These autumn leaves don't inspire too many romantic songs
These autumn leaves don’t inspire too many romantic songs

As the northeast winds of fall begin to blow, there are only a few certainties in life: Christmas displays in stores, property tax bills on their way, and leaves falling down on our manicured lawns.

If composting leaves at your house isn’t your thing (or you just have too many damn leaves to not anger your neighbors by composting), now’s the time to begin getting those leaves to the curb.

Southold Town is again collecting only bagged leaves this fall, beginning Monday, Nov. 17. This year, highway crews will not be collecting from one geographical region to another, meaning all residents should have their leaf bags at the curb on Nov. 17 to be ready when the crews reach their neighborhood.

Brush and branches that are taken to the Cutchogue transfer station will be accepted free of charge Nov. 1 through Nov. 30, and leaves are accepted there free of charge year-round.

Southampton’s fall cleanup will begin Monday, Nov. 24, and the town is also again accepting only bagged leaves. Senior citizens over 73 years of age and residents with special needs can receive a waiver from bagging their leaves. More information is online here.

Over in Riverhead, all you’ve gotta do is pile your leaves up at the curb in one big pile and the highway department will take them away.

Leaf pickup in Riverhead usually begins at the east end of the town at Laurel Lane in late November or early December, though the highway department hasn’t settled on the dates yet. Highway crews with their big sucking machine will finish up at the west end of town in Wading River by mid-December.

If that’s too much of a bother for you, you can put your leaves in recyclable bags and throw them at the curb for the garbage truck any old time of year (a maximum of 12 bags at a time). They even give away free leaf bags at the highway department headquarters on Osborn Avenue.

The poor residents of East Hampton lost their right to leaf pickup four years ago during the Wilkinson administration’s tight hold on town finances. There’s no money in East Hampton’s proposed 2014 budget for leaf pickup, either.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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