Green Tip from Green Notes


Protect water quality by keeping leaves and grass clippings out of streets and storm drains

Grass clippings and leaves left in the street end up in storm sewers that flow directly into nearby lakes and streams. Clippings and leaves contain phosphorus and other nutrients that are significant sources of water pollution. The pollutants – especially phosphorus – can cause excess algae growth that negatively impacts other plants and wildlife, can be unsafe for pets and can degrade recreational opportunities.

Keep leaves and grass clippings out of storm sewers by using them for compost, bringing them to a yard waste drop-off site or checking to see if your hauler offers curbside pick-up. You can also help organize a community cleanup. The Freshwater Society has a toolkit for community cleanup organizers that includes step-by-step instructions, recruitment and promotional materials and a reporting form to track your group’s impact.

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