WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Town of Westport is reminding residents of town regulations regarding proper disposal of leaves and debris.
Conservation Director Alicia Mozian said the Regulations for the Protection and Preservation of Wetlands and Watercourses of the Town of Westport and Westport’s Waterway Protection Line Ordinance both "prohibit the dumping of debris in a wetland or watercourse," according to a news release from the town.
“Now that autumn has arrived, it seems like the yard work has only begun,” said Mozian. “Before long we’ll all be raking and hauling leaves in an effort to clean up, and looking for a way to dispose of leaves. As tempting as it may be, however, our wetlands and watercourses are not the place to be dumping leaves."
Wetlands are "natural drainage basins for the collection of excess groundwater in the spring and runoff during storm events" and "keep flood waters within streams and their floodplains," according to the release. Leaf disposal can compromise the wetlands' ability to absorb water for flood control, according to the release.
“Laws that protect our wetlands and waterways are there to protect the town’s natural resources as well as private property,” Mozian said. “If wetlands are filled with leaves or otherwise altered, the streams depending on them can run dry in summer months, creating undesirable stagnant pools where running water should be."
Mozian said there are several options for proper leaf disposal, including composting leaves in the backyard.
"Not only is backyard composting a convenient alternative, it also produces valuable soil for container or garden planting the following year," representatives said in the release. Another option for Westport residents with a valid sticker is to deliver leaves to the yard waste site at 180 Bayberry Lane, behind the Westport/Weston Health District, according to the release. Paper bags of collected leaves can also be left on the side of the road for Department of Public Works cleanup from early November to early December.
Those looking for more information about leaf removal or the yard waste site are asked to contact the Department of Public Works at 203-341-1120.
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