Don't burn the leaves!
It is often said that autumn paints in colors that summer has never seen. The green leaves turning shades of red, orange, and yellow are many people’s favorite part of the fall season. However, when the leaves spill to the ground and are raked into piles, we often find ourselves wondering what to do with them. A common solution to getting rid of the piles of leaves Is to burn them. What many people don’t realize though, is that in some states and counties, burning leaves is illegal. Consider the following quote about Michigan’s leave burning laws from michigan.gov.
“Since 1995, solid waste regulations have prohibited the open burning of grass clippings and leaves in Michigan municipalities with a population of 7500 or more. Local governing bodies may enact an ordinance authorizing such open burning provided other regulations are not violated. They must submit a copy of the ordinance to EGLE's Materials Management Division, P.O. Box 30241, Lansing, MI 48909.”
Michigan.gov goes on to explain the open burning of leaves and other unwanted materials is banned in Michigan for health and safety purposes. According to their website, open burning pollutes the air and creates a higher risk for forest fires. It was also mentioned that the pollution from burning leaves can cause certain health issues such as irritated eyes, difficulty breathing / aggravated lungs, and distorted vision. It can also infect nearby soil, and leave strong, lingering odors.
While it is helpful to know that the burning of leaves is prohibited in Michigan, we are still left trying to figure out how to dispose of the leaves safely and legally. Thankfully, the American Lung Association of Iowa provided some insightful alternatives. The first alternative listed was mulching. Mulching provides an excellent source of nutrients to soil and protects it from wind and water erosion. Creating mulch is as simple as shredding leaves on your yard while mowing the lawn. Most lawn mowers now come equipped with a detachable mulching blade, but if not, you can buy one for your mower at minimal cost.
Another alternative to burning leaves is to compost them. Gardeningknowhow.com explains that composting leaves makes a dark, rich, earthy organic matter that can be used like soil. It adds nutrients to garden soil and the larger particle size helps enhance the tilth and loosen compacted earth.
Lastly, an easy alternative to burning your leaves is to bag them up for collection. Contact your local trash or recycling business to get information on scheduling bagged leaves for pickup.
If the fall season happens to result in fire damage on your property or in your home, trust that the professionals at SERVPRO will make it “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Big Rapids/Fremont specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after Fire damage. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
If you need help with cleaning up after Fire damage, call the Professionals at SERVPRO of Big Rapids/Fremont! On call 24/7! ( 231) 796-2342