Ways to use and safely dispose of leaves

Published on November 08, 2021


With the heavy leaf season upon on us, please do not push leaves to the curb or your neighbor’s yard. Leaf piles have the potential to block storm drains and camouflage potential hazards.

Unfortunately, many local tree species drop their leaves right before our rainy season begins. Storm drains can only hold so much water, and even a little debris can disrupt water flows. It does not take much to obstruct the grates that prevent debris from entering the storm system. This can clog storm drains, reduce water flows and result in street flooding.

You can help reduce street flooding risk by taking a few simple actions in advance of storms:

  • Collect and dispose of leaves and debris weekly during rainy season, and at a least before large storms arrive
  • If you have one, always use your green yard waste/compost cart to contain the leaves before pickup by Recology
  • If you have too many leaves to fit in the green yard waste/compost cart, store the rest away from the curb to prevent it from entering the storm system
  • Remove leaves and loose debris from the top of storm drain inlets with a rake or shovel
  • Mulch and spread yard waste over your lawn or in a plant. Leaves and yard trimmings act as a natural fertilizer, suppress weeds, preserve soil moisture, and provide a habitat for essential wildlife
  • Find your street sweeping day – remember to move your car off the street when sweeping occurs on your block