What to Do with Yard Waste
We all know that it is not acceptable to dump tires, machine parts, plastics and other unnatural trash into our waterways. But many still believe it’s okay to put yard debris like grass and leaves onto a streambank, in a storm drain, or into a ditch.
Well, when it comes to dumping, even organic yard debris doesn’t “cut it.” While leaves will naturally fall into the water, we need to be mindful not to upset nature’s balance.
Leaves and grass clippings from our maintained landscapes should never be dumped or piled in and around waterways or storm drains.
•is the 2nd largest category of all discarded trash.
•decomposes and uses up the oxygen in streams, makes streams smell bad, and it looks unsightly.
•nutrients can lead to algae blooms and fish kills.
•can obstruct flow and clog downstream culverts, leading to localized flooding and erosion problems.
•piled on streambanks can choke out plants that serve to stabilize and prevent erosion.
Yard waste should be composted or set out with the trash according to your community’s yard waste pick-up guidelines.
Want to learn more? Check out the Cuyahoga SWCD Green Yards and Healthy Homes Webinar and our Watershed Management Resources Page for more information.
Watershed Program Manager working out of Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District office.