Kingston Bylaws – Leaf Pick Up

litter, clean up, garbage, Kingston, Ontario
I feel a need to unload, people. I turned on my fireplace two days ago. We held out until November and we’re pretty proud of that but, yeah, it’s time to accept the fact that this winter thing isn’t going to go away and my fingers couldn’t take the cold anymore. For many of us, this time of year brings not only the chilly temperatures, but also a huge pile of leaves in our yards. Hey, at least it’s not snow yet, am I right? sigh…

So, what do we do with all these leaves? Some people choose to leave them where they are (badumbum), and throwing them in your green bin is also an option. Harvey and I like to rake them up and put them under our cedar trees so they can decompose there and feed the soil. For those who don’t have room in their green bins for all those leaves, the city offers a pick up once a year. You can check out the schedule to see when your street’s leaves will be picked up. The rules for leaf pick up are pretty simple.

  • Place the leaves in large paper bags (apparently these are called KRAFT bags) or you can put them loosely in a barrel or garbage can
  • Leaves in plastic bags will not be picked up
  • All leaves should be placed on the curb by 8am on the Monday of your leaf collection week – they could come any day
  • Brush will not be picked up during leaf collection week, however you can place your tomato plants and other veggie garden waste with the leaves. “Brush” is considered anything with sticks or bristles.
  • Bags need to weigh 44 pounds or less or they will not be picked up
  • Be sure to keep any other household waste out of the bags as the whole point is to compost them

Despite offering this service, the city does encourage Kingstonians to keep their leaves for their own compost and mulch. Leaves are rich in carbon and fiber which are great nutrients for our soil. In the winter, however, most of our compost bins are getting filled with kitchen waste, which is rich in nitrogen – also a great nutrient, but balance is always a good thing. If you keep your leaves and add them to your compost throughout the winter, you’ll end up with a richer, more balanced compost for your garden next summer.

As far as bylaws go concerning leaves, the only rule is to keep them on your property if you don’t compost them or send them away. Do not rake your leaves onto the curb, the street or the boulevard as it creates unsafe conditions for cyclists and motorists. Leaves get really slippery when they’re wet!

Happy raking and mulching, folks. Have a great weekend.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

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