WAUSAU — Part of the beauty of living in Wausau is its multitude of trees, and the glorious fall colors we enjoy every year.

But raking the leaves? That’s another matter. Talk about a pain, right?

As a service to residents, city officials will haul your leaves away on a scheduled day every year. All you have to do to avoid a trip to the yard waste site is rake them into the street. Leaf collection is set to begin Monday, Oct. 30 and will continue until Nov. 14. The full schedule is embedded below.

But raking them into the street long before — or even after — the pickup date could be costly. According to Tara Alfonoso, assistant city attorney, fines for raking leaves into the street range from $73.60 10 to $1,321, if you do it at the wrong time.

The city ordinance reads as follows:

No person shall rake, deposit, throw, place or leave any Residential Solid Waste, Solid Waste or Yard Waste upon any highway, street, court, lane, alley or other public way, park, vacant lot, yard, body of water or any other place except in an appropriate Cart in the case of Residential Units or other appropriate Solid Waste or Recyclables container in the case of Nonresidential Buildings or Property, or at the city’s designated Yard Waste site herein required for those purposes.

So, why is this a big deal? Piling leaves in the gutter wreaks havoc on the city’s storm sewer system and can result in debris being discharged into the Wisconsin River, according to a news release issued this week by Mayor Rob Mielke and Director of Public Works Eric Lindman.

That’s why city officials ask that you wait until the weekend before your pickup date before raking leaves into the street.

The city’s yard waste site also has extended hours throughout the fall season, which can be accessed here.
Leaf Schedule 2017

5 replies on “City ordinance: Raking leaves too early or too late could cost you”

  1. If the city wants to really enforce this ordinance they could make a fortune. Up by me many people have had their leaves in the gutter for over two weeks.

    1. Yeah Stan.. The city could use the money to raze the Sears building, or purchase more of those God awful looking rusty birds on Stewart Ave!
      I’ve had some of my leaves (I mow/mulch most) on the street for about 10 days myself, but not down the storm sewer. Does that save me? 😉

      1. Leaves in the gutter end up in the storm sewer which leads to the storm sewer being blocked and flooded streets. So if you have no problem with flooded streets I guess you can continue to place your leaves/mulched or not in the street. But you may want to check with your neighbors to see if that agree with your position.

  2. Umm Stan, literally EVERYWHERE in this city are streets lined with leaves that residents rake down to them. The city comes with their giant vacuum leaf sucker and takes ’em away. I really don’t see how my UNmulched leaves (or anyone else’s) in the street that again, are NOT covering the storm sewer grates will cause my street to flood. Just sayin’…..

    1. Call 1911.

      I suggest you call public works and have them explain it to you. Perhaps they can explain it better than I have.

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