From a press release:
In 2012, two main topics seem to be on every person’s mind; saving the environment and saving money. There are many methods of doing both at home. Leaf collection, pick-up, and disposal may be one of the simplest ways to save.
Leaf and grass clippings accumulated over the growing season and can clog stormwater flow and sewers. Leaves should be regularly cleared from sewer grates, roads, and walkways where they create slippery surfaces and can contribute to a nutrient overload in water bodies. This is especially true in the Fall and early Winter when leaves fall off trees. The Town of Trumbull’s leaf collection program allows for residents to pile leaves curbside or to call for pick up of paper bags. Either way, the cost to the town and ultimately homeowners is high. After the leaves are collected by the Town, the leaves are deposited at a composting site where the organic material decomposes into topsoil before it is sold back to consumers at a steep price.
There are a number of ways to significantly reduce the cost and time required for leaf management on your property. Instead of packing leaves off, one solution is to put the leaves back into the environment.
Some “mulching” lawn mowers can do part of the work. Mulching lawn mowers chop and break up the leaves into smaller detritus, so it can more easily decompose and replenish the lawn and soil in a natural and sustaining cycle. This method works throughout the lawn-mowing season and in the early fall, when the leaf cover is relatively light.
If you live on property with forest cover, after raking the leaves into piles, dispose of the leaves back into the woods whence they came. The leaves will decompose and the nutrients in the leaves will circulate back into the soil. This will improve forest health by allowing trees to grow fuller, creating habitat for wildlife, shade, and beautiful views.
For the local gardener who may or may not reside on a wooded area, creating or purchasing a compost unit is a great way to save the environment and money. Instead of paying for topsoil, one can create nutrient rich topsoil in their backyard when the leaves are mixed other organic material. Composting significantly reduces the costs associated with waste management and a portion of town budget for waste handling.
For information on composters and where to purchase one at significant cost savings, please contact the Trumbull Recycling Coordinator, Robin Bennett, at 203-452-5056.