leaf burning banned in Mt Vernon IL Sept 2 2014

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 6th, 2014, 4:37 pm #1

I was at the city council meeting when the final vote was taken, 3:2 in favor.
Yes = Wood, McEnaney, Lash
No = Chesley, Piper
I've documented it at http://www.johnnybob.com under "Our Environment". You should look at the WSIL-TV video and read the workshop PDFs to get a better idea. The city council members did their "homework" and have been researching it diligently for a year or more.

I suggest that the city consider providing a leaf vacuuming service. Some towns have it. Residents rake or blow leaves out near the curb, then a mulcher truck comes along the street/alley and sucks them through a flexible hose. Of course there are commercial companies that will do this job now, for a fee.

In the meantime, here are some tips on how to handle your leaves...

(1) Use a lawn mower in mulch mode and set the level fairly high, to avoid rocks and other hidden obstructions. After you go over the leaves 2-3 times, they'll be fairly well broken up and will decay quickly or wash away with the rains. They'll probably disappear by springtime, naturally. This works best if you do it in stages. Mulch after the first portion of leaves have fallen, then again after more have fallen. If you wait til all have fallen, they may be too deep to mulch easily.

(2) Get some cheapo ($10-$15) light-weight 30 gallon trash cans at Walmart, or wherever. They're somewhat easier to fill and drag around than the paper yard waste bags.

(3) Or you can use the paper bags. They cost about 40 cents each at Lowes, or elsewhere if you can find them in stock. The easiest way I've found to fill them is: first open the flap partway, lay flat on the ground, and push in some leaves sideways. Then shake it hard and it will stand up. Open the top and crimp, so it remains open.

(4) A small-to-medium size wastebasket is useful to scoop up the leaves, to fill the trash cans/bags. Use the bottomside to help pack down the leaves.

(5) A blower-mulcher can be used in mulch mode to pulverize the leaves, collecting them in a bag. Or a mulching lawn mower with a grass catcher works similarly. This reduces the volume of leaves considerably.

(6) To dispose of brush and smaller limbs, cut/break into small pieces, to easily fit into the trash cans/bags. A good lopper is useful to cut 1-2" diameter branches, a small hand clipper/pruner for smaller branches/twigs. You can also tie the sticks into bundles, if you prefer, but I've always found that awkward.

(7) Put the trash cans/bags with the leaves/yard waste out on the curb for pickup, usually the day after normal trash pickup.

(8) For bigger limbs or tree trunks over 3-4" diameter, cut with a chainsaw to about 12-18" lengths, and stack it. You may be able to sell or give it away, otherwise have it hauled off.

(9) Composting is another option but I have no experience. I just know that leaves decay back into dirt more quickly if they are broken up first (mulched).
Last edited by jbob on September 6th, 2014, 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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