Late October into early November means leaves are aplenty. Drive through just about every neighborhood in Illinois and you're going to find a leaf or two, it's almost guaranteed. As you rake, blow, mow, or whatever, you need to be mindful of where you're leaving the leaves.

If you're rolling your eyes at this already you might be the person this is directed to. However, the ramifications of where you or how you dispose of your yard waste could be a bad situation for you.


The early fall weather in Illinois has been pretty spectacular. Great temperatures (for the most part), lots of sunshine, not too much rain, very little use of an ice scraper, and no snow. Weather-wise, that's a win if you ask me. There have been quite a few windy days that have blown leaves from trees. Lots of yards have needed a lot of raking and leaf removal. Many residents have been taking care of those leaves but too many are being careless about it.

Did you know leaves and other yard waste can be considered litter? It's true.


According to Illinois law, you can be fined for leaving yard waste on streets.

"Litter" means any discarded, used or unconsumed substance or waste. "Litter" may include, but is not limited to, any garbage, trash, refuse, cigarettes, debris, rubbish, grass clippings or other lawn or garden waste,...

This means raking, blowing, or dumping your leaves onto a public street is illegal and punishable, according to the Environmental Safety/Litter Control Act (415 ILCS 105).

Any person convicted of a violation of Section 4, 5, 6 or 7 is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. A second conviction for an offense committed after the first conviction is a Class A misdemeanor. A third or subsequent violation, committed after a second conviction is a Class 4 felony.

Not only is it illegal but it is incredibly dangerous for bicyclists and motorcyclists. Any debris on a roadway can cause tires to lose grip on the pavement. Thinking or saying something like, "Motorcycles never go down my street.", is careless and lazy.

You can read more about the law here.

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