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City of Yonkers Saves Taxpayers Nearly $2 Million in Citywide “Love ‘Em And Leave ‘Em” Mulch Practice

Post Date:10/18/2017 10:45 AM

Mayor's News

YONKERS, NY – October 18, 2017 – Mayor Mike Spano and the Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation announced this week the City is continuing its leaf management practice Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em in all 44 of its City parks, moving from collection and removal of leaves by trucks to mulch (shred) mowing leaves on-site.  The cost savings of mulching in place, rather than gathering and carting away leaves, has saved City taxpayers approximately $650,000 annually in tipping fees for the past three years. The green initiative also improves soil health, reduces the need for fertilizer and other chemical inputs, and reduces emissions from trucks and other equipment.  

“This initiative is a natural solution for our homeowners and landscapers that is both cost-effective and supportive of a healthier environment,” said Mayor Spano. “It greatly helps our taxpayers, and provides for a greener and more sustainable Yonkers.”

Every season, leaves often are blown into piles on the street, or placed into bags, left for municipal pick up. Too often these vast piles spread out creating a safety hazard for drivers and wash into the storm drains, clogging storm sewers. Leaves decaying on the street also release nutrients such as phosphate and nitrogen (aka “fertilizer”) that eventually wash into rivers.

Mulching (shredding) in-place is the best and simplest solution. The practice of mulching-in-place offers many benefits including:

· Saves money: Helps keep taxes down by reducing municipal leaf pickup and disposal. Landscapers can also save operating costs by using smaller crews and avoiding dumping fees. 

· Saves effort: Many homeowners and landscapers find that mulching leaves in place is actually easier than raking, bagging, or blowing them to the curb. 

· Keeps property healthy: Leaf mulch recycles nutrients into soil to feed plants, improves soil health, helps retain moisture and reduces the need for watering in dry spells. 

· Helps the planet: Transporting and disposing of leaves from the curb wastes energy and contributes to pollution. 

“By practicing on-site leaf mulching, it not only save considerable time and money, but it also helps reduce our carbon footprint,” said Jason Baker, Director of Sustainability for the City of Yonkers.  “The Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em initiative is another example of how successful Mayor Spano’s Yonkers Green City program has benefited the taxpayer and environment.”   

For residents who choose to bag their leaves, the Department of Public Works will pick up leaves every Wednesday, (except during a holiday week when it shifts to Thursday). City trucks will pick up recycling and return for leaves placed in paper bags only.