November 18, 2020

County Is Collecting Leaves: Here Is Information on How to Assemble Then Correctly and Safely—and on Where They Go

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has started its annual leaf vacuuming, with two collections taking place on each leaf collection district street. This year, residents can more easily find the collection schedule online by simply entering a street address. 

However, not all homeowners are assembling their leaves correctly and safely. And many are asking what happens to the leaves once they are collected. MCDOT has created two videos that can help.

Residents are asked to pile leaves near the street, but off the road. Avoid placing leaves on road shoulders, bike lanes and rain gardens as leaves in these areas can disrupt traffic, negatively impact stormwater drainage, hamper snow removal operations and become a fire hazard for automobiles parked over them. Leaf piles also limit the availability of residential parking and, especially when wet, can pose a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians.

The leaf collection program is restricted to leaves only. Tree branches, coarse garden debris and sticks branches should be placed in containers or tied in bundles no more than four feet long and set out for yard trim recycling pick up.

A video on how to correctly and safely assemble leaves for collection can be viewed at

The collected leaves go into a locally produced product called “Leafgro” that will help homeowners have greener lawns next spring. Leafgro is sold at many retailers throughout the area. A video about the production of Leafgro can be viewed at

The leaf vacuum collection district is bounded by I-495; I-270; the Rockville City limits; Norbeck, Bel Pre and Bonifant roads; Northwest Branch Park; and the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County lines.

Residents who miss the two scheduled vacuum collections or who do not live within the leaf vacuuming area can still have their leaves collected by placing them in paper yard trim bags or reusable containers for pick up on their regular recycling and yard trim collection day. Leaves placed in plastic bags will not be accepted. Residents also can bring properly bagged leaves to the Shady Grove Transfer Station. Another option is to mow fallen leaves into the yard to allow them to compost naturally.

To determine if a property is within the boundaries of the leaf vacuum collection district or to view the collection schedule, visit MCDOT’s website or contact the Montgomery County Call Center online or by calling 311 from inside the County, calling 240-777-0311 from outside the County or calling TTY at 301-251-4850. The number for MD Relay is 711 or use the toll free/out of state number 1-800-735-2258.