(WSPA) – We’re just now starting fall leaf season, so there’s going to be a lot more coming down to the ground. Many local cities will pick these up for you curbside.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 70.8 billion pounds of yard waste is generated in the U.S. a year, and fall leaves add their share.

Mark Ford, the Environmental Services Manager for Spartanburg Public Works, said this will keep their workers busy.

“Everybody we have in yard waste is collecting leaves, we’ll use some people from street division and grounds maintenance as well to help us collect roughly five, six million pounds of leaves.” 

Spartanburg is one of many local cities that run their own trash collection and will collect your leaves. 

The city will fill 18 truckloads a day during peak season from mid-fall through early winter. 

Ford said for residents, the process is simple. 

“Residents just need to simply rake them to the curb close to the street without blocking the street of course, and then we will come by on a rotation, right now it’s about every three to four weeks, but with more staffing coming we should be able to tighten that up a little bit.” 

“One hundred percent of those leaves that we collect each year go to a private vendor on the westside of Spartanburg and they are composted into a soil amendment.” 

Other yard waste goes to the county collection point at the Wellford Landfill where it can be turned into mulch. 

Because of that, make sure to keep leaves, grass clippings and branches in separate piles. Don’t put anything else in with the yard waste. 

“Foreign objects inside the leaf pile, like pumpkins, is a huge one. Pumpkins are not yard waste. Those things go in the impeller of the vacuum and can cause damage and it delays the process of picking it up.” 

If you live in the county or live in a city that does not have leaf pick-up, yard waste is collected at the county landfill for recycling.  

About two-thirds of all yard waste nationwide is recycled; 30 years ago, only about one-fourth was. Municipal yard waste pick-ups and greater awareness have driven these numbers up. 

You can recycle at home, too.

If you have one inch or less of leaves in your yard, cutting them with a mulching mower will feed your lawn.

Excess mulch can be tilled into the soil for gardens or flower beds or used for composting. 

Keeping your yard looking good, while extending the life span of landfills and helping the environment. 

If you live in a city with city-run trash pickup, call or check the city website for their yard waste policies.

Larger cities include Spartanburg, Greenville, Asheville and Anderson.

If you live in a city without city-run trash or in an unincorporated part of your county, call your trash hauler or visit your county’s recycling information page for details on what to do with yard waste.

Most counties accept yard waste at a county landfill or transfer station. Some will have mulch pick-up programs at the same locations.

For South Carolina residents, visit the Department of Health and Environmental Control to find your particular county.