Since You Asked

Is there a city ordinance regarding the blowing of yard debris into the street from yard maintenance contractors? I have observed that the "finishing touch" of their services is to blow the trimmings, etc. into the street and away from the home they just completed. Where does the mow-blow-and-go belong? — Mark S., Medford

Well, Mark, before we get into the legal technicalities, let's just say those contractors are blowing it if they think what they're doing is legal. (Get it? Blowing it? Geez, sometimes we crack ourselves up!)

But this is a very serious subject: The city of Medford's Municipal Code 6.525 states specifically the only time you can put yard debris of any sort anywhere near the road is between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15, and then it can only be leaves that are bagged.

That means you can't blow, rake or sweep your trimmings or leaves into the street. We don't care if you spent $169.95 on some obnoxious wind machine, it is ILLEGAL to blow leaves into the street. (And for you guys who do this on a regular basis at the corner of Crater Lake Avenue and East Main Street, we know who you are!)

Even the law-abiding citizens who are regular readers of this column may run afoul of the city code on bagging leaves. But never fear, we have the basic rules right here:

  • Bagged leaves may be left adjacent to (but not in) the traveled portion of paved city streets from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.
  • The maximum weight of any single bag filled with leaves is 40 pounds.
  • Leaf bags shall be no more than 30 gallons in capacity, or 33 inches by 39 inches in size, and must be a minimum of 1.2 mil in thickness.
  • Bags of leaves placed in the public right-of-way for collection must contain leaves only.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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