The Kingston Land Trust and the city of Kingston asks Kingston citizens to re-think bagging their leaves each season.
During the year, at least 20 percent of the solid waste generated by Kingstonians comes from grass clippings, tree leaves and other landscape wastes. Bagging these materials or placing them into the curbside collection system wastes an important natural amendment leading to poor soil quality and costs the people of Kingston more in increased taxes and service fees by the increased use of additional trucks, labor and fuel.
Approximately half of landscape waste is composed of tree leaves. The “Leave It On The Lawn, Kingston!” Leaf Management Plan is an environmentally sound program designed to significantly reduce the volume of leaves entering community landfills, thereby extending their life and saving tax dollars.
Options for Managing and Using Leaves
Leaves are truly a valuable natural resource! They contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients a plant extracts from the soil and air during the season. Therefore, leaves should be managed and used rather than bagged and placed at curbside for collection.
Here’s what you can do to make some simple and important changes:
Leaf mowing is the most efficient way to manage your leaves and takes half the time than traditional raking and bagging. For larger lawns, though not entirely necessary, this can be more effective when a mulching mower is used. To get started:
1. Mow over your dry leaves in the same manner you would if you were mowing the grass.
2. Repeat if necessary.
3. Leave your shredded leaves on the lawn for a chemical-free fertilizer that will give beautiful results.
4. You can also rake your shredded leaves and add them to your gardens, shrubs or trees. To do this you will want to rake a pile of leaves into a concentrated area before mowing. This way collection will be easier.
Kingston’s urban environment allows for many different methods of composting. There are a variety of composter styles and sizes to choose from, or, simply make your own.
1. To compost your leaves, take the shredded leaves alone or with other yard waste materials and place in a wire bin or any type of composter of your choosing. Remember that the smaller the pieces, the faster they will break down into reusable organic matter. For a quicker result, turn your materials with a pitch fork or similar tool occasionally. In time, underneath your compost pile, you will have rich, dark soil for all of your gardening needs.
2. To compost shredded leaves with kitchen waste, in an appropriate bin, add materials such as leaves, straw, non-glossy paper, wood, bark chips, uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells and coffee grounds. NEVER add any animal products, oils or hazardous materials. Turn the pile occasionally to aerate it and make sure it’s moist but not soggy. The decomposition process can take anywhere from three months to a year.
By composting you’ll have RICH soil for FREE! It will save time, money and our city’s precious resources.
Get started today and lend a hand to help Kingston help itself!