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Consider composting all those fallen leaves

Staff Report • Oct 15, 2012 at 8:49 AM

The leaves are beginning to fall, and that means many local residents will soon be on their front lawns with rakes in their hands to herd these stray leaves into piles for collection.

Public works crews in Johnson City are set to begin leaf pickup on Oct. 29. Leaves will be collected in each neighborhood of the city at least twice through Dec. 21.

The city has established several requirements for residents to follow in disposing of leaves, including:

Do not bag leaves.

Do not mix leaves with brush or other debris.

Do not put leaves in alleys. They will not be collected from alleys.

Pile leaves on the curb, rather than in the street where they could clog storm drains and make roadways slippery.

Before raking leaves to the curb for collection, residents should consider putting them in a compost pile to create fertile soil for their garden. Residents should build their compost piles in a convenient, but inconspicuous location near their gardens.

Composters should make sure the location is near a water source that drains well. A compost pile should consist of both leaves and green material, such as kitchen scraps, grass clippings and green plants. An equal amount of brown and green material is necessary for rapid and proper decomposition.

Once you have added the materials, use a garden hose to lightly moisten the pile. It’s also important to turn the material over routinely.

The compost should be ready to use within three to four months — just in time for spring planting.

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