Public Works


 The Town of Ithaca Public Works Department will begin picking up discarded holiday trees on the first business day after Christmas and will continue through mid-January.

Who maintains my road? I see Town trucks, Tompkins  County trucks, and New York State trucks.

That depends on who owns your road. The Town of Ithaca owns certain “local” roads within its boundaries. Tompkins County owns 15 roads and New York State owns 8 roads within the town. County and State roads are considered thoroughfares—roads that go through the Town of Ithaca into another town. Examples are Coddington Road (County Road) and Danby Road/RT 96B (State Road). However, the Town plows and salts certain roads that are owned by Tompkins County and the State plows and salts all the State roads in the Town. If you have questions about this, please call the Town Highway Department at 273-1656 so we can direct you to the proper entity. County road questions should be referred to Tompkins County Highway Department at 274-0300 and State road questions should be referred to New York State DOT at (607) 756-7072.

When is the brush and leaf pick up?

Please refer to the Quick News section of the home page for specific dates and information.

Brush and Leaf Collection is for all areas of the Town of Ithaca outside the Village of Cayuga Heights and the City of Ithaca.

In the spring and fall, the Town of Ithaca Public Works Department picks up yard waste (brush and bagged leaves, pine needles, garden waste, and grass clippings) in mid-April and in mid-late October.  All yard waste must be at roadside by 7:00 a.m. of the first day of the collection. 

Brush should be placed in neat piles going with the flow of traffic so that the chipping trucks can feed the cut ends first.  The intention of the brush collection service is for residents to put a reasonable amount of brush out at roadside for pick up.  Brush piles are limited to approximately 2’ H x 4’ W x 8’ L in size. Limbs should be no larger than 8" in diameter.

Please note, our crews do not vacuum leaves in the spring, therefore, no loose piles of leaves will be picked up.  For all collections, leaves and garden waste must be bagged in biodegradable paper bags.  Fold over openings of bags to close—do not staple or tape.  No plastic bags will be picked up.  In the fall, Leaves are vacuumed throughout the Town.  Bagged leaves and yard waste are also collected in the fall.  Bagged leaf pickup occurs on each subsequent Monday through November.

Please do not put yard waste out at roadside until the week before collections. You may also drop your yard waste off at the Public Works Facility at 114 Seven Mile Drive, Monday - Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. year around.  Please first sign in at the office. 

For questions, please call 273-1656 between 6:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday - Friday or e-mail us.

Is there a policy or guidelines regarding mailbox installations?

Mailboxes shall be installed according to United States Postal Service guidelines.  The distance from the edge of pavement to the front of the mailbox shall be 6” to 12” with a 43” clearance to the bottom of the mailbox or structure support arm.

Property owners assume the responsibility of proper placement and ensuring the wooden, metal or plastic post and arm are free from rot, breakage or deterioration and are in a structurally sound condition. 

If a mailbox that is properly installed and initially in good repair is damaged by a Town vehicle/equipment, the Town will replace or repair it upon timely notification being given to the Public Works Department.  Repairs requiring a new mailbox will be made using a standard aluminum mailbox. Mailboxes that have been knocked down due to a deteriorated condition, repairs/replacement will be the responsibility of the property owner.

Newspaper boxes should follow the same requirements for mailboxes and should not be placed under the mailbox due to the clearance requirements.

Questions about mailboxes or other structures in the right-of-way should be directed to the Public Works Department at 607-273-1656.

Can residents obtain mulch or compost from the Public Works Facility?

Yes. The Town's Public Works Facility offers wood chips, shredded wood mulch, and compost free of charge to Town of Ithaca (including the Village of Cayuga Heights) residents. Please note that the wood chips are irregularly sized due to the chipping process.  These services are not available to contractors unless the work is on behalf of a town resident.  These services are not available to City of Ithaca residents.  Additionally, Town of Ithaca and Village residents may drop off brush, leaves, garden waste, and grass clippings at facility. 

CONTRACTORS/LANDSCAPING SERVICES: When utilizing the yard debris drop and compost/mulch collection service for residents, some form of communication from the resident is required prior to using the service.

Hours of operation for these services are 7:00am-2:30pm M-F. Please sign in at the office Public access is limited to the designated drop off / pick up locations.  

Does the Town provide trash and recycling pickup?

No, you must contract with a local hauler.  The Town is not legally allowed to list or recommend a specific hauler.  Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management can answer any other questions you may have. (607) 273-6632.