Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities and Department of Sustainability are urging residents to assist storm water management crews by doing a final seasonal yard clean-up to keep excess leaves from clogging gutters. Raking leaves now, and either disposing of them in City-issued compost bins or mulching them keeps storm drains free and clear when the first winter storms hit.
“Worst case scenario is drains clog, street corners plug up, and intersections flood,” said Kelly Brown, Storm Water Maintenance Manager. “That can cause traffic accidents. We don’t want that.”
Storm water crews have been working for weeks sweeping and gathering leaves from gutters and monitoring and cleaning the city-wide drain system. Public Utilities has four one-ton suction trucks to clean gutters for the entire city. Beyond the benefit of keeping storm drains clear, leaf collection and composting is smart for the environment.
“We are asking residents to put leaves, without bagging them, in the City-issued brown compost bins for weekly pick-up,” said Lance Allen, Waste and Recycling Director for the Salt Lake City Department of Sustainability. “Putting leaves, organic yard waste—and your fruit and vegetable scraps from the kitchen—in the brown bin is also good for our environment because it keeps them out of the landfill. Finally, we’d like to remind residents that plastic bags filled with leaves left at curbside will not be collected.”
Residents who have more leaves than a bin or two can hold in one week should consider mulching some of them back into the yard or storing them in a pile or large container for feeding into the brown bin for collection each week. Mulching leaves back into gardens helps insulate and enrich the soil for spring planting, and can provide cover and nutrition for birds and insects, too.
To join a wait list for an additional leaf bin, please call: 801-535-6999
For more information on leaf mulching, composting, and proper disposal, please visit: https://www.slc.gov/sustainability/waste-management/special-curbside-services/