Grass Clippings Fine

Wichita Falls city officials want to remind you it's against city ordinance to blow grass clippings, leaves or other yard waste into city streets.

Officials said grass clippings contain phosphorus the nutrient that is responsible for turning lakes and streams green with algae.

If grass clippings are left in the street, it can make its way into city storm drains and eventually empty into creeks and streams, then ending up in rivers and lakes.

Once in area lakes, the phosphorus can quickly aid in the growth of algae which can affect aquatic life and drinking water.

Residents are encouraged to do the following:

  1. Use a mulching mower that will leave grass clippings on the lawn
  2. Direct grass clippings away streets, driveways, sidewalks, and other paved areas
  3. Sweep up grass clippings and return them to the lawn
  4. Set the lawn mower at higher setting (over 2.5 inches) letting shorter blades fall back onto the lawn as natural fertilizer
  5. Sharpen mower blades every 1-3 years
  6. Mow when the lawn needs it, not on a fixed schedule
  7. Mix grass clippings with leaves and soil to make a backyard composite pile or participate in the City's Organic Recycling Program

Other benefits of grass clippings management and recycling include:

  1. Returning grass clippings to the lawn can reduce the need for fertilizers by 30-40% or more
  2. Lawns mowed higher are competitive against weeds, withstand heat stress better, need less watering, and are more resilient
  3. Leaving grass clippings in place is the equivalent of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 ft- the same amount resulting from 1 fertilizer application

If a citizen sees an individual or lawn company leaving or blowing grass in the street please call 761-7477 to provide the address of the location and if applicable, name of the company. Photographs will be taken of the area and a courtesy letter sent to the individual or company informing them of the violation. Violations may result in penalties and fines up to $2,000. For more information please contact the Public Works Department at 761-7477.