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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Too many leaves?

Too many leaves?

Yard waste solutions

Now that fall is here, Stormwater Services would like to remind citizens that leaves, pine straw and other yard waste can create significant stormwater problems such as flooding and poor water quality.

Although the area is currently experiencing drought conditions, periodic rain events can cause yard waste to clog storm drains and drainage routes and can result in flooded streets, yards, homes and businesses. Yard waste that travels all the way through the drainage system ends up in local creeks and waterways and causes algal blooms, low dissolved oxygen levels, fish kills, habitat destruction and poor water quality. In addition, improperly discarded yard waste can clog street sweepers and other City equipment resulting in repairs.

The following best management practices (BMPs) can be employed to keep yard waste out of the storm drainage system:

  • Bag or containerize yard waste for City collection service. (Call City Solid Waste at 341-7875 for more info. If you do not have collection service, you should dispose of yard waste at a local disposal facility). Yard waste should not be placed in the regular trash because it is not accepted by the New Hanover County Landfill. 
  • Compost yard waste and use the resulting material as a mulch and/or soil conditioner for your landscape. 
  • Grasscycle! Leave grass clippings on the lawn to decompose quickly and serve as a natural fertilizer and soil conditioner. 
  • Do not dispose of yard waste in streets, storm drains, ditches or waterways (City Ordinance 18-734). Be sure to collect yard waste from driveways and sidewalks too.

As required by federal stormwater permit and as a vital public service, Stormwater Services educates the community about stormwater runoff pollution and the impacts on our community and the environment. For more information, call 343-4777 or email

Click here to visit the city Stormwater Services page for additional information.

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