Once again fall is upon us with the many tasks that entails. One of the rituals demanded of us as we yearly put our aging bodies to work is the raking of fallen leaves. We complain that Mother Nature accomplishes this unavoidable autumn happening over a period of weeks and irrespective of diminished daylight hours we all desperately need every season. Because we are less efficient at anything we do, seems to me, that we have to learn to work smarter than ever before.

We, as well as reluctant town leaders, need to adopt smarter and new methods of getting rid of leaves. Granted, it appears to be efficient and inexpensive to vacuum the roadside litter; we’ve all grown to expect the service and utilize it. All of us are aware that the highway department cannot possibly service all streets promptly enough. This allows roadside debris to sit long periods of time, while being unsightly. Worse still is the fact that the wind plays havoc, and the result is we all have repeated work gathering it up again and again.

The solution, as I see it, is for us all to mulch the bulk of our leaves in place for fertilizer and bag the rest for street pick up.

Most of our mowers can mulch by plugging the discharge of our machines. This action reduces leaves to 10 percent by volume.

If towns furnished color-coded bags for lawn debris, and returned each empty bag to by home owners, bags could be used multiple times.

In the long run, we will have less work, gain nutrients for our lawns and gardens, and the town’s expense drops, and adjoining neighbors will love us a bit more. Our town also will appear cleaner and neater.

Paul O. Sylvain

Skowhegan


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