Yard debris, such as leaves, brush, and grass clippings and other plant material, 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, grass clippings, and heavy brush. Heavy brush is defined as tree and shrub limbs and trimmings which are greater than 3” in diameter; such as tree trunks, root balls, and similar items.
The City of Corpus Christi has Municipal Ordinances against leaving or blowing 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
What is Yard Waste?
Yard waste is any plant material generated from residential gardens, lawns, and yards. It includes grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree trimmings, tree trunks, and root balls.
Yard waste does not include any non-plant material. Yard waste does not include tools or household items.
Where Should I Leave My 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 the 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 Should I Do with My 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 XVI. 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.
Why Can’t I Leave Grass on The Street or Sidewalk?
Grass left on the street blows into the gutters with the wind and passing traffic and can end up in storm water inlets and drains. 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 rivers, creeks, bays where it rots. Bacteria that break down the vegetation use oxygen, making less oxygen available for aquatic wildlife like fish and oysters.
Who Is Responsible for Cleaning the Curb And Gutter Outside My Home Or Business?
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 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.