At last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting (10/22/19), the Riverdale City Council discussed what they thought was reasonable enforcement of the City’s code concerning a Resident’s responsibility to control their own yard waste – and how that code will be enforced this fall.

It was generally acknowledged that there are some “habitual offenders” when it comes to people raking or blowing their yard waste into the street so it can be washed down the drain. This can cause problems with the City’s stormwater system and violates City Code 135.03.

Council members felt one warning letter per household was enough of notice. After that, offending households will receive a citation from the City explaining the infraction, the amount of the fine and how to remedy the situation going forward. Fines will increase with subsequent infractions.

The Mayor explained that while the City recognizes that some residents live in areas where trees overhang and drop leaves, etc. into the street, the main concern of the Council related to those residents who push their yard waste into the street rather than preparing it to be hauled away and leaving it out for pick-up on Mondays after a weekend of yard work.

Why it matters. It’s not just about making sure Riverdale looks nice.

The fact is, Riverdale – like metropolitan cities across Iowa of every size – has to follow certain storm water management practices that are mandated by the State of Iowa. Among those practices is a requirement to eliminate as much plant matter from the storm sewers as possible.

That means we all have to work together to keep grass clippings, leaves, sticks and such out of our storm drains and sewers. Failure to do so could result in penalties from the State – and that would cost the entire community. 

The easiest thing to do to meet this requirement is to make sure your personal yard waste isn’t left in the street to go down the drains and into our storm sewers. 

What you SHOULD do.

Please either blow the debris back into your yard or bag it in kraft paper bags (like the ones shown) for weekly collection. Remember, yard waste collection is paid for out of the City’s budget as part of our waste management contract with Republic Services – so there is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to residents to do this.

If you don’t have large, kraft paper bags for your yard waste, you can use garbage cans instead. Just make sure the yard waste is loose in the cans so everything dumps out. Please DON’T BAG YOUR YARD WASTE if you put it in a garbage can.

Also, if you have sticks or branches that need to be hauled away, they need to be no thicker than your wrist and cut into lengths not to exceed four feet in length. Please bundle sticks and branches together so they’re easier to handle by the crew picking up yard waste on Mondays.

Yard waste pick-up will continue through November.

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