The NYC Department of Sanitation is collecting leaves for composting this year!
Certain neighborhoods (PDF) in NYC, including Forest Hills and most of Queens, will receive collection of fall leaves on specific Sundays in November and December; see the Queens schedule below. For other boroughs, see here
Residents in these areas should set out their leaves on Saturday evening, the day before their scheduled collection, in either a paper lawn & leaf bag, or in an open, unlined container. DSNY turns the leaves into compost.
- Queens (Community Boards #1, 2, 3, 4, 5**, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11**, 12, 13, 14)
- • Saturday, November 19
- • Saturday, December 4
- • Sunday, November 20
- • Sunday, December 5
- *Neighborhoods that receive NYC organics collection should set out leaves with their regularly scheduled organics collection; they will not receive separate leaf collection. Buildings with NYC organics collection can place leaves and yard waste in their brown organics bin, in paper lawn & leaf bags, or in open, unlined containers.
- ** New organics collection neighborhoods receive both organics collection and leaf collection.
Maps of leaf collection districts by borough (PDF).
Fall leaf collection instructions by borough (PDF).
Leaf Setout Guidelines
- – Collect leaves in paper lawn & leaf bags or in open unlined containers.
- – Set out leaves for collection at the curb after 4pm the night before your scheduled collection.
- – Sanitation will collect your leaves for composting.
- – Do not put leaves in plastic bags. Leaves in plastic bags will be collected as garbage.
- – Leaves, grass, branches, and yard clippings generated by hired professionals cannot be set out for curbside collection. Professionals must dispose of the materials they generate at a permitted composting facility. This includes proper disposal of wood from trees within Asian Longhorned Beetle quarantine zones.
- – Brooklyn and Queens: no wood debris. Residents must schedule an appointment with the Parks Department for disposal of tree prunings and firewood, due to the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle quarantine.
Paper Lawn & Leaf Bags
Paper lawn & leaf bags are generally available from hardware and home improvement stores, as well as many larger supermarkets. There are events in every borough where these bags will be given away for free.
Where To Get Paper Lawn & Leaf Bags (PDF): for each borough, stores that carry these bags, and events distributing FREE paper lawn & leaf bags.
In Forest Hills, you can get FREE leaf bags at the Forest Hills Greenmarket (On 70th Ave, betweens Queens Blvd. and Austin St.), Sundays, November 13, 20 & 27 8am–2pm.
Compost At Home Or In Your Community
Leaves and compost are valuable resources for our soil! New York City residents are encouraged to compost their leaves at home or in their communities. NYC Compost Project provides technical assistance and workshops on how to compost leaves locally. NYC Compost Project staff also connects residents with community compost sites who use leaves as a part of their composting process. Contact NYC Compost Project.
Some food scrap drop-off sites accept leaves (although not in Forest Hills). Be sure to check with the site first, as not all are able to accept leaves.