Asheville is in the midst of another fantastic fall leaf season. Colors of gold, red, yellow abound, as do leaves. Fall clean-up usually means having to deal with an abundance of leaves but there are a few options for how you can deal with them:
- Bag them or place them in bins and have the City pick them up
- Compost them
- Spread them as a mulch around trees, shrubs and in planting beds
- NOTE: It is illegal to burn leaves and brush within city limits
City leaf collection
For City pick-up, please place your leaves in bags or bins and place on the curb. Bags can be paper or plastic, with paper being more green-friendly. Bins may be used if they are clearly labeled “leaves” or “brush.” Bags should be left open. Do not tie them off. City sanitation workers will remove the leaves and the bags will be left on the curb to be reused. If bags are tied, they will be ripped open and may not be able to be reused again. Bagged or binned leaves should be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on the Monday of your brush collection week.
“We will do our best to leave bags in a way that minimizes them being blown away by wind or traffic,” said Public Works Director Greg Shuler.
In past years, the City has supplied leaf bags which were available at Asheville Fire stations. That was discontinued two years ago so again this year, residents must supply their own bags or bins. Paper and plastic bags may be purchased at most home improvement stores, grocery and department stores. You may avoid the cost of bags altogether by using clearly labeled bins instead.
Bags may also be recycled at the end of the season. The City accepts paper bags in its recycle bins. Plastic bags can be recycled at many grocery stores and some home improvement stores.
Composting or mulching leaves
Mulching leaves with a mower and leaving them spread out on your lawn is another option. This may provide nutrients to the soil, reduce moisture evaporation and minimize weeds. Leaves make an excellent mulch for use around trees and shrubs, or in flower and vegetable gardens. They eventually decompose.
Composting is yet another way to dispose of leaves. It’s best if leaves are made smaller first by grinding or mulching, but leaves on their own won’t make compost. Learn more about composting here.
If bagging, mulching or composting are not for you, there are private contractors who you can pay to remove leaves.
For more on disposal of leaves, pick-up schedules and composting, click on the City’s updated Leaf Collection webpage.