Roanoke has announced it’s no longer picking up loose leaves this year, which, by my estimate, puts us yet another step closer to mulching them ourselves and putting them where they belong: in the garden.
I have both a mulching mower and a wonderful leaf vacuum that grinds up the leaves and makes instant mulch of them. They’ve helped me turn the back yard into a verdant forest floor. By mulching, there’s the added benefit of keeping all those plastic bags out of the landfill. They keep the leaves from biodegrading, leaving them as a semi-permanent lump in the landfill. According to a city press release:
Residents should put their bagged leaves out on the same days as their paper recycling is normally picked up. Regular plastic lawn bags are acceptable for bagging leaves, but citizens are encouraged use 30-gallon paper bags as an environmentally friendly alternative. Both types of bags are available at local hardware stores and home centers.
Households may put up to 25 plastic bags at the curb each of the three scheduled collection weeks, or an unlimited number of paper bags. There will be no bagged leaf collection in the alleys. It is a violation of City law to rake loose leaves into the city's right-of-way.