Many of our grounds maintenance contracts include leaf clearance from the start of November through to the end of winter. As you could imagine the amount of leaves we collect during this period is considerable and throughout November clearing the bulk of leaves is our priority. Leaf clearance and recycling is an important part of grounds maintenance whereas if leaves are left laying on lawns for too long a period they will start to damage the grass and also leaves left on roadways or pathways not only cause obstructions but also can become very slippery, the overall look of a site is improved with regular leaf clearance so it is not only a safety issue but also and aesthetic one. Here is a short video showing some of the means we use for collection and recycling of the leaves.
We use a variety of hand tools and equipment to collect leaves depending on the conditions and the type of ground they are covering. When on grass we would use blowers and leaf rakes so as not to damage the normally wet grass and soil at this time of year, most of the sites where we carry out leaf clearance comes under grounds maintenance contracts so we also would cut the grass with the mowers on a high setting that not only collects the grass cuttings but also collect any leaves that are left. On hard standings we would carry out bulk leaf clearance with blowers and leaf rakes then collect by hand into jumbo bags and then finish off by using a walk behind petrol driving vacuum to totally clear the area.
Once the leaves have been collected into jumbo bags they are then transferred to the vehicle and taken away from site to a green waste disposal facility to be turned into compost, leaves are rich in minerals and organic matter so should not just be dumped but recycled to produce compost where they can then be used to improve gardens anywhere. If you collect leaves in your own garden it is worthwhile bagging them up and storing to turn into leaf mulch that can be used as a good mulch and soil improver, however it is a long process and can take up to two years.
From this particular area shown in the photos and video we collected over six jumbo bags full of leaves, this is just a small amount of the total we collect in the autumn and winter period from all of our sites under grounds maintenance contracts. Our aim is always to collect the bulk of leaves by the beginning of December and with regular visits to have any site leaf free by the end of January.