Loose leaf collection

Leaf collection is now complete. Please mulch the leaves and leave them on your property or drop them off at the Region of Waterloo waste collection site (fees may apply). View the Region's website for more information.

Waterloo residents currently have two options for private property leaf collection:

Watch: leaf collection in Waterloo (0:56)

Find your collection zone

Know your week

This is the estimated collection schedule for 2023.

Zones with fewer trees will be collected first, followed by more heavily forested areas.

  • Week 1 – October 30 to November 4, zones W6, W8, E5, E7, E8
  • Week 2 – November 6 to November 11, zones W1, W7, E4, E6
  • Week 3 – November 13 to November 18, zones W3, W4, E2, E3
  • Week 4 – November 20 to November 25, zones W2, W5 and E1

Loose leaf collection process

  1. Check the map above to locate your zone and estimated leaf collection date.
  2. On the first day of your estimated collection date, rake leaves from the tree(s) on your boulevard only to the curb by 7:00 a.m.
    • Do not rake leaves into bike lanes. If you have a bike lane in front of your property, rake the leaves to the edge of your property before it hits the bike lane
    • If you do not have a bike lane in front of your property, rake the leaves onto the road as close to the curb as possible
  3. Leaf collection crews will visit each zone only once – we cannot accommodate repeat visits.
  4. Once all leaves are collected or there is consistently snow or freezing weather conditions, the program will end.
  5. The City of Waterloo collects fallen leaves from trees on boulevards only – do not rake leaves from other trees located in front or back yards.
  6. We only pick up loose leaves. Do not put sticks or non-leaf material in piles.
  7. Residents are notified of the leaf collection start date and estimated collection through social media, e-newsletters and signs posted in neighbourhoods

Leave the leaves

Over winter you can protect pollinators and other small urban critters by providing safe habitats by leaving your leaves. You can also improve your soil by leaving your leaves. Leaving your leaves:

  • provides valuable organic matter to help build up healthy soil
  • mulching leaves helps fertilize your lawn from decomposing leaves, as well as helping natural microbes do their thing to promote lawn nutrients
  • leaves act as a natural mulch which can reduce your weeds in the garden by raking leaves onto your beds for winter where they will break down, even if a large amount doesn’t break down completely, you can use Yard Waste collection when doing garden cleanup in the spring
  • no frustration from trying to time yard work with the leaf collection calendars, either due to trees not dropping, or missing the window for our/Region’s pickup
  • if you do leave the leaves and have some cleanup in spring, amount of leaves to manage will be greatly reduced

Find more information on the benefit on leaving the leaves:

Cold temperatures and snowfall

Heavy snow fall in combination with continual freezing temperatures ends the leaf collection program. 

Our staff monitor the weather and often continue leaf collection once cold weather has subsided, however the trucks that collect leaves are the same trucks that clear snow.

Missed leaf collection

If you miss your leaf collection week, you can bag your leaves and set them out for regional yard waste collection

The Region of Waterloo’s yard waste collection program ends on Friday November 24 in Waterloo. 

If you miss the Region of Waterloo’s yard waste collection dates, you can deliver your leaves to the landfill during their hours of operation. 

The City of Waterloo is a recognized Bee City and bees use natural mulch as a habitat. Consider using your leaves as mulch or compost on your property. 

Unable to rake leaves to street

If you are unable to rake leaves to the street yourself Home Support Services may be able to assist. Contact 519-579-6930 for eligibility and fees.

Streets that border Kitchener

The City of Kitchener provides leaf collection service on the following border streets:

  • Avondale Avenue from city limit to John Street West
  • Aberdeen Road from city limit to Forsyth Drive
  • Belmont Avenue from city limit to John Street West
  • Dunbar Road from city limit to John Street West 
  • Esson Street from city limit to John Street West 
  • Hartwood Avenue from city limit to Weber Street South
  • Herbert Street from city limit to Union Street East
  • Margaret Avenue from city limit to Union Street East
  • Mary Street from city limit to Union Street East
  • Pinewood Place
  • Severn Street from city limit John Street West