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Just Leafing the Dream in Chico

Dustin Cheatham

Just Leafing the Dream in Chico

Have you ever wondered about the piles of leaves lining the roads around Chico during the fall? Many non-Chico natives are surprised when they come to Chico and discover our leaf pickup program. Many other cities and towns have programs in place that encourage residents to put the leaves in their green waste bins or put them in bags for the city to pick up later. Chico’s system is a little more unique than that. 


Did you know that Chico is called the City of Trees? That many trees leads to a lot of leaves. In fact, the city has stated that there is enough leaf matter produced by the trees in Chico to fill about 12 Olympic swimming pools. The purpose of the leaf collection program is to prevent flooding, reduce organic loading to creeks, keep the roadways and bike lanes clear and provide a convenient solution for citizens to dispose of their leaves. Residents are instructed to create piles of leaves, under 4 feet high and away from the gutter and storm drain inlets, for a coordinated team of skilled workers and trucks to pick up throughout the city starting November 1 until the end of the year. 


The crews do a route that starts in the southwest section of the city and progresses north in a clockwise direction. According to the city, this route takes about four to six weeks to complete before they start the route over again. All of Chico’s available dump trucks, loaders and assigned staff are dedicated to this program. The city utilizes loaders with a leaf claw attachment that picks up the leaves and places them in dump trucks modified with a large leaf box. Leaves are then taken to the city’s compost facility on Cohasset Road to be composted. 


Did you know that commercial property and multifamily properties with 3 or more units may not participate in the complimentary residential leaf pick up program? These properties, or the landscaping companies working for these properties, are requested to utilize curbside yard waste containers and transport them to the City’s compost facility on Cohasset Road. 


Did you know that Founder of Upside Real Estate, Dustin grew up in Vallejo where they did not have it so good. He would have to rake and bag leaves at his childhood home. If only the people of Chico knew how easy they have it!  

City of Chico Video

Sources used: https://chico.ca.us/post/street-sweeping-leaf-collection

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