Don’t Let This Happen to Your Storm Sewer
Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:55 PM


Once you’ve hauled out your rakes, why stop with your lawn? Step into the street and rake leaves from your curb and gutter, too. That's especially necessary if you live near a storm drain.

Raking leaves out of the gutter not only looks nicer, it prevents all kinds of nasty things. When water and leaves mix, the water either washes the leaves into the drain, or leaches things like phosphorus and nitrogen from the leaves. In either case, they flow into Como Lake or the Mississippi River, which is not good -- because that helps cause algae blooms and otherwise degrade water quality. And given all the rain we've had this year, you know we're not making this up.

You can learn more from the Como Curb Cleanup initiative. You can even sign up to be a Demonstration House, which gets you a nifty green lawn sign and a massive lawn bag in which to pack your leaves.

  • While we're preaching, don't forget: It is illegal -- ILLEGAL -- to rake leaves into the street in St. Paul.

What to do with all those leaves

Once you get your leaves out of the gutter and off your lawn, now what? After all, yard waste such as grass clippings, leaves, and tree branches are banned from trash. But you can:

  • Compost them in your backyard (they'll make a great soil supplement next spring). Or, if you don't have that many leaves, simply mulch them into your lawn when you mow.
  • Bring them to a Ramsey County yard waste site -- for free. Check for hours and locations
  • Contact your trash hauler; some haulers pick up yard waste for an additional charge.

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at]

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