Leaving grass clippings on the lawn is a good way to recycle them, but leaves are a different matter.
With just a few leaves on the lawn, shredding them when mowing the lawn and leaving them is no problem. But if there are a lot of leaves, shred them with the mower and then compost them or dig them into annual flower beds or vegetable gardens.
Tree leaves and turfgrass blades are different. Grass clippings are mostly water and with very little lignin, they can break down quickly. Tree leaves that fall to the ground are dried out and high in lignin, so they won't decompose as readily.
Large amounts of leaves left on the lawn all winter, shredded or whole, could smother some of the lawn and the turf might thin out, allowing some weeds to move in.
A good way to recyle your leaves in the fall is to take them to the nearest leaf drop.
The Denver Leafdrop is a leaf-collection and composting program for Denver residents. Designed to keep recyclable organic waste out of area landfills, it is sponsored annually by Denver Recycles, a program of Denver Public Works/Solid Waste Management in cooperation with A1 Organics of Golden who will compost the leaves collected from residents.
Residents can also help to close the loop on recycling their leaves by reclaiming them next spring in the form of rich compost to use in their yards and gardens. The compost will be made available at Denver Recycles annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway next spring.
Leaves and other yard wastes account for more than 20 percent of what Denver households send to the landfill. The very best option for keeping leaves out of the landfill is to dig them into our yards and gardens, compost them, or mulch small amounts into our lawns. These practices help to enrich our soil, save money on fertilizer purchases and water bills, and help the City avoid the economic and environmental costs of landfilling leaves.
For those who cant reuse all of their leaves at home, the Denver Leafdrop drop-off program gives residents a chance to recycle their leaves and do something great for the environment.
First, residents should try and use their leaves in home yards or gardens. And if they are unable to use all their leaves, they can drop them off at one of the locations selected by Denver Recycles.
Denver residents that can't reuse all their leaves at home can bring them to one of the convenient drop-off locations listed below. Then residents can help to close the recycling loop next spring by reclaiming their leaves in the form of rich compost at the Denver Recycles Annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway and LEAFDROP Compost Sale. Visit www.DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles or call 720-865-6810 after April 1, 2008 for details.
Be among the first 20 people to bring your leaves to LeafDrop, and receive a coupon for one FREE bag of compost at our LeafDrop Compost Sale in the spring! (Applies to each Sunday LeafDrop location and date.)
Treat your Halloween jack-o-lanterns to a second chance and compost them with Denver LeafDrop!
2007 Drop-Off Sites: (2008 Sites will be posted in October of next year)
Weekend Drop-offs: Sunday, October 28th; Sunday, November 4th; Sunday, November 11th; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
On Sunday, November 5th only we will be also accepting left over Halloween pumpkins for recycling.
Weekday Drop-offs (closed weekends and
holidays): October 8th through December 3rd,
7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Open weekdays only. Weekday LEAFDROPS must be in tied or secured bags.
Please note that only the weekday sites
listed above are open October 8 through December 3 except Veterans' Day and Thanksgiving
Photo: Judy Sedbrook.
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010