Recycling - Leaves and Yard Waste
Nothing indicates a lack of understanding about solid waste more than the sight of large black plastic bags filled with leaves sitting at the curb ready to be picked up and taken to the landfill. Leaves are a valuable resource − a part of nature's own recycling plan. Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment, and leaves can't decay without access to oxygen and microbes.
Thousands of towns are now recycling leaves for compost, or at least requiring their collection in biodegradable plastic or paper bags. Many are also providing residents with information about backyard composting, further reducing program costs. If your town is still permitting the disposal of leaves in plastic bags, today would be a good day to change the policy.
Who's Doing It Right
The Town of Irvington, New York has an innovative program called "Your Leaves: Love 'Em & Leave 'Em" which encourages residents and landscapers to join with the town in conducting on-site leaf mulching. Mulching lawns, beds and other vegetation with shredded leaves is highly beneficial to soil health, improves drainage and reduces storm water runoff.