When the leaves fall from your trees each year, consider them a resource –they contain nutrients that your lawn or garden needs! After playfully enjoying your leaf pile, here are a few eco-friendly options:
- Bag up dry leaves to use as a carbon source, or “browns,” on your backyard compost pile in the coming year.
- Use a mulching mower to break leaves into tiny pieces and leave them on your lawn.
- Compost your yard waste at home or at a county compost site. For Hennepin County information, click here. For Ramsey county information, click here.
- A note for folks who bag their leaves: beginning January 1, 2010, residents in the Twin Cities area (excluding the City of Minneapolis) who bag their yard and organic waste will be required to put their waste out for pickup in compostable bags — either paper bags or compostable plastic bags. Learn more at RethinkRecycling.org.
You can also help keep our water and air clean by what you don’t do with that pile of leaves:
- Don’t throw yard waste in the trash. Mixing yard and tree waste with your trash is illegal in Minnesota.
- Don’t rake leaves onto the street or sidewalk. It washes too many leaves, and therefore nutrients, into our lakes and streams. If you own shoreline, don’t rake additional leaves into lakes or streams, either.
- And last, don’t burn large piles of leaves. Unnecessary burning of twigs and yard debris releases large amounts of air pollution into the atmosphere.
Renee Lepreau, St. Anthony Park Community Council, and Sophia Nordberg, TC Daily Planet intern, contributed to this News You Can Use article.