Burn or Rake? Know the Rules Before Disposing of Your Leaves

It's likely the winds from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy have knocked the last of the leaves off your trees. Whether you're raking them to the curb, or burning them, there are ordinances in place related to leaf disposal.

It's nearly November, and there aren't too many leaves left to fall from the trees and clutter your lawn. Residents have the option to mulch, burn or rake leaves to dispose of them, and here are reminders of how to do so without getting into trouble.

Burning leaves

  • Yard waste may be burned in the City of Muskego; however any fires must be at least 50 feet from any structure, utility poles or wires, and at least 20 feet from any water way, ditch, etc.
  • Wind velocity must be less than 15 mph, and the wind direction must not take smoke, soot, etc., in the direction of any adjoining building, hanging laundry, etc.
  • Implements for putting the fire out must be readily available (shovels, hoses, etc.)
  • If the smoke is bothering someone, and they complain, the fire must be extinguished.

Raking leaves to the curb or edge of the street

  • DPW operations began on the north side of the city in mid-October. Note that early snowfall could suspend this operation, so the sooner you're able to rake those leaves the better.
  • Crews will likely return in another week or two. The DPW will finish operations on November 30, and there will be no spring pick up.
  • Please do not leave the piles in ditches, and piles should not obstruct the roadway. Simply rake up to the edge of the blacktop.
  • In areas where there is curb and gutter, rake leaves to the edge of the curb so as not to obstruct the gutters. Leaves should not be bagged.
  • No tree branches, garden plants, or vines should be mixed in with the piles, please.
Scandihovian Lady October 31, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I have a VERY rude neighbor who feels it is her right to burn leaves, wet ones on windy days that fill the air with noxious, toxic yellow smoke. We have three people on our block with asthma and one elderly neighbor with COPD. Do you think she gives a damn? No!!! Last year when I went over and spoke with her very nicely and explained about the neighbors with lung problems, including my husband, she swore at me and tole me she wasn't going to have the government telling her when she can burn leaves. Add to that the fact that we live in a very wooded area and the fire risks. The following week-end when it happened again and the air around here was once again filled with noxious, yellow smoke, she began burning again. That time I didn't hesitate to call the police, especially since the wind velocity was above 15 MPH. We occasional burn leaves and brush, but only dry ones when the smoke is going in an upward spiral and not bothering anyone else. Would that be so difficult to do? They are the same neighbors that snowblow their snow into the middle of the street in the winter after the plows have gone through! What happened to good old common decency and neighborliness?


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