Fall is just around the corner and it brings the annual tradition of leaf pick up. Leaves may be organic, but if they are allowed to blow into the street, leaves make the road slippery leading to accidents, clog stormwater drains and introduce fertilizer and other unwanted stuff in the Sunrise River. But wait, if you rake your leaves to the boulevard, the city will pick them up for you!

The city of North Branch has a specialized leaf vacuum to pick up leaves. The truck uses a boom-mounted vacuum pipe and hose controlled from inside the truck’s cab in order to vacuum up the leaves from the curb. The leaves are then transported to the city’s compost site. Property owners don’t have to bag the leaves, just rake them in a long windrow near the edge of the street.

Leaf pick up occurs for about three weeks each spring and fall. The city is divided into quadrants, and each area is assigned dates when the pick up is expected to occur. The leaf pickup schedule can be found at City Hall, on the city’s website and on Facebook.

As we all know, this is dependent upon the weather, so your patience is always appreciated. We also ask that residents not to place the piles in the street where they can cause traffic issues, clog storm water drains or cause a larger mess. Also, please do not place leaves in or around fire hydrants. If you park on the street, we ask you to not park in front of the pile on your day to have leaf pick-up.

The leaves are brought to the city’s leaf compost site where, in time, they eventually turn to black gold – compost.

The city’s compost site is open seven days a week throughout the year, so if you miss leaf pick up, you can always drop off your grass, leaves and brush 4 inch in diameter and smaller.

The composted material is an excellent additive to your garden. You can pick up compost from the site, but on the last Saturday in April, the City’s Public Works Department will load your trailer for you.

Leaf pick-up is not offered by all cities. There are two other cities in Minnesota that provide this service. For North Branch it is an annual tradition, one that we have enjoyed for 27 years and counting!

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