Evanston news delivered free to your inbox! 

At least once a year some residents are troubled about having to bag the leaves on their lawns and parkways and purchase sticker for the bags in order to have the City haul them away. Many remember when residents could rake the leaves into the street, leaving it to the City to dispose of them.

We would like to see that practice reinstated, or at least have City staff produce an estimate of the cost. Better still would be neither bagging the leaves nor raking them into the street but re-using them instead. A thin layer of leaves left on grass provides insulation from the cold and can offer a bit of protection against winter salt. Thicker layers of leaves are great for the garden; even if they do not wholly decompose over the winter, they do rot a bit and what is left can be dug into the soil in the spring. The optimal solution is to mulch them with a mulcher (or run over them a few times with a lawn mower) and then spread them on the lawn and the gardens.

We wonder whether encouraging residents to mulch or at least rot as many leaves as possible, then allowing them to rake the rest into the street might, well, leave a better feeling about the fall.