News Flash

Transportation & Public Works - News

Posted on: October 20, 2022

Where You Leave Your Leaves Matters!

NF_Leaf Season 1

Fall brings us incredible vibrant colored foliage each year, but when the leaves eventually fall, they must be cleared to protect the health of our local waterways and prevent flooding. If it is in the street it can get to your local creek.

During and after storm events, wind and rain can carry leaves and other pollutants that have gathered on streets and sidewalks into a nearby storm drain that flows directly to our local creeks, untreated. Leaves, debris, and other common household materials that enter the storm drain can potentially be harmful to wildlife and impair the water quality. The leaves can also mat across the storm drain and block water flow, causing water to back up on the street resulting in unsafe roadway flooding. That’s why where you leave your leaves matters.

We all need to do our part to keep leaves and debris off the streets, to keep our creeks, streams, and storm drains flowing clear. Please note, it is the property owner's responsibility to remove branches, leaves, and other debris from the street or right of way fronting their property per city code 13.32.010.

Remember, once you have collected your leaves, keep the leaves out of your trash and local landfills by home composting, mulching, or placing them in your green organics bin where they will be diverted away from the landfill to nearby composting facilities.

What can you do with your leaves?

What to Know

  • Place leaves and other organic materials in your green organics container which is collected weekly
  • Compost leaves for a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your gardens
  • Use chopped leaves as winter mulch for lawns and flower gardens

Best Practices

  • Keep all fallen leaves and grass clippings on your property, off the sidewalks and out of the streets
  • Make sure your trees and shrubs don’t grow into the roadway
  • Rake and sweep leaves frequently off the street and away from the storm drain
  • Help educate your neighborhood about the importance of clean streets by visiting

Street Sweeping

  • Do not pile your leaves in the street – sweepers are unable to pick up any piled leaves
  • Recology Sonoma Marin provides street sweeping services in Santa Rosa – see the link to view your street sweeping schedule
  • Avoid street parking on sweep day
  • Street sweepers clean each city street once a month

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