For Immediate Release:
October 27, 2010
Contact: (415) 554-6931
City Encourages Residents and Businesses to Gear Up For the Next Rain Storm
Efforts to focus on localized flooding caused by leaves
San Francisco, CA— The City is encouraging residents to prepare for the upcoming rainy season. Residents and businesses can compost the leaves that gather on their sidewalk, which keeps them out of the landfill. San Francisco is home to thousands of trees that add to the beauty and greenery of the community. By simply sweeping up the leaves and placing them in their green compost bins, San Franciscans not only keep leaves out of the landfill but help to prevent clogged storm drains, which can lead to localized flooding in areas of the City during the rainy season.
In partnership with the SF Public Utilities Commission, SF Department of Environment, and Recology, the Department of Public Works has initiated the Turn Brown Leaves Green educational campaign aiming to raise awareness about alternatives to putting leaves and yard trimmings in the trash and preparing for the upcoming rainy season. Leaves can be used again not only as compost, but can also be reused on school art projects and in other creative ways. This campaign also encourages residents to participate in year round cleaning efforts through DPW’s Adopt-A-Street Program. Through this program, residents can receive a free brown leaf bag to help properly manage yard waste. Furthermore, property owners are tasked to maintain and keep their sidewalk clean and safe in San Francisco.
“During the past year, DPW’s mechanical street cleaners collected approximately 13,000 tons of debris off the streets. Residents can help keep our streets and sidewalks clean and free of leaves by composting them and thereby converting them into productive soil, rather than sending them to overflowing landfills,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of the Department of Public Works.
Other storm preparation tips include:
• Be aware of low-elevation spots that could flood. Pick up sand bags ahead of the next storm
• Store emergency items such as first aid kits, flashlights and portable radios in a safe, high place
• Store drinking water in closed, clean containers in case water service is interrupted. Allow one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.
• Consider installing a back-flow prevention device if any of your inside drains or fixtures are lower than the side sewer vent on the sidewalk
• Prepare written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on).
• Visit www.72hours.org for more tips and to learn more about emergency preparation
Public Works is also encouraging private property owners to have trees assessed for weak or unstable limbs by certified arborists with the International Society of Arboriculture. During the winter months, high winds coupled with rain can cause tree limbs to fail resulting in property damage. For more information, visit DPW’s web page on Tree Maintenance and Pruning.
In addition to sweeping leaves off the sidewalks and streets, residents can prepare for the next rain storm by picking up free sand bags. Residents living in low-lying neighborhoods in San Francisco can receive up to 10 sand bags to protect their property. Residents can pick up sandbags at the DPW’s Operations Yard at 2323 Cesar Chavez, Monday through Friday between 7 am to 4 pm. There is a limit of 10 sand bags per household. Proof of residency is required. Residents can learn more information and get tips on how to prepare for the next storm by visiting www.sfdpw.org or by calling 3-1-1.