 1, 2023 (9:09 pm)

      Well, the alternative is no trees, so…

      • Bag em November 2, 2023 (1:00 am)

        To the one who uses a leaf blower to scattered their collection of leaves around the neighborhood…stop being lazy and self-centered. Kudos for now using a quiet electric brand leaf blower, but bag up your share. 

        • bill November 2, 2023 (9:57 am)

          Far better to use a blower that converts to a vacuum. The impeller chops the leaves and instead of stuffing leaves into ten bags you might fill half the recycling bin. Or the leaves are nicely chopped if you compost them yourself.

          • Tool Cool November 4, 2023 (2:04 am)

            Wish we all had such tools 

    • MyThruppence November 4, 2023 (4:06 am)

      Those “enormous” trees can no longer be cut down unless an imminent threat without paying many thousands in penalties and also having a department of construction and inspections approved reason along with a publicly filed notice. Removing a large tree is almost impossible now as a homeowner. As for cleanup, I consistently keep the sidewalk clear of fallen leaves and limbs, as well as the parking strip. I do not however clear the street in front of my house for two reasons. One: It’s not my property. The street is owned by the city and controlled by SDOT. They can send a crew, or a sweeper truck as they have done in the past to clear the leaves off of their property. Two: Several of my neighbors either have no off-street parking (and own several cars), or they elect not to use their own private property and park on the street in front of my home instead. To those people, I hope my layer of decaying leaves in the street encourage you to go park elsewhere. As for the leaves from trees on my property blowing on to your property being my responsibility, you have got to be kidding. The wind that blew that leave is an act of God so take it up with him/her while your cleaning up your own damn yard. Sheeesh.

  • Neighbor 2 November 1, 2023 (6:48 pm)

    I agree with Neighbor. The tress on my property were there long before my fellow “neighbors” moved in. I will not apologize for where the leaves fall and will not clean up your property for you. You don’t complain when you benefit from them in the summer….. 

    • Steve November 3, 2023 (10:36 pm)

      We have a big parking strip tree (shakes fist at the roots and branches that need a permit to prune) that drops leaves for weeks. I used to feel bad that our neighbor got some of the fall-out (heh) and I would collect the leaves that got on their sidewalk and road. I soon realized the leaves I was raking were from our tree and 10 different trees down the street. I still do a half-hearted rake job on their side when I do ours because I’m out there anyway.

  • Rosemary November 1, 2023 (7:37 pm)

    Love the trees and the leaves!  We’d all die without them!  Trees make the PNW the rainforest it is meant to be. Leaf clean up is just a Fall neighborhood ritual. Celebrate!

  • Other Neighbor November 2, 2023 (5:11 am)

    This would literally be impossible. Hmm let me check did the wind blow my leaves 3 streets over better go inspect the leaves to see if maybe they came from my tree. Oh I see these 6 leaves are mine so ill pick those up then continue to hunt through thr neighborhood to see if I can identify where mother nature might have taken my trees leaves. I’ll email mother nature and see if she can be more careful about where my leaves from my tree land. I’ve tried disciplining my tree for spreading their leaves too far but alas that hasn’t worked either (any tips to get these unruly trees spreading their leaves everywhere in line?)No trees might make this task easier but then humans wouldn’t be around for too much longer because you see trees are part of the ecosystem that keep humans alive. (Love rhododendrons but please these can’t fully replace trees.)Thanks for your practical request, off the hunt for my trees leaves throughout the streets of West Seattle- wind is picking up so might need to head to Georgetown to sees if any ended up there.

  • Greystreet November 2, 2023 (9:05 am)

    Usually more of the leaves are on the ground this time of year, I think the mild October weather has a lot of them still hanging on, at least in my yard, all of my Maples and Magnolia are still holding their canopies! I hope some of them fall so I can take advantage of the free extra pickup, I look forward to it every year.

  • Goddess Andraste November 2, 2023 (1:45 pm)

    Or you could be like my idiot neighbor and stand outside with a leaf blower for 1-2 hours a day (this is not an exaggeration) blowing everything out into the street. Except for our shared parking strip, where he blows the leaves over the property line onto my side.

    • Block November 4, 2023 (2:06 am)

      There’s always that one  

  • miws November 3, 2023 (11:23 pm)

    It has been scientifically proven that the average tree will drop approximately ten times the leaves that were on it, during the leaf dropping  period of Autumn… —Mike

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