Please Take Care Of Your Autumn Leaves!

With fall comes spectucular autumn folliage.  Nothing beats the sound of leaves crunching under our feet.  Sadly, New York City streets just can't handle all of it. The leaves, as lovely as they are, clog gutters & drains (especially if you sweep leaves down 'em). And what happens then? Flooding in your apartment. Plus, when leaves pile up it is impossible for street cleaners to do their job. And what happens then? We are left with dirty streets.     

Here are some tips of what to do (but be sure to take a fun fall photo or two before you clean it all up!)


image via here thanks to a Creative Commons license

1.  Bag them up for Trash Day:

As one parents writes in: "Leaves are largely down around the neighborhood, and rain is on its way, so while it is tempting to sweep leaves into the gutter--please bag them up instead.  Street sweepers can't handle the volume, and leaves in the gutter can overwhelm the storm drains (which means street flooding) or clog the pipes (which can mean backups into houses). So while it's one more thing to do, please take the time to put the leaves into bags (regular trash bags are fine) and put them out with your trash.


2. Take them to a Community Composting Event

As the same parent advises "better yet, take them to a community compost event. (At one point, the city removed leaves separately, but that program was suspended.)"


3. Get involved in NYC LeafDrop!

The below is cut & pasted from the NYC Leaves website, telling you what they can do to help you:

1.  Provide a map of participating sites, with dates and times, where New Yorkers can bring their bagged leaves for recycling into lovely compost.

2.  Provide participating groups with help with outreach, publicity, educational and composting assistance.

3.  Help connect your group with Master Composters and volunteers.

4.  Help coordinate moving any extra bags of leaves you receive to other sites where they can be composted.

If your community garden or greening group would like to participate in Project LeafDrop 2013 and accept bagged, residential leaves or if you’d like to volunteer at a garden, please copy, complete and return the  Registration/Mini-Survey (on the ADD YOUR SITE page) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP.  We’ll add your group and info to our map of Project LeafDrop 2013 sites or help you connect with a garden or project near you where you can volunteer.


Further Reading on the Web:

What fall leaves can mean in urban areas

Advice on Flooding from the NYC Environment Protection Agency