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Warm weather keeps Vienna’s leaf collection season up in the air

Autumn has arrived, and that means Vienna homeowners are about to shift from mowing their lawns to raking them.

However, exactly when that transition will begin remains a little hazy.

The Town of Vienna announced earlier this week that fall leaf collection is coming soon, but the specific details of this year’s schedule have not yet been determined, according to town spokesperson Karen Thayer.

“The weather has been so warm, we haven’t seen much leaf litter, yet,” Thayer told Tysons Reporter. “Typically leaf collection starts toward the end of October or beginning of November, and the timeline depends on Mother Nature.”

According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Northern Virginia’s average temperature in October is 69 degrees Fahrenheit, and fall foliage in the region usually reaches peak color around Oct. 15-25.

This October, though, temperatures have lingered in the 70s with today (Friday) reaching a high of 83 degrees, even as winter arrived early on the other side of the country.

The unusually mild weather falls in line with scientists’ expectations for how the seasons will evolve with climate change, according to the Capital Weather Gang, which predicts that the western cold front will travel east and bring more typical autumnal conditions by Sunday (Oct. 17).

Given the weather’s current volatility, the Town of Vienna is holding off on announcing a concrete timeline for its fall leaf collection, though some other localities in the area, including the cities of Falls Church and Alexandria, have already unveiled start dates.

Once collections begin, Vienna’s crews will make at least three passes through town by the end of the calendar year. Residents can see the routes through a map on the town website, and “Leaf Collection Coming Soon” signs will be posted in local neighborhoods in advance of each round.

Leaves should be raked to the curb for collection, or they can be bagged and picked up as part of Vienna’s weekly trash collection services, the town says in its news release:

Residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb for collection. Leaf piles should be free of limbs, sticks, acorns, and other debris that may clog the vacuum hose.

Alternatively, Town residents may, if desired, bag leaves for pick up on regular weekly trash collection days. Please place leaves in paper yard waste bags available at garden and home supply stores or loose in a can. In accordance with anti-pollution laws, burning leaves is prohibited. For more information about leaf collection, call 703-255-6380.

Rake leaves just to the curb. Raking leaves into the street is dangerous because:

  • Cars parked on leaf piles may catch fire.
  • Children playing in the leaves may be struck by a passing vehicle.
  • Leaves may prevent rainwater from reaching storm drain inlets.

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