Yard debris, including leaves and other organic plant material like shubbery trimmings and grass clippings, are a significant source of stormwater pollution. This debris can clog culverts, storm drains, and pipes, causing flooding. Yard waste also increases organic loads to creeks, rivers and bays and can cause oxygen depletion and nutrient overload.
Yard waste has basically three classifications: small yard waste, heavy brush*, and grass clippings. (*Heavy brush is defined as tree and shrub limbs and trimmings which are greater than 3” in diameter; tree trunks, root balls, and similar items.)
There are prohibitions against leaving yard waste in the street. There are also requirements for keeping your curb, gutter and sidewalk clean.
PROPERLY DISPOSE OF YARD WASTE
AND KEEP STORM DRAINS CLEAR
Where to leave yard waste
During designated set-out periods, you can put your heavy brush and yard waste on the City’s right-of-way. Check your heavy brush pick up day here. Smaller materials can be put in your trash bin for regular pick up.
City Ordinance (Article II, Sec. 21-12) states you may not leave your yard waste on street pavement, in the gutter, on a sidewalk or in a drainage ditch. In right-of-way areas where there is no practical alternative, you may be allowed to set your yard waste in a drainage ditch, but you may be liable if there is any flooding damage downstream of your yard waste.
What to do with grass clippings
Grass clippings can be composted or left on your lawn. As the grass decomposes, it returns nutrients to your lawn. As a result, your yard will need less or no fertilizer.
City Ordinance (Article II. Sec. 55-203) prohibits grass clippings and leaves from being blown or swept into the street, gutters, or into a storm drain.
Intentionally blowing or sweeping grass clippings into the streets or gutters can subject you to fines of up to $2,000 per violation per day.
Grass left on the street blows into the gutters with the wind and passing traffic and can end up in storm water drainage inlets. When it rains, grass clippings can flow and clog storm drains and cause localized flooding. The grass can also flow through the drainage system directly into our receiving bodies of water (rivers, creeks, bays) where it decomposes.
Cleaning Curbs and Gutters
City Ordinance (Article I, Sec. 49-10) places responsibility for keeping street curbs and gutters clean on the abutting property owner, lessee or tenant. If you own, lease or are the tenant of a residence or commercial or vacant property, you are responsible for keeping your adjoining curb and gutter clean.
The definition of “clean” is that it is clear of sand, leaves, or dirt. Additionally, you cannot allow grass or weeds to grow on or extend over curbs and gutters.