Leaf Collection Help

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The City Needs Your Help With Smooth Leaf Collections

The large number of trees in Royal Oak makes leaf collection a major task. To make it happen, the City uses 13 dump trucks, two sweepers, and a front-end loader with a clam bucket with crews working long hours to cover the 212 miles of streets twice during the pickup season.

The City has to wait until late October to begin the process to make sure most of the leaves are down. Since the schedule is very tight, we need all the help we can get from our residents.

No Street Parking

Royal Oak will post signs in neighborhoods when leaf-vacuuming trucks make their rounds. The signs will be placed on neighborhood streets, just off major thoroughfares, notifying residents that leaf pickup will be in the neighborhood the following day. The signs ask residents to park cars off the streets because cars at curbside can slow down the trucks and make it impossible to pick up leaves in front of the residence where the car is parked.

"It's important to be considerate of your neighbors," said Greg Rassel, Director of Public Service. "A parked car left out front doesn't just affect one house, the trucks have to go around and sometimes they also can't pick up neighbors' leaves." Temporary no-parking signs are available to you at the Department of Public Service (DPS) offices at 1600 North Campbell Road, located on the East side of Campbell, South of 12 Mile Rd, Monday though Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Other ways of helping: Know the leaf-vacuuming schedules and be timely in raking your leaves to the curb. The schedules are available at the DPS, in homeowner associations’ bulletins, through cable channel 17 on Comcast or channel 10 on WOW, and on the City’s web site. Two-week schedules are also available by calling the DPS during business hours (Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at 248-246-3300 and selecting option 2, then option 1.

Please Help

Just as important as keeping cars off the streets on leaf pickup days is removing sticks, rocks, pieces of wood and other hard objects from leaf piles because they can damage propellers in the leaf vacuums, which knock them out of commission and cause downtime.

Where They Go

Royal Oak leaves go to the Southeast Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) compost facility in Rochester Hills where they are turned into humus-rich compost. The compost is offered to residents in SOCRRA member communities, including Royal Oak, for use as mulch.

Other Ways of Disposal

Leaves, any soft yard waste, and woody material up to 2 inches in diameter, may also be placed at curbside in up to 32-gallon containers with the yard waste decal facing the street, or brown paper landscape bags for pickup on your regular rubbish day (until December 16). Please set to the curb by 7 a.m.


  • All sticks, rocks and other debris must be kept out of leaf piles.
  • Do not make the rows larger than 3 feet high and 4 feet wide.
  • Do not park your car on or near the leaves (Trucks need at least a "house length" after a parked car to get near the curb).
  • If the City does run ahead of schedule, a truck will be by on your regularly scheduled day.
  • It is important not to wait until your scheduled day to rake out your leaves.
  • Plastic bags are no longer acceptable for yard waste, including leaves. Please use the appropriate containers.
  • Please be patient and considerate. Don't rake leaves just ahead of the crews and expect them to wait until you're done. Work with your neighbors to remove
    parked cars from the streets. Together we can be partners and make this process a complete success!
  • Please park cars off the street. Work with your neighbors to make sure there are no parked cars on the street to get in the way of the trucks.
  • Residents are requested to rake only leaves into the roadway in windrows, leaving 3 to 4 inches at the curb for water drainage.
  • Residents should note that schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, mechanical breakdowns or other factors beyond the City's control.
  •  Work with your neighbors to remove
  • To help our workers, please do not put yard waste other than leaves in the street.

What to Do After Leaf Pickup

The entire city is covered twice in the six-week leaf collection period. Every attempt will be made to make a third pick up, however, this is strictly dependent upon the weather. After December 16, leaves will not be picked up either curbside or on your regularly scheduled refuse day. Either hold onto yard waste until the program begins April 1, or residents (no businesses or landscapers) will be allowed to take a limited number of bags (10 bags per day) to SOCRRA between December 21, 2015 and March 31, 2017 for disposal. Please call 248-288-5150 for more information.