Leaf collection begins Monday in Kingsport

Matthew Lane • Oct 14, 2019 at 9:25 AM

KINGSPORT — Almost overnight, the seasons in the Tri-Cities have flipped, going from the scorching days of summer to the cool evenings of autumn. And much like the weather, the leaves have quickly changed and are falling to the ground in earnest.

Good thing the city will soon begin its annual leaf collection service and continue it through the middle of January.

Ronnie Hammonds, streets and sanitation manager for the city, said the service will begin on Monday and continue through Jan. 15. Leaf collection will begin on the western side of town and move eastward as the days and weeks go on.

Each year, the city aims to go through each neighborhood about 10 times, collecting around 2,000 tons of leaves. Crews pick up leaves raked to the curb, working six routes throughout the city.

“There’s no real good way of knowing or predicting (when the truck will come by your house),” Hammonds said. “We’ll stay in each zone until we’re finished and then go to the next one. It’s just a matter of when the leaves fall.”

Typically, it takes the city about 15 working days to complete a cycle, Hammonds said.


• Place leaves at the edge of your yard and not in the street. Raking leaves into the roadway is a violation of city ordinance and you could incur liability by blocking the traffic lane.

• Do not cover any catch basins or drainage tiles with leaves, and do not rake leaves into the storm sewer.

• Keep all leaf piles clean and free of trash, limbs or other yard debris. This will help speed collection times.

• Bagged leaves are acceptable as well and should be placed curbside on your regularly scheduled trash collection day, every other week.

• Do not use leaves as cover for extension cords and yard decorations.

Kingsport uses three automated vacuum trucks, one non-automated vacuum truck and two tagalong leaf collection trucks. City crews can collect anywhere from 1,500 tons to 2,000 tons of leaves each season, depending on how much rain falls. Wet leaves simply weigh more.

Once leaves are collected, crews take them to Kingsport’s demolition landfill, where they are mulched and used in landscaping projects across the city or sold to the public.

For more information on where trucks are working each day, call the Leaf Line at 224-2429 or go to www.kingsporttn.gov.