The Fairfax County Department of Public Works has begun its annual vacuum leaf collections and is posting signs several days in advance in neighborhoods.

The service is provided in some sanitary districts where property owners have petitioned and pay a leaf collection surcharge on their real estate taxes.

Because leaves are collected from the street edgeline by vacuum machines with a limited reach, residents are asked to pile leaves within four feet of the street edgeline. If possible, leaves should be piled at the street edgeline the day before collections are scheduled to begin.

Leaf piles should not contain any branches, stones or other debris that could damage the vacuum machines.

In areas that receive county refuse collection but do not receive vacuum leaf collection, residents should bag leaves and set them out with their refuse on regular collection days.

Private refuse collectors authorized to do business in Fairfax County are required to collect leaves from households on their collection route if leaves are properly bagged. They are required to collect up to six bags of leaves per week per household where collections are made weekly or up to four bags per collection where collections occur twice a week.

For information, call 631-1484.