Paul Drotos, Environmental Officer, Public Works
It is said that leaves never fall too far from their trees, but where they end up is another story. Leaves that fall on city streets can end up in storm sewers, going straight to the river, eventually being transported to Lake Pepin and beyond.
Water pollution is measured in units of total suspended solids and phosphorous - two things decomposed leaves are full of. It’s no secret Lake Pepin is filling up. Residents can help reduce this by keeping leaves off streets and away from storm water catch basins.
Most people know it’s illegal to dispose of leaves from their property onto city streets. By raking, collecting, and composting leaves, they are kept out of city streets and out of the Mississippi River. The City of Red Wing is not providing curbside collection of yard waste this year; so residents are asked to collect their leaves and deliver them to the Integrated Solid Waste Management Campus at1873 Bench Street for composting. There are special fall cleanup hours where leaves and yard waste are accepted free of charge. Leaves from boulevard trees on city property are collected through street sweeping.