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August 2020

CityLink Seattle

Rake Leaves to Help Prevent Flooding!

Free Extra Yard Waste Pickup in November

Fallen leaves can be fun—who can resist jumping into a giant pile of crisp, colorful leaves?—but they can also contribute to unwelcome flooding in our neighborhoods. During the stormy fall season, leaves can clog street drains, causing water to back up and flood our streets and sidewalks.

Fallen leaves can clog drains and cause flooding or “ponding” on streets and sidewalks.

Rake Your Leaves

You can help prevent clogged storm drains by raking leaves that fall in your yard, on your sidewalk, and parking strip. Once you’ve raked up your leaves, use them as mulch for your garden or put them in your food and yard waste cart to be composted.

Rake your leaves to prevent clogged storm drains.  

How Extra Yard Waste Pickup Works

Have you raked more leaves than can fit in your food and yard waste cart? We’ve got you covered! As a thanks for raking leaves, Seattle Public Utilities provides free extra yard waste pick up for household customers in November. Just set out your extra yard waste next to your food and yard waste cart on your collection day. We’ll accept up to 10 bags of extra yard waste total per collection day during the month of November 2020.  

Extra yard waste must be in paper compostable bags or placed in an extra container with a lid that contains only yard waste. The container should be no larger than 35 gallons.  

Fallen branches and twigs 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.  For more information on this subject, visit our website at  

Safely Clear Storm Drains

You can also help by safely clearing leaves from storm drains in your neighborhood. Use a rake and dustpan or a shovel (not your hands!) and make sure to work from the sidewalk instead of standing in the street.  Do not clear storm drains on arterials. Do not clear storm drains on arterials. Soiled leaves and other debris cleared from storm drains should go in your regular garbage, not your yard waste container.