Bagged leaves should be left with regular refuse pickup by Local Waste Services.
Whether you pile, compost or bag them, here are some best practices for protecting water quality and your local infrastructure from the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District:
- Keep leaves out of the street and away from storm drain inlets so they are not windblown or carried by rainwater to street drains where they can block grates and cause street flooding.
- If using a professional landscaper, request when a leaf-blower is used to clean pavement that it be directed back into the yard.
- Rake leaves to the grassy area between the street and sidewalk or to the edge of your lawn, if no sidewalks. Do not rake or blow leaves into the street. Temporary leaf piles won’t kill grass, although there may be temporary discoloration. To prevent this, rake leaves immediately before your scheduled pickup date.
- If using the normal refuse collection service, put leaves in trash cans marked “yard waste” or in the large paper bags sold for this purpose at stores. Leaves in plastic bags are not collected.
- Do not dump leaves into a ravine or stream. The leaf piles can form thick mats that won’t decompose over the winter, killing underlying vegetation, leading to erosion and subsequent water quality problems and property loss.
- When leaves and other organic matter decomposes in streams, bacteria use up the dissolved oxygen needed for aquatic organisms causing “dead zones” that kill fish and other stream organisms.
- Add leaves to composting bins, but mix with high-nitrogen ingredients for best results. For faster decomposition, run over them first with a mulching lawn mower. If composting kitchen scraps during winter, save dried leaves in plastic bags for a “brown” material to cover the scraps over the winter. It also makes for a handy “brown” in the spring, when there are fewer “browns” to mix.
- Use leaves as mulch: they slow the growth of weeds, retain soil moisture, maintain lower soil temperatures in the summer, and protect against temperature fluctuations and some low-temperature injury during winter. They eventually decompose, adding nutrients to the soil and improving soil structure.
Leaves on your street may be collected before your scheduled collection week because crews have finished early in another area; but City crews will return to your street on the scheduled week to ensure all leaves are collected. In addition, weather conditions and the timing of leaves falling may delay the program. City crews do their best to adhere to the published schedule.
For additional information, contact the Grove City Service Department at 614-277-1100.