City Implements New Irrigation, Yard Waste Collection Requirements

SC Staff Report

The City of Sanibel has implemented new irrigation restrictions effective Sept. 18.

The City of Sanibel has implemented new irrigation and yard waste collection requirements in an effort to conserve water and reduce plastics in the environment. Year-round irrigation restrictions go into effect Sept. 18 and plastic bags for yard waste will be banned as of Oct. 1.

Properties with odd address will be allowed to irrigate on Mondays and Thursdays; even addresses on Tuesdays and Fridays. Irrigating will be prohibited from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. However, the newly adopted ordinance includes the following provisions:

Additional watering for up to 90 days following installation of new lawns and landscaping
Use of reclaimed water and harvested rainwater for irrigation is allowed any time
Low volume devices are excluded from restrictions
Regular maintenance and replacement of worn or broken technology which interrupts or inhibits the operation of automatic landscape irrigation system is not a violation if such repairs are conducted within a reasonable time

The council’s unanimous adoption of the water conservation ordinance in August came after the South Florida Water Management District asked local governments to review their ordinances and make any necessary updates to conform with the district’s year-round irrigation rule.

The SFWMD year-round irrigation rule follows scientifically-sound recommendations and is an effort to conserve and protect South Florida’s resources. The city recognized The Sanibel Plan emphasis on the importance of native plants, which require less irrigation and fertilization, and the practicality of the SFWMD rule.

Yard waste will no longer be placed in plastic bags for collection by the city’s waste hauler for processing at the Lee County horticulture processing site. Polyethylene-based plastic bags contaminate the mulch and compost products generated at the horticulture processing facility.

Yard and horticulture waste may continue to be properly bundled, placed in refuse containers or disposed of in biodegradable paper lawn and leaf bags.

Questions about the ban on plastic bags for yard and horticulture waste can be emailed to or call 239-472-6397. For questions about the water conservation ordinance, email or call 239-472-4136.

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