Leaves changing and falling from the trees is really what defines fall and signals the coming of winter. (Is it leaves or leafs?) But, I have a pet peeve about fall and leaves.
When I was a kid, our whole neighborhood would pretty much get together and rake our yards on the same weekend. We had huge leaf piles that we’d all jump in. Then we’d burn the leaves in the street gutter and it would be super smokey. Kind of weird now, but that was the way it was back then.
People used to take care of the gutters in front of their houses. Not anymore. At least in Topeka. I live in a pretty good neighborhood in Topeka and most of the street gutters and nearly all the sewer grates are clogged with leaves.
But when many people rake their leaves, most put them into plastic trash bags and have the trashmen pick them up. That is wrong is more than one way.
First of all, I read something about leaves in a dump and it is a high percentage, something like 16% of all volume. I think it said that 125 million tons of leaves are put into landfills in the US. We’re putting stuff into a landfill that would decompose on its own. What is up with that?
We have a couple compost places in our backyard. I can add as many leaves as I want and they are mostly gone by the next spring. It makes super garden additive. If you don’t want to rake the leaves and put them in a compost bin, then just mow them and let them help your yard. Or rake them and put them around your bushes.
Up in Mount Prospect, a Chicago suburb, where Trudi grew up, all you have to do is rake your leaves to the curb and every Monday they come by with a special vacuum truck and the suck them up, shred them and then they take them to the vegetation dump. Every city should do this. Clogging up our storm sewers with leaves is just dumb.
Anyway other than bagging them up and giving the trash guys more work is okay. We have enough problems in our society than filling our trash dumps with vegetation. Someone, maybe our city officials, need to educate us all about what is the right thing to do with leaves. We’re doing it all wrong now.