Friday, October 31, 2014

4 solutions for managing your autumn leaves

pile of leaves with a rake

Those colorful autumn leaves are a treat for the eyes. As they drop, their crunch underfoot speaks that it's definitely Fall. But, at some point, the leaves may simply need to go.

There are a number of ways to use leaves in your yards and gardens. In addition, here are four solutions Montgomery County offers for managing your autumn leaves:

compost bin filled with leaves
1. Compost them

Compost your leaves to break them down into a rich resource for your soil.

We offer compost bins at no charge for pickup at 19 locations around the County.

If you need composting pointers to get you started, we've got those, too.

yard trim bags at the curb for collection
2. Set them out for weekly yard trim collection

In Montgomery County, Maryland, we collect yard trim -- leaves, grass, brush, and Christmas trees -- year round.

For weekly curbside yard trim pickups, we accept leaves in
Tip: do not put your leaves in plastic bags, as we cannot accept these bags.

3. Rake them to the curb for leaf vacuuming

Some neighborhoods receive leaf vacuuming from the County's Division of Highway Services. In 2014, leaf vacuuming will begin on November 10.

See details about leaf vacuuming, including a Leaf Collection District Map, and approximate collection dates.

Tip: when you rake leaves to the curb, keep your piles out of the street.

Trucks unloading leaves at the Transfer Station
4. Deliver them to the Shady Grove Transfer Station and Processing Facility

You may deliver leaves, either loose or in bags, directly to our Shady Grove Transfer Station and Processing Facility.

We accept yard trim loads under 500 pounds daily at no charge. If your load is 500 pounds or more, enter through the Truck Entrance, open Monday through Saturday; the fee schedule will apply.

This time of year is very busy at the Transfer Station, so we recommend using our curbside pickups for leaves and other yard trim when you can. If you do bring these materials to the Transfer Station, aim for our off-peak times, including our weekday evening hours for loads under 500 pounds.

Tip: remember to cover your load.

What happens to the leaves we collect and vacuum?

The leaves picked up as weekly yard trim and in the leaf vacuuming go to the Montgomery County Composting Facility. There, they are processed into compost marketed as Leafgro.