The City of Rochester operates a fleet of six street sweepers that are responsible for cleaning the 500+ mile network of city streets. The fleet sweeps approximately 9,500 miles every year. Sweepers clean the Central Business District nightly and are out in the spring and fall. In the spring, sweepers are out collecting sand and other sediments that accumulated in over the winter. In the fall, sweepers are collecting sediments and leaves. During the fall it is most efficient for the fleet to sweep leaves once they are all off the trees so they don’t have to visit each area of town multiple times.
The City’s street sweeping program is not designed to pick up leaves from private property that are raked into the street. In addition to degrading water quality and being a nuisance, leaves can be a traffic hazard and they can cause flooding if they obstruct drainage ways or plug culverts, storm drains, or inlets and outlets to storm ponds. Rochester Code of Ordinances 6-4 requires property owners to keep all yard waste, including leaves and grass clippings, out of the street. Residents can take their leaves and yard waste, free of charge, to the Olmsted County compost site located at 305 Silver Creek Road NE, just across from the recycling center.What residents can do to help "Keep It Clean" this fall:
- Keep leaves out of the street, storm drains, and public lands.
- Mulch leaves in your yard or make a backyard compost site for them.
- Take leaves to the Olmsted County compost site, free of charge, at 305 Silver Creek Road NE, just across from the recycling center. (The site is open 7 days a week during daylight hours.)
- Place your waste and recycling bins on the boulevard rather than in the street. This will help facilitate the cleaning of the streets by City street sweepers.
- Remove debris from the storm drain if rain is on its way and the sweepers haven’t yet passed. This will help prevent the drain from being clogged.