Can I Just Put My Leaves in the Street?

 

With fall upon us, this is a good time to revisit this frequently asked question: Is it okay to blow or rake leaves and grass into the street? The simple answer to this question is no. Raking or blowing leaves and grass into the street can cause several problems.

In most cases, leaves and grass left in the street will eventually get moved by rainwater into the Township’s stormwater management system. These systems are designed to move water, but not yard debris. The yard waste often clogs pipes, which can exacerbate flooding – both on the roadway and on private properties. The Township Public Works Department routinely checks and cleans stormwater inlets. However, there are roughly 800 inlets in the Township, and it takes two people an average of two hours to remove the grate and clean out the debris inside one inlet. It is easy to see why this can quickly become a daunting task before large rain events.

As leaves and grass make their way through the stormwater system, they can eventually reach waterways. Grass can carry fertilizer and other lawn additives, which can add an excess of nutrients into the water. This can be detrimental to aquatic life.

Finally, yard debris – especially leaves – can also become a hazard. Wet leaves can become slippery, making them particularly detrimental to cyclists and motorcycle riders. Dry leaves can blow up into a rider’s face, impeding their sight.

The good news is that there are other options. East Bradford offers yard waste collection on the third Saturday of each month from March through December. You can also use leaves and grass clippings to mulch plants, which can promote moisture retention and protect plants through the winter (Simply run your mower over a thin layer of leaves and repeat).

East Bradford