Give autumn leaves a second chance: compost ’em

We’ve been treated to some exceptionally pretty, long-lasting fall color this year, but the leaves are finally letting go and they’re officially everywhere.

As you tidy up the block, sweeping your stoop or raking your yard, don’t forget that the city is collecting leaves for composting. Instead of sending your leaves to spend eternity in a landfill, put them to work by letting the city convert them into compost that will feed urban gardens and parks.

From now until December 16, the Streets Department is running its annual fall leaf drive. It couldn’t be easier. Just put leaves into brown paper lawn cleanup bags, and set them out curbside on your regular trash collection day no later than 7am.

Make sure to keep leaves totally separate from other trash or recycling, and in their own brown paper bags. There is no limit to the number of bags, but have mercy on the collectors and make sure they’re not heavier than 40 lbs. If curbside leaf recycling isn’t your bag, you can always bring bagged leaves to a Sanitation Convenience Center.

Curious to learn more about composting in the big city?

Grid Magazine’s December issue is all about composting, complete with rad infographics and a profile of Bennett Compost, Philly’s own compost collection service.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.