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As autumn approaches, the City of Evanston’s Health and Human Services Department and Public Works Agency are issuing seasonal reminders about pests, yard waste, and the leaf blower ordinance to help keep community members safe and comfortable.

Yard Waste, and Leaf Blower Reminder

Weekly residential yard waste collections will continue on regular refuse and recycling collection days through Dec. 8. Evanston City Code prohibits depositing leaves and other debris in any gutter, street, alley, or public space. Blowing or raking leaves into the street can block sewers and cause flooding.

The City offers two options to dispose of yard waste:
1. Residents can purchase a 95-gallon yard waste cart. These reusable carts do not require bags. To order a yard waste cart, residents can complete the online order form at cityofevanston.org/yardcartform or visit the City Collector’s office, 2100 Ridge Ave. A cart costs $82.50 plus a $25 annual fee. Yard waste fees are assessed annually and appear on residents’ water, sewer, and sanitation bills.

2. Yard waste can be placed in paper yard waste bags with a City of Evanston yard waste sticker affixed to each. The stickers are available for $1.75 each at Jewel-Osco grocery stores, Lemoi Hardware, The Chalet (Wilmette), The Home Depot, the Levy Senior Center, and the City Collector’s office. Plastic bags will not be collected.
After 48 hours, yard waste bags without stickers will incur special pick-up fees. There will be a charge of $25 for the first three and $10 for each additional three bags.
Bundles of yard trimmings must have a City of Evanston yard waste sticker and be less than 3 feet in diameter, with individual branches less than 4 feet long and 4 inches in diameter.

Residents interested in composting and mulching to recycle the earth’s nutrients, save money, and conserve landfill space are encouraged to call the Evanston Ecology Center at 847-448-8256.

Backpack-mounted or handheld gasoline-powered leaf blowers are allowed only between March 30 and May 15 and between Sept. 30 and the first Thursday of December, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More information is available by calling/texting 847-448-4311 or by dialing 311 while in Evanston.

Rodents

Because rodents (rats) can carry disease and cause property damage, community members are encouraged to learn how to prevent rat activity in their neighborhood. A discussion on rodent control will be held on Oct. 4 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave.

Rodent control expert and entomologist Sara McGuire, Director of Operations for Smithereen Pest Management, will lead the session. The presentation is free, but participants should register in advance at cityofevanston.org/pestcontrol.

Skunks

Skunk activity increases in the fall as the animals gain the extra weight they need to survive the winter. Though Evanston residents and wildlife are usually able to cohabitate, wildlife sometimes becomes a cause of concern.

To mitigate current or avoid future problems with skunks:
• Do not encourage skunks by feeding them.
• Keep pet food and watering dishes inside, especially at night.
• Do not allow spilled feed to accumulate outside bird feeders.
• Keep grills and barbecues clean; even the smallest food scraps may attract skunks.
• Do not keep garbage cans outside if possible (store in garage).
• Cover window wells.
• Use welded wire to exclude animals from underneath decks, elevated sheds, and openings under concrete slabs and porches. Block outside access to crawl spaces.
• Treat lawns in spring and fall with a grub killer. Skunks will tear up part or all of a lawn looking for grubs.