Keeping Oxford's streets leaf free

Published: Thursday, 22nd November 2018

If autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, it's also the season of falling leaves. Lots of them.

Oxford Direct Services, working on behalf of the City Council, is tasked with keeping the roads, pavements and gullies clear. They work from October to December gathering leaves and ensuring they are composted for use on local farms.

Bruce Thompson, Oxford Direct Services' City Centre and Streetscene Services Manager said: "This year the leaves began to fall early - in August. It's all down to the hot summer. So we've had an extended leaf collection season.

"By the time we finish picking them up, in December, we'll have collected around 220 tonnes. We use large and small street sweepers, leaf blowers, vacuum hoses and, of course, brooms. And it all goes down to Ewelme for composting.

"Leaves make great compost at home too, so I'd also encourage residents to undertake their own home composting with the leaves in their gardens."

Cllr Nigel Chapman, Board Member for Customer Focused Services, said: "Collecting leaves from the streets is a large undertaking for us every year but it's a very necessary one. Clearing them away stops drains getting clogged. And wet leaves left lying on pavements can cause people to slip, so please be careful; we can't clear them all away at once.

"I want to thank the crews that go out in all weathers to clear the leaves away and make sure the city's roads and pavements are kept safe and unobstructed through the season."

For more information on street cleaning, or to report a problem visit our street cleaning page.