Chattanooga Public Works (CPW) began on-demand loose leaf collection in early November. It's easy to have one of their vacuum trucks come to your home to pick up your leaves.

"The citizens can use the CHATT311 app or they can call 311 to get their requests put in," says Rusty Blevins, Deputy Director.

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Last year CPW collected almost six tons of leaves, according to one of its crew supervisors. It's a long-time service offered to people living within Chattanooga city limits and it's just one of CPW's services covered by property taxes.

"They are done on a first come, first-served basis for the most part, when the requests get heavy," adds Blevins. "But we try to get to them as quickly as we possibly can.

One of the trucks in the small fleet will pick up your leaves usually within two weeks from the time you place your request.

Follow these tips to guarantee your pick up will go smoothly and to prevent flooding:

  • Place your leaves in neat piles near the curb but not in the street.
  • Don't put piles of leaves in front of catch basins or drains. They'll block the flow of stormwater.
  • Don't mix branches, twigs, and other brush with the leaves you want to be picked up.

"Our VAC systems don't work very well when they get limbs hung in them," says Blevins.

After Thanksgiving weekend CPW will start making general rounds with no appointments necessary.

"November 27th we will start running our area maps. So we would be sweeping in areas at that point," says Blevins.

You can even use the department's online map to see when trucks will be in your neighborhood, but the further you live from downtown the longer you'll have to wait.

"Basically, we'll start in a circle and work our way out as we go," explains Blevins.

You can also place bagged leaves by your curb for pickup, as well as brush and wood as long as everything is separated. In case you're wondering, all the leaves picked up by public works are taken to the recycling center on North Hawthorne Street. You can also drop off leaves, brush, and wood at the center yourself.