Leaf It To The Town

For the past few months, the world has been turned upside down.

But one thing never changes: Leaves fall in the fall. And we have to do something about them.

The Department of Public Works suggests that homeowners consider backyard leaf composting. Click here or here to learn more. You can also call the  Conservation Department (203-341-1170) or Earthplace (203-557-4400) for info.

The DPW says, “The ease and cost savings of backyard composting provides a viable alternative to either carting leaves to the town yard waste site or filling paper bags for the Town’s curbside pickup.”

2nd Selectman Jen Tooker, with her 3-section compost bin.

But if you choose curbside leaf collection: It lasts throughout November. The final townwide pass takes place in early December.

All leaves must be placed safely near the curb of a town street by November 30 to guarantee pick-up.

The DPW will collect leaves placed in biodegradable paper bags on the curb.  Leaves placed in plastic bags will not be picked up, as the composting process cannot manage plastic. Residents living on private roadways must place their bagged leaves at an intersecting town roadway.

Only Westport residents with valid proof of residency may bring their leaves directly to the yard waste site (180 Bayberry Lane).

If leaves are transported in plastic bags, residents must empty the leaves from the bags. The yard waste site is open Monday through Saturday (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

(Photo/Jamie Walsh)

Westport residents with valid proof of residency may dump up to 6 30-gallon bags or containers full of leaves without a fee.

Any van, pickup or tag-along trailer exceeding the 6-bag limit will be charged $40 per load. Any vehicle or trailer larger than a conventional pickup with a 4-foot by 8-foot bed will be charged $90 per ton.

Any vehicles with a 9-foot body or vehicles changed to significantly enlarge their factory design size will be charged $90 per ton estimated at 2 ton without weigh slip ($180).

Dump tickets may be purchased by appointment only at Town Hall, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or by mail (Department of Public Works, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880). Requests may also be placed in the drop box at the rear of Town Hall.

4 responses to “Leaf It To The Town

  1. Andrew Colabella

    Want to have natural green grass for next season? Aerate your grass bringing the nutrients packed in the soil to level and loosen up excess thatch that will divert and block water and invite disease.

    After so, cut your grass with the leaves still on the hard. It makes great mulch and fertilizer. Mulched leaves are decomposed by earthworms and microorganisms and turned into plant-usable organic matter. Mulched leaves are better for the greater community, too, because they stay on-site and out of landfills. Also, when picked up and hauled away, it goes to a large landfill where when it decomposes gets purchased and packaged to be resold to you in fertilizers and potting soil mixes!

    Don’t forget to over-seed with grass. The grass seed with the loosen up thatch and mulched leaves will promote nitrogen phosphate and potassium, all that is already found in fertilizers. Also very healthy for pollinator pathways.

    Too many leaves? Rake or blow them into your garden. They’ll decompose and make a GREAT Natural fertilizer for the soil and plants in your garden bed.

  2. Todd Messer Freeman

    Yes, just rake or blow all your leaves onto the yard and then cut your grass with a mower. Simple, easy and good for your grass… You will dramatically reduce the need to bag any leaves.

    • Or you could do this: just blow all the leaves into whatever watercourse happens to be on the property. Sure it’s illegal in Westport and yes it overloads the stream with nutrients, etc, but it’s way easier. Certain people who live on Evergreen Avenue might want to think about changing their ways.

  3. Donald Bergmann

    Let’s make this a talk about leaves. Andrew and Todd are correct. I have a modest yard and use my own electric mulching mower for the grass. The leaves pretty much disappear as I mow, i.e. they go back as fertilizer. In November, when some areas have too many leaves for the mower, I rake or blow them into a pile, bag them myself and take them up to our great Town Bayberry facility. When I say blow the leaves, I use a modest, electric leaf blower.

    Everyone, gardeners included should only use electric leaf blowers in the late fall. During the rest of the year, leaf blowers are not needed at all. And of course, no one, no gardener, no one should use a two cycle gas powered leaf blower. They are like dinosaurs. They pollute horribly, the noise is overwhelming and they are unhealthy.

    Westport, our engaged RTM, should consider banning two cycle leaf blowers completely from May 1st to September 15th. There are many in Town who believe as do I. There are many lawn care professionals who believe likewise. Some on the RTM have come up with reasons not to adopt such a ban, e.g. possible increased costs charged to clean up leaves or grass, some lessened perfection or a little extra work in keeping a front sidewalk pristine for a day or two after a mowing, the mistaken belief that electric leaf blowers do not work well, inability to enforce and, yes, the ever popular, excess regulation. The reasons against banning two cycle leaf blowers are not really very sound. Enforcement will result from wide acceptance, not our police. What is sound, is the painful noise of two cycle leaf blowers and their harm to our environmental and health.
    Don Bergmann