Proper yard waste disposal is very important. Especially during autumn, when it is expected for most trees to have their leaves fall, you should always keep your yard clean and debris free. These fallen leaves when left undisposed will eventually cause water pollution that can harm both people and animals. Worst is, when left near the roadside, it may block storm drains and waterways which can cause flooding.
As we all know, fallen leaves are a natural fertilizer. When leaves fall in the autumn, these natural fertilizers start to decompose and get into the soil which helps plants grow during spring. However, when leaves fall or get dumped into wetlands, waterways, or ponds, the water washes the natural fertilizer(phosphorus) out of them and causes major problems.
When this phosphorus from freshly fallen leaves gets mixed to the streams, ponds, and wetlands, it will stimulate the flourishing growth of pondweeds, algae and can contribute to the growth of bacteria that is toxic to people and animals. Likewise, when these leaves are left in paved areas, rainwater washes the natural fertilizer from it leading the right to waterways without going to a water treatment facility first.
Avoid Water Pollution
To help keep the ponds and waterways, not just in your property, but also in your community, clean and healthy this fall, here are some guidelines you can follow:
- Do not dump the leaves in wetlands or waterways. Aside from the fact that it is harmful, it is highly illegal.
- Keep your compost yard waste at home away from wetlands and storm drain.
- Always keep paved areas and storm drains clear of any leaves and debris.
- Let the leaves stay on the lawn to act as a natural fertilizer. Use a mulching mower when mowing leaves.
- Put the leaves in paper bags for disposal by your town. Always check your town’s disposal schedule to avoid stacking and overstay.