Yard Wastes and Erosion

Leaves and grass clippings allow bacteria, oxygen-consuming materials, phosphorus, and nitrogen to be released into our waterways. Yard wastes can also clog storm drains, making them ineffective and causing local flooding. Soil that erodes from your yard increases the sediment load in waterways, blocking sunlight essential for aquatic plants and suffocating animals.

Yard Waste Fact Sheets


  • Do not allow soil, leaves or grass clippings to accumulate on your driveway, sidewalk, or in the street.
  • Collect leaves and grass clippings and compost them. Check with the NJDEP for information on composting and the status of community composting services.
  • Leave vegetation on steep slopes to hold soil in place. Mulch and seed exposed soil as soon as possible.
  • Use hay bales to catch sediment that might wash off of bare soil areas.
  • Leave vegetation along drainages and waterways to slow and filter yard runoff.