Q. Does Baton Rouge have an ordinance prohibiting blowing or sweeping garden waste (leaves and grass) into the city’s streets and storm drains?

A. Response from Joseph K. Scott III, assistant parish attorney, East Baton Rouge Parish:

Baton Rouge has several ordinances prohibiting this kind of behavior.

Within the city limits, Baton Rouge Code of Ordinances Title 12 (Nuisances), Section 401 provides that it is a nuisance to “impede or obstruct the passage flow of water of any street, gutter, ditch or drain on any property either owned by the city or the parish or on any servitude or right-of-way of whatever nature under the possession or control of the city or parish” or to “allow any material to remain in any public street, gutter, ditch or drain adjacent to the property where such person resides whether the material be leaves, branches or other debris of whatever nature.” Violations of this section are punishable by a fine of $100 per occurrence.

Inside and outside the city limits, Baton Rouge Code of Ordinances Title 6, Public Health – Anti-Litter Regulations, provides that it is forbidden to throw, sweep or deposit litter, including yard clippings and leaves, into any gutter, street, sidewalk, or other public place in the city parish, except in public garbage receptacles or receptacle for collection. (Code of Ordinances Section 6:427 – Definitions, 6:428 – Litter in Public Places, 6:429 – Placement of litter in receptacles to prevent scattering, 6:430 – Sweeping litter into gutters prohibited). Violations of any of the litter regulations are punishable by a sliding scale of fines and/or garbage collection detail, ranging from a $100 to $400 fine or 16 to 40 hours of collection for a first offense; $300 to $500 fine or 40 to 120 hours of collection for a second offense, and $400 to $500 fine and 120 to 200 hours of garbage collection for a third or subsequent offense.

Finally, inside and outside the city limits, Baton Rouge Code of Ordinances Title 6, Public Health – Collection and Disposal of Garbage and Other Waste Matter, provides that “It shall be unlawful and a violation of this part, for any person to scatter, throw, deposit, drop, allow, or to permit or allow to be scattered, spilled, thrown, deposited or dropped, any garbage, trash and other waste material, dead animals or fowls, industrial waste or refuse from erection, repairing or remodeling buildings, or any other substances which may be unsightly, offensive to smell or injurious to health in any private yard, lot, room or building, or on any sidewalk, street, alley, wharf, levee, public parkway, public right-of-way, or any other public place, or in any gutter or drain within the parish, other than in the type of container, in the manner, and at the places specified in (sections 6:406 or 6:381 and 382, which specify garbage receptacle types and sizes).” (Code of Ordinances Sections 6:376/City, 6:402/Parish). Violations are punishable as a misdemeanor, with a fine of not more than $500, imprisonment of not more than 180 days, or both. (Code of Ordinances Sections 6:395/City, 6:420/Parish).

Send questions to Ask The Advocate, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0588; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0297; or email asktheadvocate@theadvocate.com.