The lawnmowing season is officially open, and much of it is happening because of a mild winter. I have seen so many people using leaf blowers to clean off driveways and sidewalks, blowing grass clippings and leaves into the streets of our city. I've often wondered if that was legal.

What I learned is that blowing clippings into the street is indeed illegal. What surprised me most is that it's not just a city ordinance in Abilene but a federal law as well. The EPA says it's because grass clippings may cause a danger to motorcyclists on public roadways.


To get some helpful tips and learn more about city ordinances, visit Abilene's Solid Waste Services website and learn more about the "Do's and Don'ts". The main reason for these laws and ordinances is that the city wants to keep roadways clear for motorcyclists and to maintain a "cleared drainage way" for water runoff.

I was surprised when I saw city workers mowing and blowing debris onto the street at Buffalo Gap Road and Highway 83-/underpass in south Abilene violating the city's ordinance. Instead of blowing clippings and leaves into the street, bag the debris.

It is very clear that when leaves, grass clippings, and other debris from your lawn end up in City streets, sidewalks, and storm drains, it eventually will make its way to our drainage ways, creeks, and lakes. Thus a city ordinance and a state and federal law as well. While Texas is not a very rainy state we will take whatever rain Mother Nature will give us and pray that it makes its way through the waterways into our Lakes. Source: City of Abilene Code of Ordinances

The city's website goes on to say: get to know the laws. If the owner and/or occupant fail to comply promptly with a request to correct a violation, a municipal court citation may be issued, and/or the violation corrected at the owner’s expense. A lien may be filed to recover the city’s cost of abatement. Please view the City of Abilene Code of Ordinances to learn more about the different types of violations.

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