Vacuum Leaf Service
Vacuum Leaf Service
Fairfax County's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) has assessed the County's vacuum leaf collection service for its 25,000 customers. Here are the recommendations and a survey following that evaluation that would impact the 2024 season and beyond.
Please note: the survey has closed.
Listen to The County Conversation Podcast featuring Eric Forbes, Deputy Director of the Solid Waste Management Program, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES).
Approximately 25,000 County residences receive seasonal vacuum leaf service within Vacuum Leaf Sanitary Districts. County staff are proposing changes to vacuum leaf service after this upcoming 2023-2024 season and want your feedback. Providing vacuum leaf collection has negatively impacted our ability to deliver core trash, recycling, and yard waste collection services and cannot be provided consistently and safely for all customers. DPWES has developed an after-action report, which describes the root causes of service delays during the 2022-2023 winter season and provides more information supporting this proposed service removal.
Vacuum leaf service is usually provided from November to January. During this time, three collection rounds are offered to cover seasonal variability in leaf drop. The goal is to collect all leaves at the curb in our Vacuum Leaf Sanitary Districts.
Because of the seasonal nature of vacuum leaf service, we rely on existing solid waste collection employees, limited-term employees, and outside contractors. The majority of DPWES vacuum collection equipment is only used during leaf season and remains idle for the remainder of the year. Additionally, during inclement weather the equipment cannot collect frozen leaves.
Vacuum leaf service will continue to be provided through the upcoming 2023-2024 season; however, County staff are proposing to discontinue service permanently after this winter. The Board of Supervisors will decide the future of the service at a public hearing to be scheduled later this fall.
For more information, please read the available after-action report from the 2022-2023 season.