TYLER - Leaves are everywhere right now, and picking them up isn't always the first thing on everyone's agenda. While blowing or raking them into the street seems harmless, it is illegal in Tyler.
"If you're raking your leaves, you need to go ahead and bag those up," said Chris Lennon with the City of Tyler Code Enforcement.
He said it blowing leaves into the street is considered littering, and that is a Class C misdemeanor, which could lead to a fine up to $500.
It's not just about the money.
Tyler crews were out working to unclog storm drains on Tuesday, which Lennon said is because of leaves.
"A lot of people aren't aware, when they rake those leaves into a storm drain, they aren't made to take those leaves," Lennon said. "When it rains and there's nowhere for that rain to go, it causes flooding, and it will actually flood up over the street and in to people's yards."
Owner of Clear Choice Lawn Care, Matt Thiessen, who said the city isn't playing games. He has trained his employees not to put leaves in the streets, but the law isn't the same everywhere.
Thiessen said the best thing to do is buy a mulching blade for your lawnmower.
"It's a lot easier than raking your leaves. When you rake your leaves, all you're then doing is raking them into piles. It's very bulky. It blows everywhere. You've got all those trash bags," he said.
Mulching has some long term benefits.
It protects your plants from freezes, acts as a fertilizer and limits weeds from growing.
"If you just mulch your leaves for three years in a row, you can almost completely eliminate spring weeds," Thiessen said.
He recommends you clean up your leaves once a week.
If you don't have the time, contact a lawn care service to take of it for you.
"You're going to spend the amount of time an energy one way or the other. You might as well spend it benefiting time and the environment," he said.
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