Signs of Fall: Time to Clean Up Your Yard
Don’t let the fall leaves smother your Champaign-Urbana lawn. Rules for leaf collection, collection dates, and more
Fall is certainly a beautiful season in Champaign-Urbana — picturesque, colorful, transitional.
Fall also means falling leaves. And there’s a lot of ways to deal with that. One is to hope that the leaves will blow into your neighbor’s yard. (Especially on the edges of town, we suggest raking them out of your shrubs and then letting the wind do its work. Um, we heard this from a friend.) You can shred leaves while mowing and leave them on the lawn to add nutrients to the soil. Another way is to let the children play in the leaves as much as possible so they scatter everywhere.
Of course, there’s always the old-fashioned way: rake ’em up.
Are you a gardener? Fall leaves are a great source of carbon for your compost pile. Or add them to your garden beds: especially when shredded, leaves can lighten heavy soil, provide nutrients, and feed the earthworms and microbes, as well as insulating tender plants from winter cold.
Not a gardener (or not yet)? Lucky for us, many municipalities will haul away the leaves — and landscape waste in general — for FREE, for a few weeks a year in spring and fall. Just buy some of those brown paper yard waste bags at any garden/hardware/big box store, and you’re in business.
Important to know: leaf burning is prohibited in the cities of Champaign and Urbana, as well as within 1,000 feet of these city boundaries in Champaign County. However, there are unincorporated areas of Champaign and Urbana that do allow leaf burning, as well as Savoy and other communities. Check on the rules for your address before you light any yard waste on fire.
Fall Municipal Collections
Champaign Fall Yard Waste Collection: Collection will begin on Oct. 12 and continue through Dec. 11. This collection is available to all residential properties within the Champaign city limits. There are four collection dates for each zone during this period. Find out which day you are supposed to put out your bagged landscape waste (leaves and brush/branches) via the map and zone schedule.
Urbana Fall Leaf Collection: Fall leaf collection in 2020 will take place during the following 3 weeks:
- Week of November 2 – 6, 2020
- Week of November 16 – 20, 2020
- Week of November 30 – December 4, 2020
Leaves in paper bags (not taped!) must be placed at the street curb or along the right-of-way before 6 a.m. on your U-Cycle collection day. Only leaves and non-woody plant material will be collected.
Rantoul Fall Leaf and Brush Collection: The Village of Rantoul provides scheduled collection of curbside, loose leaves beginning Oct. 19 and continuing through Dec. 11. Separate monthly pickups are scheduled to pick up branches and brush for chipping. Click on the link for info on where and when the Village of Rantoul will pick up leaves and brush.
Mahomet Fall Landscape Waste Collection: Leaf collection begins Oct. 12 and continues through Nov. 25. Click the link to see the calendar schedule. There is also a schedule for monthly brush and limb collection.
St. Joseph Fall Yard Waste Collection: Leaf vacuuming from Oct. 19-Dec. 4. No bagging required. Rake your leaves within 3 feet of the curb (not in the street or blocking sewers) and the Village Public Works Department will come by and use the vacuum on them. Separate brush pickup is available; brush may be placed in paper yard waste bags.
Yard waste materials can also be taken to the Landscape Recycling Center year round (1210 E. University Ave. in Urbana, (217) 344-5323). The Landscape Recycling Center is a yard waste reclamation site operated through a cooperative agreement between the cities of Champaign and Urbana. There is a fee for all dropped off material.
Best kept secret: Did you know that the Landscape Recycling Center sells its recycled products, such as lawn and garden composts, topsoil, and mulches? And that you can score other materials — such as bulk wood — for FREE? Material is available via pickup and delivery.