Autumn leaf clearance in full swing

Published Friday, 9 November 2018

Autumn leaves.

The annual autumn leaf clearance operation is underway, which marks the busiest and most challenging season for street cleaning.

In the first five weeks of leaf clearance operations, approximately 450 tonnes of leaves have been cleared from the borough’s streets. When all of the leaves have fallen, it is estimated that over 1100 tonnes of leaves will have been swept away and composted.  As with previous years, additional crews are being drafted in to help clear leaves from the borough’s streets.

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment said, “As we have so many trees, that add so much to our borough, including the fantastic colours at this time of year, it is no surprise that leaf clearing is an immense job.  We are making steady progress clearing leaves from streets across the borough, targeting streets where we know the leaves are already falling in volume because of the tree species present.  We are acutely aware that weather conditions, such as rain, can hamper our progress but we are firmly focussed on clearing the leaves in a timely manner.”

Councillor Huntington-Thresher added, “I would like to thank residents who go out of their way and help out with leaf clearance, including not sweeping or blowing leaves from gardens onto the road or pavement, which as well as having legal implications, can undo the good work we’ve already done and will leave roads untidy.”

With over 100,000 trees across the borough beginning to drop their leaves, roads with trees that lose their leaves in large numbers early in the season are prioritised for collection first. Changing weather conditions also may accelerate or delay leaf shedding and so the clearance programme is adjusted accordingly as the season progresses with leaves being composted where appropriate.

Residents are reminded not to sweep leaves from their gardens, drives or pathways into the road, as this reduces street cleaning efficiency, may block road gullies and could cause flooding. The council offers two green garden waste collection schemes. For residents who only occasionally have green garden waste, individual sacks of leaves may be booked for collection for £1.60 each. Also on offer is the Green Garden Waste wheelie-bin collection service where members of the scheme can dispose of garden leaves and more through regular scheduled home collections, throughout the year, for an annual fee of £60. For further details and information on how to join, visit

Leaves and other green garden waste can also be composted at home or disposed of at the reuse and recycling centres - Waldo Road, Bromley and Churchfields Road, Beckenham. For more information on recycling and waste, search and look out for our Environment Matters newsletter.


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