It’s autumn. Leaves are falling.
The fallen leaves can be mulched with any regular power lawn mower – even electric. It may not be as effective, but it’s good enough to accelerate decomposition and reduce the volume for yard ‘waste’ collection.
Rake the leaves into piles … linear piles, and use the edge of the mower to ‘bite’ into the pile, discharging to the side: tilt the mower up at it’s front end by pushing on the handlebar, and working into the pile slowly. It’ll work quite well. And a repeat mulching will reduce the volume further.
The mulching of leaves (all yard waste) is perhaps the single best use of a motorized power tool. It is for this reason that a regular lawn mower performs a valuable function – for all it’s noise, particulate and CO2 emissions. A mulching attachment achieves excellent results.
For large items, and shrub/tree mulching, a dedicated chipper/shredder works is one of the best investments (though, if possible, somethingfor ownership to be shared between family or neighbours, or rented) .
Actually, leaf mulching and larger ’shredding’ are processes which municipal governments are well positioned to provide as a service: These are tasks that are generally seasonal, requiring intense continuous mechanization … and using a task-specific machine which is t00 expensive, bulky for most home owners to bother owning, unless the yard is sufficiently large.
For municipal service, people could be required to rake the leaves to the road edge. A vehicular mulcher would drive by and mulch the leaves ‘in place’ and and either discharge back onto the ground, or remove (depending on the costs/labour people are willing to bear).
For homeowners using regular mowers … it’s best to mulch dry leaves, so it they’re wet, turn the leaves with rake to air them out before raking into piles. Allow to dry for a couple of days, if possible. Otherwise, just go to it.
After mulching, ‘fluff’ the pile occasionally for optimal drying (if wet) before bagging for removal … less water weight allows more volume packed into a bag.
And allow some of the mulch to remain on the ground to contribute nutrients and biomatter to rejuvenate the soil. This mulch will decompose significantly after the numerous freeze-thaw cycles from autumn to spring. Just rake lightly in springtime.