Ready for the Rake: Leaf Cleanup in London

Fallen leaves

Ready for the Rake

It’s that time of year again. The beautiful colours in the trees are slowly disappearing. The vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves are slipping from the trees they have called home and are drifting on the breeze.

Right onto your lawn.

Is your leaf blower gassed up? Better get at it. Its time to fire it up and start your leaf cleanup.

Now leaf blowers aren’t an essential part of fall yard work. Some folks swear by their ability to blow fall leaves neatly into piles without getting their hands dirty. Other people appreciate the quiet rustle of a hand-powered rake that doesn’t pollute the environment with excess noise. Whichever camp you are in, once those leaves are in piles you have to decide what to do with them.

Lucky for you, there are plenty of options.

What to Do With Fall Leaves

  • Stuff leaves, hedge trimmings, brush, and plants into paper yard waste bags or reusable containers and place them by the curb during your scheduled ‘Green Week’. Bundled branches are also collected. They must be less than 10 cm in diameter and cut into 1 meter lengths or less. The City of London notes the dates according to your zone in their Waste Reduction & Conservation Calendar, as well as on their website.
  • Alternately, you can drop off yard waste at one of London’s EnviroDepots locations. They accept grass clippings, branches, plants, brush and leaves. Don’t forget your pumpkins once Halloween is over! Check the website for pricing.


  • Instead of thinking of those beautiful leaves as “waste”, why not use them for what Mother Nature intended them for – Compost! Fall leaves, mixed with grass clippings, plants, and other kitchen scraps, make for great material for your compost pile. They break down into a rich humus that can be added back to garden beds to enrich your soil next year.
  • Alternately, you can use those leaves as mulch around garden beds to insulate and protect your plants.
  • If you prefer to leave leaves where they fall, you should at least haul out your lawn mower and run over them to break them down. If they are left on your lawn, they can form thick mats that suffocate the grass underneath. Once shredded, they break down quickly, returning essential nutrients back into the soil.

The best part about these last options are that they are free. Better than that, they enrich your soil without costly fertilizers or pesticides. Never fear though. For those of you without leaf piles to be proud of, you can always head to one of London’s EnviroDepot’s or TryRecycling in the spring to buy some of the leaves that were collected this fall – in the form of Compost!

Published by
October 23, 2014 2:56 pm