Local communities have issued their annual reminders: Keep grass clippings and other yard waste off of roadways.
Crothersville Town Council President Danieta Foster shared that reminder in a post on the town’s Facebook page, and the Seymour Department of Public Works included that message on its sign at the intersection of Tipton and O’Brien streets and on a Facebook post.
Foster said there’s a big reason for the reminder.
“Crothersville has a combined sewer system. Much of the water from stormwater drains end up in the sewer system,” she said. “Grass clippings and yard waste unnecessarily entering the system causes problems. When there are problems with the system, it costs us all to fix it.”
If debris doesn’t enter the system, it lies on top of the drains, not allowing water to drain away, Foster said.
“We all have to do our part,” she said. “Blowing grass away from the road while mowing is just one small thing that we can all do to help.”
Seymour’s sign message reads “Please don’t blow grass clippings into streets,” while the Facebook post says it’s illegal to have trash, litter or disposable debris obstructing the use of streets.
“While we may not think of grass clippings as debris, they do not belong in the street,” DPW posted on its Facebook page.
Loose bits of grass on a street can be dangerous to bicycles, motorcycles and vehicles, and grass in the street likely will end up traveling to the storm drain, where it can create other problems.
“Please keep grass in your own yard or bag/can it for pickup by our yard waste crew,” the DPW said.
Several local residents have been personally impacted by grass clippings being left on roadways.
Monty Casner of Seymour said he has lost control of motorcycles because of it.
“I was lucky enough to not be seriously hurt, but I had many scrapes and bruises,” he said.
He also said several times after washing his car, someone has blown their grass into the road and it sticks to his car.
“I live on a county road, and my property is 300 feet wide. When I mow, I direct it toward my property, and still, I make a pass and blow any grass off the street,” Casner said.
Michael Albert of Cortland, another motorcyclist, said seeing grass clippings on the roadway makes him very upset.
“People don’t realize that it’s like ice to motorcyclists and very dangerous to riders like myself and anyone else who enjoys the freedom of the wind,” he said.
Dana Layton of Seymour said it’s not only motorcycle riders who deal with this, but bicyclists and joggers, too.
“I quit jogging certain roads because of this,” she said. “But the worst part is when they see you coming and still blow the (grass clippings) all over you.”
She also has horseback riders who live near her, and she has seen horses slip on the grass clippings left in the roadway.
“It really is just common courtesy,” Layton said.