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Column: No, you can't just rake leaves into the street

Q: Is it legal to blow all your leaves from your yard into the street?

A: Great question for this time of year, as the trees lose their leaves, many of our friends and neighbors will be out raking their leaves an hauling them to the compost pile at the local waste campus. There is no fee for disposal of compost — leaves and grass clippings at the waste campus.

There are restrictions and guidelines for disposal of compost within residential areas, City Code Section 10.03, Special Waste Collection and Disposal provide requirements on backyard compost sites, and you cannot dump your compost on another person's property.

Addressing your specific question City Code Section 7.07, Obstruction in Streets, Subdivision 3, Dumping in Streets, states that it is a misdemeanor for any person to throw or deposit in any street or public sidewalk any nails, dirt, glass or glassware, cans, discarded cloth or clothing, metal scraps, garbage, leaves, grass or tree limbs, paper or paper products, shreds or rubbish, oil, grease or other petroleum products, or to empty any water containing salt or other injurious chemical thereon.

It is a violation of this section to haul any such material, inadequately enclosed or covered, thereby permitting the same to fall upon streets or public sidewalks. It is also a violation of this section to place or store any building materials or waste resulting from building construction or demolition on any street, boulevard or public sidewalk without first obtaining an approved Public Use of Private Property application from the Public Works Department.

It is also illegal to place grass, leaves or brush in your household refuse cart. Section 10.01, Storage, Deposit, Separation, Collection and Disposal of Solid Waste for Residential states that the City of Red Wing Solid Waste Department will provide each household one 48-gallon cart at no cost. This cart is the property of the city and shall not be removed from the address if the resident should move. The cart shall only be removed from the property by duly authorized personnel of the Solid Waste Department.

If the cart is stolen, the resident shall report the theft to the Red Wing Police Department and the Solid Waste Department.

Construction material (sheetrock, concrete, brick, rocks, shingles), yard waste (grass, leaves, brush), dirt, electronics (TV's, computers, VCR's, DVD players, CD players, cell phones, fax machines, and printers), and hazardous waste (liquid paint, fluorescent light bulbs, etc.) are considered UNACCEPTABLE WASTE for disposal with your residential refuse.

Carts containing unacceptable waste shall not be emptied until such time as the items are removed from the cart. Construction debris and yard waste can be disposed of at the Solid Waste Management Campus for a fee.

Electronics should be brought to a recycling center. Hazardous waste can only be disposed of at a Hazardous Waste Collection Center.

It shall be illegal to use another person's solid waste storage container for disposal of refuse without the consent of that person. Violations of City Code may be reported to the Red Wing Police Department non-emergency number at 651-385-3155.


1. City of Red Wing, City Code, Chapter 10, Public Protection, Crimes and Offenses. Section 10.01, Storage, Separation, Deposit, Collection, and Disposal of Solid Waste for Residential and Multiple Dwellings and Industrial and Commercial Service.

2. City of Red Wing City Code, Chapter 7, Streets and Sidewalks Generally, Section 7.07 Obstructions in Streets.

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