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Former City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz

Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Blog


Leaf It Alone

October 16, 2010 1:23 PM

I hate raking leaves. Yet, higher authorities within my household insist that it must be done. Sometimes it must even be done while important football games are on TV or during designated nap times.

Now, there is new vindication for my position that raking leaves is an absolute waste of time. This vindication comes from SCIENCE! And also, City Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann.

Your leaves and those of your neighbors and your neighbors' neighbors add up to a whopping 16,000 tons of leaves every fall. For the cost of about $1.1 million, we pick them up and take them to a central site where they are composted. Then you can drive to the city compost sites and pick up some of the stuff to return to your yard and garden. Does this make any sense?

Wouldn't it be better if we cut out the middle man? We'd save money and fossil fuels and your lawn and garden would get the benefits of organic fertilizer if we just composted on site. There are a couple of options. You can pile them into a compost bin and let 'em cook over the winter or you can mulch them right into your yard with a lawn mower. It is true that higher volumes of leaves still may have to be hauled off site, but we can do a whole lot better than we are today.

To read more about it you can visit the city's website at http://www.cityofmadison.com/streets/leavetheleaf/.

So, have a good weekend. Watch some football. Take a nap. Don't rake your leaves.



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