The City of Joplin will start the annual residential leaf pick up program on Monday, November 30, weather permitting. For residents that wish to dispose of leaves now, bring them to the Joplin Compost Facility next to the Turkey Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant at 3457 Eddy Lane, which is west of the intersection of Eddy and North Peace Church Avenue. No brush, tree limbs, bags, or trash, please.
The annual leaf pick-up program is an important service to residents and the environment. The City picks up the leaves so that leaves will not congregate around the storm drains which can cause flooding. Also, during heavy rains, storm drains receive an above average amount of pesticides, soil, fertilizer runoff, trash, pet waste, and leaves, which is then deposited in the nearest storm channel. These channels are designed to eventually flow into Joplin’s Shoal Creek and Turkey Creek. All of these pollutants can harm recreational activities, wildlife habitat, and drinking water sources. Soil runoff and leaves cause the water to become murky, which blocks sunlight and decreases plant growth. Plants are food sources for insects, worms, crayfish and other animals that support fish populations.
One alternative to leaf disposal is home composting. To create compost simply put leaves, grass, and meat-free kitchen scraps in your compost bin, keep it moist, stir the mixture to speed up the decomposition process, and then harvest the finished compost from the bottom of the bin. Finished compost should be available in approximately two seasons and produces a free organic fertilizer.
Mary Anne Phillips, Recycling Coordinator, encourages the use of compost instead of non-organic fertilizers and chemicals on lawns and gardens. Compost can be tilled into the soil thus making the plants healthy and less susceptible to diseases and insects, which reduces the need for chemicals. Run off of chemical based fertilizers and pesticides can harm our water bodies as stated above.
The easiest alternative to leaf disposal is to rake the leaves onto the lawn and run over them with a mulching lawnmower!
Not-so-earth-friendly alternatives for leaf disposal include setting out bagged leaves for the regular weekly trash service or burning the leaves. For rules and pricing regarding burn permits, contact the Joplin Fire Department at 623-0403, or visit the web site www.joplinmofire.org, or call the Finance Department at 624-0820 Extension 241.
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