“Leaf” That For the Compost Pile

I couldn’t resist a little pun on a Wednesday morning – especially in the name of composting! Watching people furiously rake up all the leaves in their yards, only to bag them up and leave them on the curb for trash pickup makes me wonder if they really understand anything about the world around them.

At this point in the “green” game, how can anyone be simply throwing away a natural resource? I’m not saying they need to leave a bunch of dead plants to rot in the garden, but those same dead plants can be used as nutrients for next years plants. And if you’re one of those clueless types who’s more concerned with a perfectly green, manicured lawn without a blemish in it, then at least make sure those leaves get to a community garden’s compost pile. It’s the least you could do.

According to the Watertown Daily Times, the Department of Public Works up here in Watertown offers a leaf-pickup service to its residents – and brings the leaves to the city’s “composting facility.” Now this got me excited – what was this “composting facility” and where did the compost end up in the end? Reading further along in the article didn’t provide many answers:

At one time, some of the leaves were turned into composting material and eventually used for mulch. Not any more. Because the material is in such rough shape, the composting pad is not its final destination. It sits there, getting bigger and bigger, until Mr. Sligar calls his DPW counterpart and asks to have it removed.

It then gets trucked away to an old quarry the city owns off Route 11 and just north of Watertown boundary, where it is dumped. Piles of brown and deteriorating leaves sit on other piles.

And who knows how long they’ve been?

Hmmm….well, that doesn’t sound very promising. I would like to believe that all this effort with leaf collection wouldn’t just lead to an unused pile deteriorating along Rt 11 until the end of time. Further investigation will be necessary here – because lord knows, if they don’t need those leaves, I could think of a few people who would!


Leaf pile photo from Bright Days



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