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3 easy ways to keep yard waste out of storm water assets

Post Date:10/17/2019 10:00 AM

West Chester Township is asking residents to resist the urge to rake or blow leaves onto the curb and into the street this time of year.

Piles of leaves and yard waste left in or near the right-of-way will end up collecting in storm water assets, like catch basins and culverts, which are designed to manage water runoff. When enough yard waste goes in, these assets become clogged and can’t do their job. Blockages can cause infrastructure to deteriorate and fail, and may also lead to localized flooding on your street.

Although leaf collection is not offered in West Chester, there are a number of easy and environmentally-friendly ways residents can get rid of leaves and yard waste while keeping it out of storm water assets.


Work smarter, not harder! Avoid the back-breaking chore of raking leaves by simply running them over with your lawn mower. Mulching leaves and shredding them into tiny pieces is actually beneficial for your grass. Over time the small particles work their way into the soil, serving as a natural fertilizer and adding nutrients that help make lawns healthier come springtime. Mulched leaves are also great for spreading over garden beds to help protect any summer bulbs that you don’t want to dig up and store.


Leaves are great for the compost pile! Capture mulched leaves using the bag attachment on your lawn mower and mix the small pieces in with other compost such as grass clippings, twigs and certain food waste. Regularly moisten and mix compost, then allow time for the materials to break down and decompose before spreading in the garden or over the lawn. Another environmentally friendly option is to keep leaves separate from compost and make what’s known as leaf mold.


Let the professionals take yard waste away! In West Chester, residential Rumpke or Republic customers can leave yard debris at the curb for pick-up. Rumpke allows customers a total of six 35-gallon cans or bags for disposal at no extra charge. All yard waste must be contained or bundled and must weigh less than 50 pounds. Using compostable or biodegradable bags will promote the quick decomposition of the waste and limit impact on landfills. To schedule pick up of additional waste, call your private trash hauler (fees may apply).

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