Kitchener-Waterloo

Area municipalities be-leaf in mulching, but have plans to pick up tree foliage

Local municipalities prepare for fall leaf collection, whether it's drop-off sites, bagged pickup or having people rake them to the curb.

Leaves can insulate garden beds and protect pollinators, cities say

Residents can bag or rake leaves to the curb or drop them off, but local municipalities say it's even better to use them on your property as mulch. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

The autumn leaves may fall from a tree the same way but there are different ways for property owners to dispose of them once they hit solid ground.

Area municipalities offer different options from raking them to the curb, piling them into a yard bag for local drop off destinations or composting and mulching them.

Kitchener opened eight drop off locations Friday where homeowners can dump the leaves they have collected. The city just wants the leaves and not the yard bags people transport them in.

The city has also identified so-called hot spots where leaves will be collected by city workers on select days, as long as the leaves are raked to the curb by 7 in the morning on the week of the designated pick up. The program is in effect from October 25 to November 29.

Leaf collection spots for the City of Kitchener:

  • Schaefer Park on Bloomingdale Road. 
  • Breithaupt Park off Union Street.
  • Kitchener Auditorium near the Ottawa Street N. entrance.
  • Meinzinger Park Soccer Fields on Homer Watson Boulevard.
  • Lions Arena on Rittenhouse Road.
  • Upper Canada Park on Pioneer Drive. 
  • Cherry Park at Strange Street and Waverly Road. 
  • Hofstetter Park at 40 Hofstetter Ave. 

In Guelph, bagged yard waste is collected until November 12 and after that, leaves can be raked curbside and the city will pick them up between Nov. 15 to Nov. 26.

Waterloo also has plans to pick up leaves left by the curbside and has outlined certain days in areas of the city for the month of November. 

Cambridge will begin collecting leaves left curbside starting in November until the early part of December.

Mulch and compost

All of the municipalities encourage homeowners to compost or mulch their leaves saying it's the best way to deal with them and it's a positive for the environment.

"Mulch leaves and leave them on your lawn for healthy grass next spring or use leaves, whole or mulched, to insulate and protect your garden beds over winter," Guelph officials said in a release.

Waterloo says leaf mulching on property "protects pollinators and other small urban critters by providing safe habitats."

Anyone who misses their leaf collection day can drop them off at their municipality's waste disposal site.

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