City of Elmira announces Leaf pickup dates, compost options available, mulching encourage

Local News

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – In a press release, the City of Elmira has announced dates for leaf pickup. Bagged leaf pickup has been discontinued and is now a violation in most state landfills to accept yard waste.

Bulk lead pickup will begin on Monday, November 2nd, and will end approximately on December 11th. Residents are asked to rake leaves into an area between the curb and sidewalk for pickup by City crews. In areas without sidewalks, rake the leaves as close to the curb or street as possible. In areas without lawns between curb and sidewalk, rake the leaves to the curb line. In all cases, leave ample room for safe pedestrian travel.

The City asks residents to NOT rake leaves into the street as that creates safety hazards for children and motorists. Leaves piled in the street also impede the drainage of the streets, blocking storm water flows.

There will be no bulk pickup of leaves or other debris outside of the prescribed dates. Leaf pickup will occur along every street in the City at least twice.

In the press release, the City of Elmira encourages the compost program, which is designed to reduce bulk leaf pickup costs. Any City resident can drop off their own leaves at the Chemung County compost facility, located on Blostein Boulevard. The hours of operation for the compost facility are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 AM to 5 PM, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 AM to 3 PM, and Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM. It may be closed due to maintenance or weather at any time. Residents can pick up prepared mulch for free from the facility.

As discussed in this article from last month, raking leaves can disrupt ecological processes and is less than beneficial for your yard. Mulching your own leaves is also encouraged in this release from the City as it benefits your yard the best, along with saving you time and money. Micro-organisms that live in the soil break down the leaves and help your yard grow healthier and greener.

In an interview with 18 News last month, Associate Professor of Biology at Corning Community College Dr. Robert Koble had this to say about raking leaves:

“So when thinking about lawn health or just health of any organism, whether it be plants or fungus or animals, they’re all part of a huge ecosystem, and an ecosystem is reliant on all these different organisms from worms to trees to grass. So when you rake your leaves, or when you leave your leaves you’re affecting not just the lawn, you’re affecting everything else. So if you want a really good lawn to think about the soil, think about the microbes, the little bugs, the creepy crawlies, that are in the soil, and you’ll have a good lawn.”

Dr. Robert Koble, Associate Professor of Biology, Corning Community College

Dr. Koble went on to say that the best thing for your yard is to not do anything at all, including mowing and let leaves lay where they fall. However, society has deemed that unacceptable.

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