Is It Legal to Rake Leaves & Yard Waste Into the Streets of Kalamazoo?
The Michigan DNR would prefer that homeowners simply "leaf" them alone, but if you simply must clear your yard of leaves and other debris, how do you get rid of it?
Residents have several options when it comes to yard waste disposal including curbside pickup, burning, and bagging, but is it actually legal to simply blow them into the street?
I moved into Kalamazoo's lovely Winchell neighborhood over the summer and despite the bike lane drama, it's relatively quiet over there. I love being so close to nature and the Asylum Lake Preserve, and no matter the time of day you're guaranteed to see folks out walking and biking-- it's picture perfect!
Especially when it comes to the beautiful homes that line Winchell Ave., it's hard not to gawk and stare at classic mid-century architecture and they're sprawling front (and back) yards. Big yards mean lots of leaves! So what do my neighbors do with their leaves?
Blow them into the street.
All those bike lanes that got the neighborhood riled up over the summer? Well now they're all blocked by piles of wet, slimy leaves which render the whole bike lane not only useless, but dangerous.
Although it appears the State of Michigan has no official rule regarding the disposing of leaves in public streets, many local municipalities do. In places like Grand Rapids and Lansing it's illegal to rake, pile, or blow leaves or tree branches into the city streets or storm drain, per WZZM.
But What About Kalamazoo?
The City of Kalamazoo will begin their annual curbside leaf collection for residents in November but as far as the city streets are concerned here's what the City has to say:
Please bring your leaves to the curb lawn area near the street. You can rake them to the curb in loose in piles or collect them in biodegradable bags or boxes...Never place leaves where they will block sidewalks, bike lanes, or vehicle lanes. Putting leaves in these areas not only slows the program down but makes it hard for people to get around the city and could be dangerous.
But is it technically illegal to blow your leaves into the street? It doesn't appear so. But it's not very nice to your neighbors; motorcyclists, bicyclists, walkers, and runners included!
And if you're thinking about throwing the leaves in your trash can it is illegal to do that too. Bagging, burning, composting, or simply leaving them in your yard and the preferred methods of dealing with fallen leaves in Michigan.
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