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Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em: Put Leaves & Grass To Work For You - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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MJ Wilson Irvington Green Policy Task Force Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em: Put Leaves & Grass To Work For You. Unsafe Driving Conditions Runoff Pollution of Waterways Waste of Valuable Organic Resource High Cost of Collection & Removal. Fall Leaves: The Problem.

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Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em: Put Leaves & Grass To Work For You

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Presentation Transcript

MJ Wilson

Irvington Green Policy Task Force

Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em:Put Leaves & Grass To Work For You

Unsafe Driving Conditions

Runoff Pollution of Waterways

Waste of Valuable Organic Resource

High Cost of Collection & Removal

Fall Leaves: The Problem

Irvington - up to $130k

Scarsdale - $760k

Greenburgh - estimated $300k - $400k

Westchester County - estimated $4,000,000

Collection and disposal of leaves - annual costs:

Significantly reducing the amount of leaves added to the waste stream reduces municipal costs:

Tipping Fees

Collection Costs

Hauling / Disposal Costs

Collateral Damage

Reduces Capital Investment

Mulching-in-place saves landscaping professionals time & money.

It’s good for the environment - feeds trees & lawn, builds soil food web.

It’s simple to learn and implement.

LELE - The Solution!

Your Leaves: Love ‘Em And Leave ‘Em

“It’s Green and It Makes Cents.”

Irvington Green Policy Task Force (GPTF) formed in 2009 by Village in order to review Climate Protection Task Force Report and come up with some immediate cost savings.

Initiative started Summer of 2010 as a solid waste reduction education & outreach project, launching at Aquafest with composting and mulching demos.

Municipal and County support quickly followed.

LELE is Born

Target audiences for outreach & training:



Municipal Officials

School Districts

Commercial Properties

Churches, Non-profits

Subject matter experts - Landscapers, Master Gardeners & Composters/Recyclers, DPW & Parks Dept., Cornell Cooperative Extension.

LELE Initiative

Public training programs

Fall Leaves

GrassCycling added to initiative

Print materials and visuals

Onsite leaf mulching consultations

Web site (

Educational videos

GNC contract administration

LELE Campaign 2012

Shred them with a mulching lawn mower and leave them in place.

Shred them and use as mulch on borders, flower beds and tree rings.

Leave them alone in wooded areas.

Compost them in a pile or compost bin (with or without pre-shredding).

How? Leave Leaves At the Source!

Retain valuable organic material to help maintain a vigorous, healthy, more durable lawn.

Reduce a major part of Westchester County’s solid waste stream. Grasscycling can help cut down on the quantity of materials the County or Municipality has to process

Mowing time can be reduced 25-30%

Raking, emptying mower bags and trips to the curb or truck are eliminated

Recycles nutrients

Saves about 25% of annual fertilizer costs

Keeps waterways free of harmful chemicals.

Note: Every garbage bag of grass clippings contains up to 1/4 lb. of usable nitrogen---- a valuable soil nutrient.

LELE: Why Grasscycle?

Mower w/ mulching rig:

“Gator” Blades

Mulch Gate

Leaf mulcher/chipper

Leaf vacuum/shredder

Leaf blower/rake

Mother Nature

Tools of the TradeProfessional & DIY

Village / Town Boards

DPW and Parks Departments

Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities

County Board of Legislators

Multiple municipalities in region

Non-profits: GNC, SWEAC, Grassroots EE, Bedford LLA


Garden Clubs

Trained Landscapers

Our Partners




Briarcliff Manor



Dobbs Ferry






Towns or Villages Adopting LELE

  • Mount Pleasant

  • Pleasantville

  • Sleepy Hollow

  • New Castle

  • Chappaqua

  • New Rochelle

  • North Castle

  • Scarsdale

  • Sleepy Hollow

  • Tarrytown

  • Yonkers

  • White Plains

Contributions - Earth Day 40

Grants - Clean Air, Cool Planet

Co-operation with other organizations - GNC, SWEAC

In-kind services - landscaper trainers, graphic design, volunteers

Village support - limited office services, web pages, DPW mailer, water bills, eblasts

County Service Contract – 2012 funding provided for county wide educational outreach, trainings, demonstrations, enhanced materials and dedicated website

Sources of Funding?

Expense Monitoring - Municipal cost savings?

Metrics - Yearly leaf processing (pick up, transport, tipping) costs separated out from overall yard waste stream.

Expectations - Set reasonable targets for multi-year ramp up.

Carrot or Stick? - Ensuring adoption of practice.

Continued Education & Outreach - Public “buy-in.”

Municipal Issues Website & Toolkit - open source

Testimonials - newspaper ads

Media - local talk radio

“How to” Videos on YouTube

Showcase Properties - style leaders

On-site Trainings - for professionals & homeowners

Yard Signs - increasing public awareness

Trial Areas - see for yourself!



Does It Work?

Does It Work?

Letters that you can edit for your municipality (.doc):

DPW Mail-out Initiative Announcement

Sample EBLAST to Residents

Sample LELE letter - homeowner to landscaper

Sample LELE letter - village to landscaper

Discussion Topics (.doc):

LELE Talking Points

LELE Initiative Power Point:

LELE PP Presentation (.ppt) & Printout version (.pdf)

Bookmark source files (Illustrator .ai):

LELE homeowner bookmark - front & rear (Illustrator)

LELE landscaper bookmark - front & rear (Illustrator)

Bookmark printer files (.pdf): UPDATED

LELE homeowner bookmark - front & rear (.pdf - w/outlined fonts)

LELE landscaper bookmark - front & rear (.pdf - w/outlined fonts)

Logo files (jpgs): 5 different files with variations of logo

Yard Sign source files (Illustrator .ai): 2 sizes (12" x 18", 18" x 24"), 2 versions

Yard Sign printer files (.pdf): 2 sizes (12" x 18", 18" x 24"), 2 versions

"HOW TO" Pocket Guide (2 sided bi-lingual)

YOU-TUBE How Tos: - short demo videos

Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Share Alike

LELE Toolkit – Resource Files for Your Own Local Initiative

Toolkit Samples

LELE Homepage

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