With the season changing and leaves falling, The Unified Government provides tips and resources to help residents dispose of leaves.

The Unified Government suggests individuals never put leaves or yard waste down any sewer drain or into a body of water. Doing this can increase nutrients in the water supply and lead to flooding and algae blooms, which can produce toxic or harmful effects on humans, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds.  Instead, consider these options.  

  • Mulching the leaves in your yard provides protection for your lawn in the winter months. This process is done by simply shredding them with a mower and leaving them on your lawn. Doing this puts much-needed nutrients back into your lawn. Additionally,it also decreases the amount of crabgrass and dandelions you will see in the spring.
  • Mulching leaves for your garden also provides nutrients and weed protection for your growing season. It can also extend the growing season of beets, carrots, kale, and other vegetables.
  • Keeping leaves out of the storm drainage system improves water quality in our streams and lakes. Do not blow leaves, grass clippings, or any other yard waste into the street or storm drain.
  • Sweep extra fertilizer and grass clippings back into your lawn. It saves you money, boosts your lawn, and protects water quality by keeping debris out of the storm sewer system and ditches.
  • Composting leaves creates fertilizer for the spring growing season. Keep your leaves in a compost bin and add grass clippings and table scraps like you would to a normal compost. Turn your bin once a week to guarantee an even breakdown of the components, and make sure to keep it covered in the winter to keep moisture out. When it turns brown with an earthy smell, it is ready for use.

Shrub, brush, leaf, grass trimmings, trees or tree branches with a diameter of 4 inches or less, and all organic vegetable and plant matter are accepted in your weekly curbside trash collection. Tree branches or sticks under 4 inches in diameter must be tied in bundles not more than 4 feet long or heavier than 50 pounds.  .

Individuals can drive and take their yard waste to the Yard Waste & Recycling Center at 3241 Park Drive, Kansas City, KS 66102, at no charge. The Center is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from Mar. 31 to Nov. 20. 

To report leaves or other pollutants in the storm drain contact Public Works’ Stormwater team by calling 3-1-1.