Leave leaves in the street? Never!

Got trees?  Then you’ve got responsibilities.  

Remember when you were a kid and wanted a puppy, and you had to promise to walk him and feed him and clean up after him?  It’s the same deal with trees when it comes to cleaning up after them.  (Walking your tree is not required, nor encouraged.)

Here are few friendly reminders on the rules about leaves, plus some requests to be a thoughtful neighbor.

  • DO clear leaves off the sidewalk in front of your home.  It’s the homeowners’ responsibility to keep the sidewalks clear for everyone to use.
  • DO NOT sweep leaves into the streets and storm drains.  When leaves clog the storm drains, we have puddles, flooding and big mess.  Plus it creates hazards for people driving, biking and stepping off the bus.  City crews are out every day with big vacuum trucks, but there are 78,000 storm drains in Seattle – so we need your help. 
  • DO compost leaves in your compost pile or place them in your yard waste bin.  Each year your trees produce a “crop” of leaves that can be composted into a valuable resource.  Our garden experts tell us you can even take leaves off the street and use them in your compost pile.  You shouldn’t have to worry about any contaminants such as gas or oil.
  • Join SPU’s Adopt a Drain Program to help keep drains clear.
  • Please consider raking instead of blowing.  If you think about it, leaf blowers have a lot of unneighborly traits: they’re loud, they kick up dust and leaf blowers’ powered by gas are very polluting.   Plus, raking provides good old fashioned, free exercise – a method to stay healthy that’s becoming trendy again!