Grass Clippings May Harm Wildlife, Plumbing

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Rain mixed with cooler temperatures have allowed grass to flourish this year. While many are enjoying the sight of green grass, it is causing more work for city employees.

Greg Riley, Director of Street and Traffic Control in Fort Smith said by this time of year, the grass is usually dead.

"We've had a good year for grass," said Riley.

However, Riley said improper disposal of landscaping waste by homeowners and lawn care providers can lead to problem.

"The bigger issue is there are people who have a drainage ditch behind their house, they'll mow and throw their grass clippings in which can cause clogs," said Riley.

Riley said clogs lead to flooding and may impact more than just one home. Riley also discourages people from blowing grass clippings into the street because the city only has two street sweepers.

Grass clippings left in the street may end up in the water supply and harm wildlife. Disposing yard waste into drains and streams may result in an over-growth of algae, lowered oxygen levels and may kill fish.

Riley recommends people bag their own grass, trees and leaves and have the waste picked up by the sanitation department. The city of Fort Smith recycles yard waste and makes the final product available for sale to residents as organic compost.

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