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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Spring Cleaning in Your Yard?

Spring Cleaning in Your Yard?

Things you need to know!

Spring is the busiest time of year for our yard waste workers. Like the city's recycling service, yard waste collection is provided at no charge to city trash customers. It is normally collected once a week on the same day as trash; however, if there is a larger than normal amount of yard waste or lower than expected manpower for that day, service may not be provided until the following business day. If you experience problems with pick-ups or have any questions, please call the City Solid Waste Division at 341-7875 or visit the Solid Waste webpage for more information.

Place yard waste neatly in the right-of-way. If you have a large amount of yard waste, such as following a storm, a special truck may be required to pick up the debris. Keep in mind that yard waste must not block public roadways or walkways or hamper drivers' vision.

Please follow these simple requirements to help keep your yard and our environment clean:

  • All loose yard waste (grass clippings, pine straw, vines, pinecones and leaves) must be containerized. A container may be a plastic bag, a box or a personal 30 gallon trash can. Do not use the city-provided trash cart or wheelbarrows.
  • Limbs may be no longer than 4 feet and no larger in diameter than 6 inches
  • Yard waste is normally collected on the same day as regular trash. Have your items in the right-of-way for collection no later than 7:30am on the day of collection. Do not place debris near mailboxes, fire hydrants, telephone or utility equipment, sewer clean-outs, water meters, drainage ditches or storm sewers.
  • Do not mix non-organic items (roofing tiles, scrap lumber, rocks, etc) with your yard waste.
  • If you do not have city collection service, 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.

Now that more citizens are working in their yards, Stormwater Services would also like to remind citizens that improperly disposed of grass clippings, weeds, pine straw and other yard waste can create significant stormwater problems such as flooding and poor water quality.

Although the area is currently experiencing dry 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.

Other tips from Stormwater Services:

  • 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 (910) 343-4777 or email

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

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