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Mowing leaves instead of raking

mowing leaves
Lansing residents who live near parks or forest preserves may find that mowing leaves is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to filling up toters.

Mulching can save money and improve the environment

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (November 21, 2017) – Public Works staff confirm that Lansing’s 2017 arrangement with Homewood Disposal Company includes yard waste pick-up until December 1. Residents can bring brown paper leaf bags and green-lidded yard waste toters to the curb on their regular garbage day.

Since 2013, when the toter program replaced the curbside leaf vacuuming service, many Lansing residents have looked for alternatives to paying for leaf bags or renting extra toters. One alternative is mowing leaves with a good mulching lawnmower. “Leaves are free organic matter and should be used on the property they came from when possible,” says Kelly Burke at The Spruce. Burke and other lawn and garden professionals recommend mowing fallen leaves and allowing them to serve as mulch in your lawn. A mulching mower can reduce the time needed for mown waste to decompose into organic nutrients.

Lansing lawns near parks and forest preserves may have an overabundance of leaves each fall—too many to simply mulch and leave in the grass. Bagging those clippings and distributing them in gardens and other planted areas can protect plants from winter temperatures while also enriching the soil.

For residents who choose not to use their leaf and grass clippings to enrich their lawns and gardens, or who still have an excess of leaves, mowing can still offer a cost savings. Mowing leaves with the grass-catcher installed may prove easier than raking leaves and stuffing them into leaf bags. Plus, the mown leaves take up less space than raked leaves, reducing the number of leaf bags needed.

Residents who need an extra yard waste toter during leaf season can order one from Lansing Public Works: 708-895-7190. The cost for an extra toter is $12.00 per year, and Public Works will deliver it to your address within a day or two of your call.

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.