Here are some easy ways to make fall clean up a little easier

As you put your backyard to rest for the season, follow these tips to make your autumn backyard clean-up as smooth as possible.

  • Check the weather in advance. Rainy weather can make leaves heavy and difficult to rake.
  • Keep fallen leaves and other yard waste out of the street. When these organic materials wash down storm drains and into the water system it can lead to algal blooms and other negative side effects.
  • Use compostable paper yard waste bags, not plastic garbage bags, to collect fallen leaves.
  • Fall leaves can provide much needed carbon, or “browns,” in a backyard compost. Rake leaves onto a tarp to easily transport them to your compost.
  • Or, skip bags entirely. Use your lawn mower’s mulch setting to break leaves down into small pieces. Over time, this mulch of smaller leaf particles will break down and add nutrients to your yard.
  • Larger items like sticks, branches, or shrubs won’t break down as well as leaves and grass in a backyard compost pile. Trim them down and tie them into bundles using plastic-free garden twine. Arrange for pick up, or drop off at an organic waste processing site near you.
  • Do not burn dry leaves. Burning yard waste is illegal in many cities and municipalities. Even on a calm day, a gust of wind can carry burning leaves far away, potentially causing a larger fire.
  • Do include the whole family in yard clean up. Maybe even jump in your large leaf pile.

More information from you local government

Every city or suburb has slightly different rules and regulations when it comes to cleaning up fall yard waste. Be sure to double check with your local government before starting your clean up project.

Minneapolis

St. Paul

Minnetonka

Wayzata

Plymouth

Dakota Valley (Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Lakeville, Inver Grove Heights)

Washington County (Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Oakdale)

Edina

Hennepin County (Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Wayzata, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Mound, Orono)

Ramsey County (St. Paul, North Oaks, Vadnais Heights

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