It’s here! It’s Fall!  What better time to live in Eastern PA than when the trees turn brilliant red, deep orange, vibrant yellow, luscious pink and everything in between? The cold season has crept its way through the state and the landscape has responded accordingly with its seasonal wardrobe change. Although those leaves look artfully painted on the branches, once they fill your yard, gardens, gutters, and driveway, the work begins!

An accumulation of leaves can bring with it family fun, entertainment, photo opportunities, and often, the anticipation of a booming bonfire! Although bonfires are warm, toasty, and a great way to enjoy the fall weather, keep in mind that burning the light weight leaves is not the safest way to dispose of them. Cincinnati Insurance offers several options for yard cleanup and examines the risks of burning those leaves in “Burn, rake or mow? A seasonal question”.

“Burn, rake or mow…” advises that before you burn leaves (or any yard waste), check on your local municipal website or call to make sure that you are not breaking any current regulations. Depending on each season’s individual weather conditions, temporary regulations can be put in place to prevent the spread of wildfires and accidental destruction of property.

Burning leaves can cause fire to spread quickly, but it also leads to significant pollution. The fallen leaves contain particles and gases that will dissipate and increase risk for a respiratory infection. We have all been told that the earth has accumulated too much carbon monoxide in its atmosphere and it is creating a dangerous environment for those of that us that live here! Burning these fallen leaves releases excess carbon monoxide gas that is not healthy to inhale in large doses and contributes to the excess within the atmosphere.

Cincinnati suggests some of the following ways to use your leaves so that you get rid of them without creating a fire hazard or excess pollution:

  • Municipal Pickup – Let your local municipality pick up those leaves and dispose of them how they see fit! Yes, you still have to bag them (most likely) but they will be out of your hair, and your yard!
  • Compost Pile – Let the leaves compost over time and add food scraps and other natural debris to the pit. This works as a great alternative to mulch once the spring season comes around.
  • Lawn Mower Mulch – If you don’t want to wait for the compost, just drive you lawn mower through that big pile! The shredded leaves will give the soil nutrients and moisture.
  • Arts and Crafts – If you are an artistic person, use those leaves to your benefit! Use them to stuff that scarecrow, decorate that wreathe, fill that seasonal bin, or even as paint stamps for your child’s finger painting craft!


Skidmore, Marty. “Burn, Rake or Mow? A Seasonal Question – The Cincinnati Insurance Companies Blog.” The Cincinnati  Insurance Companies Blog. 26 Aug. 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.