Keep grass clippings out of the street properly

Some love to do it, some despise it: Mowing the lawn — or “cutting the grass,” as we like to call it around here.

Right now, the grass is growing at a steady rate. Push-mowers and lawn tractors discharge clippings to the right. Therefore, many operators like to mow on the edge of the road by riding against traffic. The clippings are blown onto the roadway and in time will dry up and get dispersed by rain or wind.

We have observed numerous lawns where grass clippings from a lawn mower are blown onto the street, using an odd version of “out of sight, out of mind.” But there are many reasons not to do this.

For starters, it’s an ordinance violation in the City of Fulton.   Code Enforcement is patrolling for these violations  and issuing warnings currently.  After being issued a warning you will have some time to clear the streets of the clippings.  If they are not removed then you could be cited $150 a day.  After receiving a warning you will not be given another warning and a citation will be issued for further violations.  “Never blow or dump grass clippings, leaves and other waste into the street, storm-water drain, drainage ditch or surface water. When possible, recycle grass clippings and leaves by using a mulching mower.”

One of the major problems is that these clippings stop up the storm-water drainage systems and prevent them from working properly.  The clippings also get into the cracks in the street and cause grass to grow in the cracks.

Another aspect that can subject a homeowner to serious litigation is the traffic hazard resulting from grass clippings blown onto a roadway. Freshly cut grass is slippery and can cause a motorcyclist or bicyclist to lose traction and crash. In such a spill, damage to one of the popular Harley-Davidson motorcycles instantly reaches four figures, not to mention an injury lawsuit by the rider.

The best way to dispose of the clippings is to use mulching blades on the mower. They have a special shape which shreds the grass after cutting and deposits it on the lawn. Not only does this eliminate the discharge blowing out on the side, it also adds valuable nutrients back to the soil. If used regularly, before the grass gets too high, there are no clumps or ridges.

Savings in fertilizer, possible city fines and elimination of a hazard to fellow citizens make mulching blades a great investment.

Here is a link to the ordinance Chapter 40 Article III 40-64

Below are a couple of photos of recent violations: