Sunday, May 22, 2016

Is this really a good idea?

People everywhere are raking the leaves from their street trees onto the road for the Council to pick up.

One person I spoke to said "it's the Council's tree, let them pick them up!"

I didn't say anything but thought: Hang on, yes the Council will pick them up - they'll schedule extra sweeps - but they'll just put the rates up to pay for it. So I pay regardless!

Besides, what actually happens to the leaves they pick up? Yep, they go to landfill. Councils aren't allowed to use them for mulch because they're contaminated with hydrocarbons (oil) from the roads.

Wouldn't it be much smarter for us all to have mulched verges and just let the trees keep re-mulching them for free*

Old solutions (eg irrigated grass verges) don't fix new problems. We have to start doing things differently.


* This is another advantage of deciduous trees by the way: the leaves are thin and break down quickly into the soil. Australian trees are typically sclerophyllous and don't.

1 comment:

  1. Howbout don't "scalp the verges" let the grass grow longer, it will capture most of the leaf litter so it doesn't end up on the road, will mulch the soil under the tree. Ideally WSUD & rain gardens but expensive to retrofit. Btw it is actually illegal to rake or blow leaves onto the road - it is called "littering". Please don't do it. If you must play with the leaves, compost them. Happy winter gardening :)