Clean up after mowing

Keep clippings off the street and sidewalks; consider composting
August 1, 2011
The Marietta Times

Thanks to the heavy rains this spring and early summer, flower and vegetable gardens are growing quickly and full of color while lawns are lush and green. Lawns are being mowed more frequently and sometimes, due to all the rain, LawnMowercopythe grass can get pretty tall before folks are able to mow. The result is grass clippings ... lots and lots of grass clippings and general mowing debris.

The city of Marietta streets department reports excessive amounts of grass clippings in the street this year. Storm drains are getting plugged more frequently. The street sweeper has to move at a slower pace picking up grass from the street. Both increase the cost of maintenance decreasing available funds for general repairs and rebuilds to the city storm drain system.

To remedy the situation, the department reminds homeowners, businesses and their lawn service company to remove grass clippings from the street and other impervious areas such as sidewalks. Sometimes this is as easy as discharging it back onto the grass around the lawn's perimeter during the mowing process. Other situations require sweeping or blowing the grass to a better location.

If you decide to collect clippings and debris, these can be added to a backyard compost or taken to the Greenleaf Composting Facility. Participants are asked to stop by Greenleaf Landscaping on Muskingum Drive to make these arrangements before heading out to the Composting Facility on Ohio 821 just north of Marietta. This service is free to Marietta residents and business owners.

Another incentive to clean up after mowing: Al Miller, city of Marietta safety service director, reminds us that grass and debris cleaned from the streets by city workers may require the city to recoup the cost. Home or business owners may be billed for the cleanup.

If you are concerned with excessive grass and mowing debris along the street in your neighborhood or business area, you may contact Kathy Davis at the Washington Soil and Water Conservation, (740) 373-7113, ext. 229. Attempts to contact the landowner or business will be made to discuss options for cleanup.

Kathy Davis is with the Washington Soil and Water Conservation District.