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  • Last modified 11 days ago (Nov. 9, 2017)

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Don’t blow leaves into streets

Staff writer

If you plan to mow leaves in your lawn, be careful not to blow them into streets.

Marion city littering code prohibits depositing grass clippings and leaves in streets and gutters, and requires removal of yard maintenance waste that accumulates on public property.

City administrator Roger Holter said the code was updated last year to prohibit mechanical discharge of leaves or grass clippings into streets.

“In certain areas in our town, there has been enough debris added to the storm water drainage system that it has plugged the intake grates and caused street flooding,” Holter said.

City crews have had to unplug grates and clean sewers.

With temperatures dropping, flooded streets caused by plugged drainage can pose a different problem.

“That water, we’re getting to the time of year it can freeze, too,” Holter said. “It’s kind of a safety issue as well.”

Holter said city property owners can still mow leaves in their yards.

“We have the burn pile south of town, you can take it and dump them there,” he said. “You can mulch them up in your yard. It’s just blowing it in the street is too much material.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has promoted mulching leaves in lawns through a “Mow and Go!” campaign.

Mulching leaves makes for greener and healthier lawns by fertilizing the soil and improves drainage and water retention, among other benefits, according to KDHE.

“We get that there’s going to be leaves blowing naturally, all of that,” Holter said. “The ordinance just addresses really willful action of depositing them via mechanical means into the street.”

Holter said police have only written warnings so far.

“They’re still working on the education with the city,” he said. “You know, for a lot of people, that’s just the way it was always done.”

Last modified Nov. 9, 2017

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