A week or so ago I went over to the neighbor's side lot for the annual mowing up of the leaves. This was just the first round (there's more by now!), and I chop them super fine with my lawn mower (no bag on) first, then I put the bag on and suck them up. It's not a terrible amount of work, and is great for the garden beds.
Even better than that? I posted a note in the neighborhood group on Facebook asking if anyone was going to be throwing away bagged leaves. Look what I got!
Already chopped, bagged AND DELIVERED to me! And this is just the first of them. There's a couple side-by-side houses at the front of the development that have a ton of leaves blowing across the street from older houses, and so these guys work together to do all the clean up. And since they can only put out a small, limited number of bags of yard waste with their trash each week, these bags apparently sit there and then slowly get taken by the trash service over a couple months.
Not anymore! Now they're MINE!! ALL MINE! I can pick them up, or Mark's offered to drop them off. SWEEEEEET!!!
I look at it as the trees and lawn are using their roots to draw the nutrients out of the ground, and then people chop up all the fallen leaves and grass clippings, and GET RID OF IT....moving those nutrients off-site. Put it back in the soil/gardens...it'll break down, critters will work it over, and it puts the nutrition back in the soil.
Wait. Everyone but Mark and Wendell. You two keep bagging it. ;-)