It’s fall and we have all enjoyed the changing colors of trees for this year. Now is the time to deal with everything that has fallen as the trees get ready for winter. We have all probably observed someone who decided to clear their lawn by blowing leaves, grass clippings or other debris into the street, rather than bagging it and throwing it away in their green waste can. We came across a situation yesterday that perfectly shows why you shouldn’t blow your autumn leaves into the street. As you can see the leaves are several inches thick and the pile extends almost out into the driving lanes. Here are some reasons why this is not the best practice for dealing with yard wastes.
- The leaves are a safety hazard. Because there is no way of knowing the road conditions under the leaves, bicyclists that use this route are forced to go out into the driving lanes to pass this obstacle.
- The leaves can block storm drains. Try watching a storm drain inlet covered in leaves in a rain storm. It only takes a few leaves to back up the water into a large puddle. This creates nuisance flooding and can potentially cause an additional safety hazard. It can even lead to property damage.
- Water quality can also be affected by the accumulation of decayed leaves in storm drains. Storm water is not treated before it is discharged into Utah Lake, the Provo River or our groundwater, so the concentration of nutrients in the leaves have the potential to contribute to algae blooms next summer.
Keeping these things in mind, we encourage you to clean up your leaves by bagging them and putting them in your green waste can. If they don’t fit, you can take them to the North Pointe Solid Waste Facility.