GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Fall is officially here. But before you get out your leaf blowers, be mindful that Greenburgh has a set of local laws limiting machinery use, along with regulations on how to bag and get rid of leaves.
Oct. 1 is the first day Greenburgh residents are allowed to use leaf and garden blowers, according to section 380-7 of the Town Code. Watch the noise, though — according to Town Code, gasoline-powered lawn equipment should never exceed 75 dBA in a residential zone, about the sound level of a vacuum cleaner or a car horn.
Noise also is the reason why residents can only use leaf blowers between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Additionally, residents can run the risk of receiving a violation and fine between $150 to $500 if they place a leaf pile in a public street or pedestrian walkway.
Residents should also be aware that as of this year, the Greenburgh Public Works Department no longer performs curbside pickup of loose leaves. There are specific days for leaf pickup and collection, and the leaves must be placed in biodegradable paper bags for pickup, which begins on Wednesdays and runs through Fridays, according their website.
The bagged leaves must be placed curbside by 7 a.m. on those days.
A local landscaper is encouraging other landscapers to mulch leaves, which helps the yard's soil retain moisture and reduce erosion, while saving the Public Works Department from an extra stop.
David Duarte, who's owned Five Brothers Landscaping for 22 years, has been holding sessions at the Greenburgh Nature Center to teach landscapers the benefits of mulching leaves.
"I'm always trying to come up with different ideas so I don't have to go to the process of taking the leaves away," Duarte said. "By putting the shredded leaves back into your garden, you get really great soil that requires less fertilizer, less pesticides, less water — less everything. There's no comparison."