Responsible Leaf & Yard Waste Disposal

Published on October 18, 2023

Photograph of a pile of leaves in the fall

Ah, the oranges, the yellows, the reds . . . Fall is such a wonderful time to see the beauty around us as the leaves turn!

However, when it’s time to remove your leaves, remember to be kind to your storm sewer system and keep your water quality in top-notch health.

NEVER put any leaves or yard waste down any sewer drain or into a body of water. Doing this increases nutrients in the water supply and can lead to algae blooms and flooding.  Instead, consider these helpful tips:

  • Composting Leaves is a great way to create fertilizer for the spring growing season. Keep your leaves in a compost bin and add grass clippings and table scraps as you would to a normal compost. Turn your bin once a week to ensure an even breakdown of the components, and be sure to keep it covered in the winter to keep moisture out. When it turns brown and has an earthy smell, it is ready for use!

  • Mulching the leaves in your yard provides protection for your lawn in the winter months. Simply shred them with a mower and leave them on your lawn. Not only does it provide much-needed nutrients back to your lawn, but it also provides a decrease in the amount of crabgrass and dandelions you will see in the spring!

  • Mulching leaves for your Garden is also a great way to provide nutrients and weed protection to your growing season. It can also be used to extend the growing season of beets, carrots, kale, and other vegetables.

  • Keeping leaves out of the storm drainage system improves water quality in our streams and lakes. Don’t blow leaves, grass clippings, or any other yard waste into the street or storm drain.

  • Sweep extra fertilizer and grass clippings back into your lawn. It saves you money, improves your lawn, and protects water quality by keeping debris out of the storm sewer system and ditches.

Shrub, brush, leaf, grass trimmings, trees or tree branches with a diameter of 4 inches or less, and all organic vegetable and plant matter are accepted in your weekly curbside trash collection. Tree branches or sticks under 4 inches in diameter must be tied in bundles not more than 4 feet long and not over 50 lbs.

You can also take your yard waste to the Yard Waste & Recycling Center at 3241 Park Drive, Kansas City, KS 66102, at no charge. The Center is open from 10 AM to 3 PM every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from March 31 to November 18. For more information about hours of operation, visit Public Works' Solid Waste Management page.

To report leaves or other pollutants in the storm drain, please contact Public Works’ Stormwater team by calling 3-1-1. Learn more online at