All city streets are swept at least three times a year.
Spring street sweeping
Spring street sweeping focuses on removing any organic material or sand applied for snow and ice control. Sweeping typically starts in April as soon as the snow/ice melts enough to allow the sweepers to get to the curbs. The goal is to sweep all 308 miles of curb line in the city, 19 miles of alleys and all city-owned parking lots by mid–May. Weather greatly affects the start of the sweeping season. The city makes every effort to sweep all streets twice before the summer maintenance activities begin.
Summer street sweeping
Summer street sweeping focuses on removing any organic material that has migrated into the street and curb lines. It typically is done in June and July.
Fall street sweeping
Fall street sweeping focuses on removing leaves to prevent plugged catch basins, with the goal of removing as many leaves as possible before the snow season begins. Due to the large volume of leaves in the streets during fall, sweepers are often ineffective to use at the start. The city begins the fall cleanup with other equipment to push leaves into piles and haul them away. Once the majority of the leaves are removed, the sweepers will resume sweeping and do final clean up. The fall sweeping typically begins in early October. Weather conditions play a big role in the amount of sweeping that can occur in the fall.
Sweeping on concrete and asphalt alleys is done twice a year. The city will sweep alleys once in the spring after street sweeping is completed and again in the fall, if time permits, before the snow season starts.
Avoid parking on streets
If possible, avoid parking on streets during daytime hours. The city does not post “no parking” signs for street sweeping since it sweeps on a continuous cycle while weather permits. However, crews can do a better job when cars aren’t blocking access to the curb.
Keep grass and leaves in your yard — they can be harmful to the environment and clog storm drains
Sweeping grass clippings, leaves and other organic materials into the street is bad for our local lakes, creeks and rivers. When leaves are not left in yards to decompose, they often end up in the streets where they are washed into storm drains. From the storm drains, they make their way into lakes and rivers where they will continue to decompose and release phosphorus, a nutrient, into the waterbodies. Algae then uses these nutrients to grow in higher levels than normal, turning lakes green, using up oxygen that plants and fish need to survive and decreasing water quality.
Excess leaves in the streets can also clog storm drains and lead to water building up on roads or minor flooding on roadways.
Sweeping leaves into the street is against city code
If you rake leaves into the street, you are in violation of city ordinance and may be fined up to $100. No person should sweep or deposit leaves, grass clippings or other yard waste onto any sidewalk, public property or public way. Violation of this provision is declared a nuisance under section 12-31. (Ord. No. 2260-03, 12-1-03)
Properly dispose of your leaves
You can also consider adopting a storm drain and keep it clear of leaves and debris!
DO NOT burn your leaves or put them in your regular garbage cart. Burning leaves can lead to air pollution and potential health problems and fire hazards.
There is no official street sweeping schedule
The city does not have an official street sweeping schedule for several reasons, including:
- Putting signs out takes staff away from actual street sweeping. The city is not staffed to be able to post signs in advance of sweeping.
- The city does not have enough signs. The crews are often able to move quickly through the streets, and it would be difficult to keep enough signs posted for one to two-day advance notice.
- Often, providing advanced notice results in residents pushing/blowing leaves into the streets. This creates additional work for the sweeping crews and violates city ordinance. We want to maintain that our efforts are to pick up current leaves in the streets and that it is not a leaf pick-up program.
Reporting leaves in the streets
If you would like to notify public works of others putting leaves into the streets, call 952.924.2562 or submit your notification online through the city's mystlouispark app under the "putting leaves/grass into street" topic under "streets and sidewalks."