Compost your Leaves, Save Money, Improve the Soil

Every year when the piles of leaves appear along the side of the streets  my family has to suffer through my complaints about the absurdity of this practice.  I thought I'd post this blog entry to share the joy.

Generally speaking, if your yard is big enough to need raking, it's big enough for a pile for the leaves to sit and compost.  My yard is approximately 0.2 acres and every year I rake the leaves into piles underneath the trees and bushes where they sit and compost.  After a day or two or after the first good rain the leaves stop blowing around and I can forget them while they protect the tree roots from cold weather and decompose into new soil.

This board often discusses possible reductions in town expenses.  Though it is a small line item, seems like someone should pick up the pen and line this one out.  Am I missing something?  Why should we not just stop the seemly silly process of sending out trucks and personnel to pick up leaves?



Back when I had a yard I didn't do a lot of raking, but I had my own compost bin which I knew would enjoy the leaves. Now I have neither (but am considering attempting to compost again).

The Council and Manager/Staff will begin discussing next year's budget soon and this would be a great suggestion for cost cutting.  In addition to the cost to the Town, most people seem to leave their leaves in the street/gutter where they impede vehicular traffic (car and bike) and impede stormwater flows.  I use a vacuum/shredder which not only gets the leaves up but shreds them quite a bit so they decompose faster.  By the following year my wife has a pile of what she calls her "black gold" planting material.

I think that leaving the leaves as is or where they are, is a great idea.  I wholeheartedly support this.  I think that either leaving the leaves under the trees or composting is the only way to go.  I am not in support with the idea of a vacuum shredder because that increases noise pollution and adds to the air pollution.  And raking them into the street is not a good use of natural resources and wastes city time and money in transporting the leaves to another spot.  I totally agree with the idea of letting them compost in place or rake them into your compost bin as needed. Please no power leaf blowers.  


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