It’s just about that time of year again where trees start shedding their leaves, leaving (whoops, made a pun!) your green lawn a patchwork mix of browns, yellows, and reds. To counter this collage of colors, many of us turn to the tried and true method of raking the leaves up into bags. Then we either let the city take care of the disposal or we haul them ourselves to a collection site. But not every corner of the city is serviced with compost pickup services, or a nearby collection center. And other parts of the city that are allowed to mix regular trash with yard waste end up sending their leaves to a landfill.
So how can a green-minded Chicagoan maintain a sustainable lifestyle while also keeping their lawn uncovered? Well the best method, endorsed by Chicago’s own City Services Department, is to take your leaves and put them into a compost pile. Composting allows you to recycle this year’s harvest of fresh leaves in order to produce nutrient-rich compost for use in the spring. If you are a gardener or simply take pride in a lush green lawn, starting a compost pile is a great way to deal with your leaves while also providing fertilizer for your backyard plants.
Now if you don’t have space or time for a compost pile, you can always mulch your leaves. Don’t fret; you can do this easily with your lawn mower. Just crank that baby up and run over your leaves with gusto. This will allow the leaves to decompose quickly, returning their nutrients back into the soil. While it won’t make the leaves disappear overnight, it’s a quick and easy way to tackle your leaves in a sustainable way.
Either option is a great way to keep your property nice and green in the run up to those cold winter months. And if you choose the compost route you’ll be all set to start working your lawn and garden come spring!
Contributed by Kevin Roberts
Kevin Roberts is a writer and outreach coordinator for national dumpster rental provider, Budget Dumpster.
Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leaves-600.jpg –Public Domain