By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 03, 2022 at 2:01 PM

As Milwaukee's Department of Public Works collects the leaves from city streets, we are re-sharing this post and video showing where those leaves end up.

The leaves you rake into a neat pile on your street are turned into rich compost at Waste Management's Orchard Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility's Organics Complex in Germantown.

The 2022 "Rake Your Leaves into the Street" season runs from Oct. 1 until Nov. 20.

You can include yard waste like weeds, flowers and garden clippings and pullings in your leaf piles, but no grass, pumpkins, trash or bags. Larger brush should be in its own pile on the grassy median between the sidewalk and curb. (These piles require a call for pickup, either online or 414-286-CITY.)

Do not put any of the above material in garbage carts as they are banned from landfills.

We got a behind the scenes look at how Milwaukee – in partnership with Waste Management, which in turn collaborates with Madison's Purple Cow Organics – composts those leaves collected from city streets each autumn.

If you have any questions about about when leaf piles will be collected, find a projected date at

Remember to leave a one-foot gap between your leaf pile and the curb to allow storm water to reach sewer grates. Don't forget to keep sewer grates clear of leaves and other debris, too, to prevent backups.

(And while I'm being a nudge, please remember to shovel our your nearest fire hydrant after a heavy snow; the last thing you want when your house is on fire is for MFD to be digging around trying to find the hydrant.)

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.