With leaf and brush removal season in full swing, it’s tempting to dump them anywhere close, and out of sight.
Tempting — but if the closest place is a wetland or watercourse, also illegal.
Conservation Department director Colin Kelly says, “Laws that protect our wetlands and waterways are there to protect the town’s natural resources, as well as private property.
“Wetlands act as natural drainage basins for the collection of excess groundwater in the spring and runoff during storm events. Wetlands keep floodwaters within streams and their floodplains.”
Westport residents have several options for leaf disposal.
One is to compost leaves in the back yard within a fenced area or a composting receptacle, at least 20 feet away from any wetland or watercourse.
Backyard composting is a convenient alternative. It also produces valuable soil for container or garden planting the following year. Click here , or click here or hclick here to learn more about composting.
Another option — for Westport residents with a valid sticker — is to deliver leaves to the yard waste site (180 Bayberry Lane, behind the Aspetuck Health District).
The yard waste site is open Monday through Saturday (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Extended Saturday hours are in effect through December 10. NOTE: Plastic bags ae prohibited.
Alternatively, the Department of Public Works began curbside leaf collection this month. All leaves must be placed in biodegradable paper bags safely near the curb of a town street by December 5 to guarantee pick-up.
Residents living on private streets must place their leaves behind the curb of an intersecting town road. Again: no plastic bags!
For more information about leaf removal or the yard waste site, call the Department of Public Works: 203-341-1120.