Leaf & Limb and Related Ordinances

 To keep our neighborhood attractive to all, please be aware of the appropriate regulations. For details, see the Athens-Clarke County Code of Ordinances, Part III, Code of Ordinances, Title 5, Chapter 5-2, Solid Waste.

  • Frequency & AnnouncementAs a result of budget cut-backs, the county Leaf & Limb Pick-up, which once came every four weeks, is now – and for the foreseeable future, will be – scheduled only once every nine weeks.Archie Carroll announces upcoming pick-up dates through our listserv. Greg Shaw hangs signs at all three entrances, giving us countdown alerts. To monitor this schedule, yourself, you can download a calendar at www.acc-recycle.org/leaf.htm. Kingswood is in Zone 4.
  • What to do. Place items at your curb, NOT at the Kingswood entrance signs. Residents are required to use paper lawn refuse bags for all grass clippings, pine straw, small brush, and leaves. NO plastic bags will be accepted. Place your material no more than 15 feet from the curb so the mechanical grabber can reach it. Stack limbs, brush and small branches in a pile at the curb. You may put out one load per pick-up. A “load” is: 25 standard paper lawn refuse bags; or one 3/4 ton pickup truck load of bagged leaves and/or limbs; or a pile 6 feet long x 4.5 feet deep.
  • The 10-Day Rule.  According to Section 5-2-7, Leaf and Limb Service, of the ACC Code of Ordinances, “debris as leaves, limbs, or other trimmings shall not be placed within a public right-of-way more than 10 calendar days prior to the Monday of the week scheduled for the collection.” Right-of-way generally extends from the street curb to the inner house-side edge of your water meter box, electrical box, power pole, or other utility access point, that is farthest from the street – varying from property to property, but usually in the 12-15 foot range.
  • Interim Storage. Many people assume that leaf and limb materials must be kept in the back yard and carted out front at pick-up time. While having this waste out of sight between pick-ups is desirable, it is not always practical for everyone. According to Section 5-2-14 (l), Composting and recycling, “leaf and limb materials, wood ash, and waste from preparation and cooking of food, vegetables, or fruit may be accumulated indefinitely for composting or other processing purposes in a manner that will not attract or harbor rodents or become a public nuisance.” Accordingly, inasmuch as your leaf & limb debris is considered organic material, and not refuse, you will be in compliance with ACC code as long as it is piled on the house side of your right-of-way perimeter and not less than 50 feet from an intersection.Within these guidelines, you may keep these organic materials for as long you’d like, wherever you’d like.Then, ten days prior to pick-up, you can move a normal pickup-sized pile a few feet across your right-of-way line to less than 15 feet from the curb.  In this way, you only need to move your interim storage a few feet, rather than along distance from the back yard to the pickup point at the curb. NOTE:  Be sure not to pile on top of any utility meter box, as this can result in serious damage.
  • The Spirit of the Law. The spirit of the leaf and limb ordinance is to maintain a respectable, attractive neighborhood. Most Kingswood residents take pride in maintaining their property. Unavoidably, the byproduct of yard care is piles of pruning material. Some neighbors adhere to the letter of the 10-day law by keeping their interim storage in the back yard until pick-up. For others, it may work better to place these materials just inside their right-of-way perimeter and then move them a few feet closer to the street at pick-up time. Some would argue that this latter compromise, while meeting the letter of the law, would seem less attractive than simply agreeing to view a pruning pile at the curb as evidence of the homeowner having maintained their property; but that is not the law. Please follow the ordinance of your choice.