Leaves in streets can cause serious safety, drainage, and ecological problems. Learn about the proper disposal of leaves and other yard waste.
Lewiston residents pay for yard waste pickup through their solid waste rates. This means leaves should be disposed of through the City’s Curbside Collection Program. Yard waste collection occurs on the same day as your garbage collection. Yard waste containers should be placed out for collection by 7:00 a.m. and at the same location as your trash bin. There is no limit to the number of yard waste containers residents may place out for collection.
Acceptable containers include:
* PLASTIC BAGS – disposable plastic bags with a gauge of not less than one and four tenths (1.4) mils may be used during the months of November through March. The gross weight of the bag and contents shall not exceed thirty five (35) pounds.
* KRAFT PAPER BAGS – disposable paper bags fifty (50) pounds wet strength may be used year round. The total combined weight of a bag and yard waste shall not exceed fifty (50) pounds. Bags should not be taped, tied, or stapled closed. These bags are available at retail outlet stores.
List of acceptable materials.
You can also self-haul your yard waste to Clearwater Composting.
When citizens rake leaves into the street, instead of disposing of them properly through the yard waste program, Street Maintenance crews are forced to sweep them up and dispose of them utilizing the Transportation Fund. This basically means that you end up paying twice to dispose of leaves if you don't dispose of them properly. The Street Maintenance Division spends approximately $28,000 annually to clean up leaves that have been raked into streets. That $28,000 could be spent on other useful projects like seal coating one lane mile of street, which is a process that extends the useful life of the street and ultimately reduces maintenance costs overall. This is just one example of a more appropriate and preferred use of this money.
Did you know that raking leaves into the street constitutes an infraction that can result in a fine of $150? You can read more about the penalties in City Code Chapter 17 - Garbage, Rubbish and Weeds. This is also a big safety concern for commuters because when leaves get wet they create a slick surface that makes it difficult for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists to stop, start or change direction.
It's also important to note that yard waste should not be dumped into the river. Decaying leaves, lawn clippings, etc., reduce oxygen levels in the water while increasing nutrient levels such as phosphorus and nitrogen which all can subsequently stress or even kill fish.