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Yard Waste

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Information from Public Works & Natural Resources

Environment- Echinacea

Leaves, Grass Clippings and Tree Limbs

It is a violation of the Municipal Code to rake or blow yard wastes into the street because
it can enter the storm sewer and cause blockages and localized flooding.

Violations may result in a warning or a fine.

  • DO NOT blow or rake yard wastes into the street - sweep up or rake for proper disposal;
  • Check storm drain inlets near your neighborhood to make sure they are free of debris. Rake leaves/debris away from the inlet and dispose properly. You should immediately report the problem to the Utility Operations if the debris is excessive or causes any back up or flooding;
  • Never remove the inlet grate from the storm drain opening - this does not unclog the system and creates a hazard;
  • Proper disposal of grass includes grasscycling (mulching), composting and trash;
  • Proper disposal of leaves includes drop off at Waste Diversion Center, Fall Curbside Leaf Collection, composting and trash

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Lawn Care - Fertilizers

Most grasses only require a modest level of nitrogen for good color and controlled growth. Too much fertilizer can be harmful, promote too fast growth (more mowing required) or wash into the storm drain and pollute the river.

Boulder County's Resource Conservation suggests a good schedule to follow is fertilize once in spring, again in fall and mulch grass clippings throughout the summer.

  • Use fertilizers sparingly: Different grasses require different fertilizers - check with local garden center to ensure the proper application. For a slower and more unified growth, consider using "slow-release" or "water insoluble" fertilizers. (These are especially good for slopes, compact soil and any other lawn where the potential for runoff is very high.)
  • Apply fertilizer when grass is dry. This prevents the foliage from being burned and allows the fertilizer to fall around the plants where it can be watered in.
  • Avoid washing away fertilizers: Don’t apply fertilizers if the forecast calls for rain. Don't over water your lawn.
  • Mulch grass clipping to reduce need for fertilizers. More info available on Boulder Co. website.

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Irrigation Run-Off

Overwatering of landscape or improperly planned drainage allows irrigation water or rain to escape your yard. Improve your landscaping by employing:

  • Swales - direct run off from your property to a location that allows the soil to absorb the water.
  • Rain Gardens - plant a flower garden in an area of your yard where water pools after irrigation or rain. This allows the water to seep into the ground rather than run off the property.
  • Pervious Pavement - decorative paving bricks that can enhance absorption of water.

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