Leaf Collection

Leaf Collection Services

City leaf collection services are scheduled to begin November 1

For our equipment to be able to collect your leaves, please rake them into the street and against the curb before your scheduled pickup day but NO MORE THAN 2 or 3 days BEFORE your pickup day. This helps to keep the leaves from clogging and blocking the storm drains, which can cause stormwater to accumulate in the street and possibly freeze.

What should residents do?

Have your leaves ready when our crews come to your neighborhood:

  • Please rake leaves into the street PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY of your scheduled collection.
  • Rake leaves against the curb in the parking lane. Leaf piles should not encroach the bike or driving lanes. However, if you do not have a parking lane, please use no more than half of the bike lane. Make leaf piles long and narrow.
  • Do not park cars on or around the leaf piles. We need room for front-end loaders to scoop up the leaves.
  • Remember—LEAVES ONLY. Do not include debris, limbs, trash, or other yard waste with your leaves—It will delay our leaf collection efforts.
  • Trees must be pruned to a minimum of 14 feet over the street to the inside edge of the curb line (per Missoula Municipal Code 12.32). If your trees do not meet this requirement, the City may need to trim them so that we can run our equipment along the curb.
  • Residents are responsible for disposing of their leaves or any debris after our leaf collection is done. Residents depositing leaves or debris into city streets after December 15 may be subject to a citation in accordance with Missoula Municipal Code 8.28 (Litter and Rubbish). Instead, please bag them and take them to Garden City Compost at NO CHARGE! (See details below.)

Special Districts

Special districts are shown on the schedule above, and signs are posted. Parking is prohibited on BOTH sides of the street from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Vehicles will be towed to the nearest parking space, usually within a block of the vehicle's original location, if they are not removed before we are ready to collect in the district. 

Garden City Compost

Can't wait until your pickup day? Missed your pickup day? Leaves keep falling after your pickup day? We have a solution! 

Garden City Compost is once again accepting leaf loads FOR FREE!

  • Residential customers only
  • Leaf loads only (Please—no pet waste or garbage)
  • Mixed loads will be charged
  • Hours through November:  Monday - Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • 1125 Clark Fork Lane
  • 406-552-6619
  • See also the Garden City Compost web page


Call the Street Maintenance & Operations Division at 406-552-6360.

How do we collect leaves?

Street Maintenance & Operations Division crews collect leaves on every street in Missoula using front-end loaders and dump trucks to pick up and haul away leaves. Weather permitting, we will follow the leaf crew with street sweepers to sweep both sides of the street. If the weather is below 32 degrees, the sweepers cannot operate, but we will try to sweep later as weather permits.

Our crews haul an average of 1,000 dump truck loads of leaves to Garden City Compost and spend about 2,500 hours collecting leaves each season.

The Leaf Collection Program has five goals:

  1. To keep city streets clean,
  2. To keep leaves from blocking storm drains,
  3. To help save space at the local landfill,
  4. To save residents the hassle of bagging leaves, and
  5. To further Missoula's recycling efforts by helping turn leaves into compost.

Did you know?

The Street Maintenance & Operations Division has a repurposed garbage truck with a hopper on the back that we also use to haul leaves. The loaders can dump leaves right into the back of the garbage truck, which can haul seven regular dump truck loads because it compacts the leaves. This saves on fuels costs and speeds up our operation!