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Handling Leaves Impacts Street Sweeping Results

Sourwood Tree

 All the colorful leaves lacing fall trees (and then the ground) are a gift that keeps on giving…in either a good, or a bad way. It all depends on how they’re handled. When residents rake leaves from their yards and sidewalks into the streets the extra load slows down street sweepers, reducing the number of streets that can be cleared. Of course, many people might think they’re being helpful by sweeping those leaves into the roadway, since it’s not common water cooler discussion that “littering” the street with leaves is illegal or that property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks next to their property. So if you are at a water cooler, or other casual gathering, we ask that you chat with neighborhood newcomers not yet accustomed to the City’s disposal system about “proper leaf-raking and disposal etiquette“ (for more information, residents may call the Seattle Public Utilities at 684-3000).

For the gift that keeps giving in a GOOD way, that autumnal yard waste can contribute to environmental rejuvenation – either in your own backyard compost or as part of a larger effort. For really large loads, residents may haul the yard debris to one of the City’s two Recycling and Disposal stations, both of which have special areas for “clean green.” Proper leaf clearing also reduces flood risks. During intense rain, flooding may occur without warning so don’t put grass clippings, leaves, or other debris into drains, ditches, creeks, culverts, gutters or ravines and if a storm drain appears blocked below the street surface, call (206) 386-1800. Want to do more? You can officially adopt a drain in need and be a neighborhood hero! Visit Adopt-A-Drain for the details. Thanks all and enjoy the fall!

Falling Leaves