Get Rid of That Yard Waste, The Right Way

JONESBORO (KAIT) The fall colors of the trees in Arkansas are beautiful but as winter tightens its grip, those leaves fall to the ground.

Usually they fall into our yards.

Disposing of them properly is important and letting them fill up storm drains is not an option.

What are the options for getting rid of them?

In Jonesboro the city can help you out.

Royce Leonard, Superintendent of Sanitation. "The policy that we operate under now is that we will pick up bagged yard waste on a regular trash pickup day for all the citizens here in Jonesboro."

Just put them out by your trash cans.

Leonard, "It doesn't matter what kind of bag just a regular yard waste bag or regular trash bag will be fine."

Other options are taking your yard waste to the old landfill on Straw Floor Road.

Leonard, "They also can bring them out to the old landfill site . We have a place we have for the placement of those leaves then we will compost them at a later date."

Just follow the signs around the back of the old transfer station.

Leonard, "If they do bring them loose they need to tarp their trailer or truck to keep them from blowing out on the streets."

Some people think..." I'll just blow them out in the street and the city will pick them up or maybe the rain will wash them down a storm drain."

With the approach of the winter wet weather, yard waste in the drains can cause serious problems.

Erick Woodruff, Public Works Director, "Leaves present a big problem. They actually clog up the drains and don't allow the free flowing water to get the direction it needs to flow in."

Jonesboro doesn't have vacuum trucks but they have street sweepers. Can't these handle all our yard waste?

Woodruff, "You know with the street sweeper what it's designed to do is pick up minor debris, minor leaves and roadside debris as well. If you raked out your yard and put on the side of the road, this isn't a sucking device this is a cleaning device."

So keep them off the streets, out of the gutters, bag them or haul them or you can burn them.

In Jonesboro it is legal but here are some rules to follow:

Fire must be no closer than 25 feet to any structures.

You must have a garden hose and shovel to contain the burn.

And the burn area must be no larger than 3 feet in diameter.

And be courteous,don't smoke out your neighbors.