DENVER (KDVR) — And just like that, the autumn leaves are starting to fall. Instead of sweeping the leaves on the street or down the gutter, find a place to throw them out. In some areas, putting your leaves on the street is a violation of the city code.

Cities like Aurora, Arvada, Lakewood and Fort Collins have city ordinances for sweeping leaves onto the street to prevent clogging of storm drains.

However, it’s not always easy to get rid of them. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, burning leaves pollutes the air, and simply throwing leaves out contributes to landfills and greenhouse gases.

Leaves are best when they’re composted.

A lot of cities in the Denver metro area have waste management systems that allow pick-up or drop-off at certain locations for leaves.

Here are some places nearby to get rid of your leaves.


Arvada runs a free leaf recycling program that keeps leaves out of landfills. It’s against the city’s municipal code to sweep leaves onto the streets because they clog storm drains and cause damage to the street sweepers.

  • Weekdays: Nov. 6-17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stenger Sports Complex
  • Weekends: Nov. 4, 11 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stenger Sports Complex and Permagreen Organics Company


The city of Denver directs residents to use LeafDrop, which is a program that turns leaves into compost. Denver residents can drop off leaves in brown paper bags, which can be composted, at select locations.

Denver also rolled out a compost system that started this summer where you can throw out the leaves.

  • Weekdays: Oct. 10 until Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cherry Creek Transfer Station, Havana Nursery or Central Platte Campus
  • Weekends: Nov. 4-19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bruce Randolph High School, Cherry Creek Transfer Station, Kennedy High School, Sloan’s Lake Northwest Parking Lot and Veterans Park


Lakewood starts a new leaf recycling program this year and will turn leaves into compost, mulch and other recycled landscape materials.

Proof of residency may be required.

  • Weekdays: Nov. 6-10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the city greenhouse, located at 9556 W. Yale Ave.
  • Weekends: Saturday, Nov. 4 and Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the city greenhouse, located at 9556 W. Yale Ave.


Thornton offers pick-up and drop-off days. For weekday pick-ups, fill the black containers with leaves, then put them in bags if you run out of space.

For Saturday drop-offs, bring proof of residency and empty the bags on site.

  • Weekdays: Oct. 16 to Nov. 10 on regular trash collection days
  • Weekends: Saturday, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Thornton’s Infrastructure Maintenance Center


Westminster residents can recycle leaves and pumpkins in early November. Bring leaves in a compostable bag or paper bag. Plastic bags can be brought, but the leaves need to be emptied.

  • Weekend: Saturday, Nov. 4 and Nov. 11 at 10001 Alkire St. from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Other cities like Aurora, Centennial and Highlands Ranch don’t have leaf disposal systems, but you can either hire private leaf pick-up companies or compost them yourself if you don’t want them to end up in a landfill.