May 30, 2023

Love ’em And Leave ’em by Composting

Posted on October 18, 2010 by in Home & Garden

We could potentially cut $130K from the budget if everybody in Irvington composted their leaves this autumn.

Irvington’s Green Policy Task Force (GPTF) tells us why composting is mulch ado about money.

Millions of little leaves still hang in the trees autumn scorched and ready to dump on us. The best thing you can do with your leaves is to leave them on your property. Thankfully autumn can be a tu-mulch-uous time. That’s because more and more Irvingtonians are mulching or composting leaves then ever before.

The village of Irvington spends an about $30K in leaf dumping fees and, according to the head of Department of Public Works, another $100K in labor and equipment costs. That means we could potentially cut $130K from the budget if everybody in Irvington composted their leaves this autumn.

Furthermore, there are other less tangible costs of dumping leaves, like car accidents caused by people swerving around the piles of leaves and by the floods caused by clogged gutters as the piles of leaves on the curb are washed down the road by rain storms.

On a personal level, composting and mulching will reduce your need to spend money on chemical fertilizers in the Spring. Francis Goudie, a volenteer for the Green Policy Task Force (GPTF) Composting & Mulching Subcommittee, points out the ecological costs.

“The leaves are part of a cycle where they are grown to size in the spring from nutrients in the ground. They are supposed to drop off and enrich the soil for next year’s leaves. So collecting the leaves and transporting them elsewhere impoverishes the local soil.”

Why is Mulching Different Than Composting?
Mulching is simply mowing leaves along with the grass during fall and letting the small leaf pieces filter down among the grass blades. Three to four passes may be required to chop leaves fine enough so that they filter through the turf and expose grass leaves to sunlight. Leaf mulch in the lawn helps retain moisture, reducing the need for additional water.

Holding bins are great for making high quality compost that will enrich your flower or vegetable garden and improve the soil around trees and shrubs.

What can you do?

  • Shred leaves with a lawn mower and leave them in place on your lawn.
  • Compost them in a pile or container (with or without shredding).
  • Direct your gardener to compost your leaves or hire a yard service that already composts.

The Composting Mulching Subcommittee of the GPTF is in the process of composing a “Letter to my Landscaper” to assist property owners in instructing their landscapers in how to manage leaves and clippings more sustainably. You will find that letter in the near future on their website

So now that you decided to compost, here is some information on how to do it.

If we all chipped in and did our share, we could significantly reduce village municipal services.

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