Yonkers Gets Money For Leaf Mulching Plan

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Tim Downey, owner of Aesthetic Landscape Care Inc., shows Yonkers officials how leaf mulching works during an October demonstration in Redmond Park. Photo Credit: Matt Bultman

YONKERS, N.Y. – Yonkers is getting some help as it continues a push to go green. 

The city, in partnership with the Westchester Community Foundation and the City of New Rochelle, was awarded a $25,000 grant to support the Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em Leaf mulching initiative, officials announced Tuesday.

The joint project is one of six proposals from across the nation that was selected for funding.

“Already, Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em has become a successful program and this grant will only help us in our continued efforts in lowering our carbon footprint,” Mayor Mike Spano said in a statement.

In October, city officials announced the launch leaf mulching plan. Instead of collecting leaves from the 44 city parks and hauling them to compost yards, crews have begun to mulch the fallen foliage.

The program was expected to reduce the city’s annual cost of $650,000 in tipping fees while turning the leaves into nutrient-rich, natural fertilizing material, officials said.

"Mulching in place not only saves municipalities money with fewer tons of organic waste collected, but it also results in healthier lawns," City Council President Chuck Lesnick said Tuesday.

In total, $245,000 was awarded to six projects across the nation, all funded by the Local Sustainability Matching Fund, a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

City officials said the money will be used to support a training and marketing campaign for on-site leaf mulching that will reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions and generate cost-savings for property owners, landscapers and taxpayers.

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