Leaf Disposal Options & Consequences

Fall is in the air, and thus so are the leaves; plummeting towards your yard.  As children, falling leaves were a source of joy.  You’d rake them into piles and toss yourself in repeatedly.  Now, however; they’re simply a yardwork nuisance – and a highly regulated nuisance at that.  Are you going about leaf disposal the right way? Let’s explore some various stances on leaf disposal in New York State and find out!

“I’ll just burn my leaves.”

While this solution may seem quick and easy, it could land you in a lot of trouble. It is illegal to burn leaves anywhere in New York State.  Not to mention the various environmental impacts of this practice.

“I’ve heard mulch is an option.”

Mulching is an environmentally conscious thing to do with your leaves, if you’re willing to put in the work.  You’ll need to shred your leaves finely with a mulching mower after collection.  Afterward, you should immediately use the mulched leaves to cover bare soil in a garden for protection during the winter and soil contribution in the spring.

“What about home composting?”

If you already home compost, leaves can be a great addition to your food scraps to contribute to a good soil production.  Shredding your leaves will help reduce decomposition time.  It’s recommended to spread the leaves on top of your pile so they can soak up the moisture in food scraps and help keep odors to a minimum.  It is also a good idea to turn over regularly to keep out insects and other critters.

“I’ll rake my leaves into a pile. They’ll decompose.”

Leaves will indeed decompose naturally, but very slowly.  So slowly that the snows of winter are likely to cover that pile, preserve it over winter and leave a damp pile of half rotten leaves decorating the yard of your home or business in the spring. Secondly, it only takes one windy day to entirely undo all of your hard work.  You also might disappoint your neighbors by allowing your neglected leaves to migrate into their yard.  When you rake leaves, you should bag them to save yourself the repeated task and aid in easy disposal.

How Johnston Can Help

Johnston offers the environmentally friendly Lawn & Leaf bag made by Duro bag. This bag is acceptable for clean, curbside collection of your leaves and is 100% compostable as well.  The Duro Lawn & Leaf bag will break down naturally when used with self-compounding yard waste for home compost and replaces plastic bags as required by municipality ordinances and neighborhood recycle programs.  You can order these bags via JMart by searching the item # 1083452.

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