Leaf Collection Do's and Dont's

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Effective October 14, 2014, the City of New Rochelle will no longer pick up loose leaf piles.

Know your options! Read city guidelines for bagging, mulch mowing and transporting leaves.

Message from Mayor Noam Bramson

New Rochelle is privileged to have neighborhoods filled with trees, lawns and landscaped gardens. Every spring, summer and fall, however, we throw away nature’s valuable resources - leaves and grass clippings.

The City of New Rochelle’s  “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em” mulching campaign is a sustainable alternative that will add valuable material back to lawns and gardens. We are encouraging all landscapers and property owners to mulch mow leaves and grass clippings and leave them in place.

The benefits of leaf and grass mulch mowing (shredding in place) include:

  • A healthy property: Mulching recycles nutrients into the soil to feed lawns & plants, provides a free natural fertilizer, and helps retain moisture. 
  • Saving time and effort: Mulching leaves in place is easier and faster than raking or blowing them to the curb. 
  • Helps the environment: Transporting and disposing of leaves wastes energy and contributes to pollution. Also, leaf piles block streets and traffic, clog storm drains, and result in excess nutrient runoff (phosphorus & nitrogen) polluting our waterways. 

Noam Bramson, Mayor

Download Mayor Bramson's letter to residents (.pdf).
Download Mayor Bramson's letter to landscapers (.pdf).

New! A list of Landscapers who offer LELE mulch mowing in New Rochelle. Download the PDF file.

Please be sure to contact landscapers as soon as possible before leaves begin to fall in order to contract service for this year.

City Council Passed LELE Resolution

On May 14, 2013 a resolution encouraging on-site leaf and grass mulching was unanimously passed by the New Rochelle City Council.
BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of New Rochelle, NY that the City of New Rochelle endorses a leaf and grass mulching policy and encourages all property owners and residents within the City to make optimal use of this rich organic resource by mulching grass and leaves on their own properties and help reduce the costs of unnecessary leaf and grass collection and disposal by the City.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of New Rochelle encourages all landscapers working within the City to implement leaf and grass mulching techniques on their clients’ properties. 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of New Rochelle shall begin implementing these techniques on selected City properties in 2013. 

 Download a full copy of the resolution (.pdf).

Landscaper Testimonial

Tim Downey
Aesthetic Landscape Care, Inc.
“Over the past ten years, I evolved my business practices whereby I remove virtually no leaves from my clients’ properties in the autumn. My net has increased, my costs declined, and my clients receive better value for their fee. The properties look better and are healthier. It’s a win/win all the way around.”

Property Manager Testimonial

Here is testimonial about the ease and benefits of LELE leaf mulching for larger institutions (such as an educational campus) from Michael Ferrara, Assistant Director of Facilities Management, The College of New Rochelle:

"We here at the College of New Rochelle were very fortunate to have Mike DeBartolo of Westchester Landscape Depot come to the campus to personally instruct my landscape contractor, Raymondo, on the proper use of the Vulcher mulching attachment to his mower.

"These photos (below) show the progress of mulching-in-place when done in the proper manner.  You can see the large amount of leaves reduced to the size of, what I like to say, 'cigarette tobacco.'

"The secret, if I may, is operating the machine essentially in circles (going over the partially chopped leaves a second pass) which causes the leaves to be mulched down to a very fine size.

"Experiencing the leaf mowing mulching method first hand, I must say this process is a 'no brainer' for landscapers and homeowners alike to adopt. They must simply retool themselves mentally and break from the old ways of removing leaves from their property. By embracing the LELE method and with access to continuing education outreach/training demos showing 'best techniques', it will get easier each time they mulch!

It creates a win-win situation not only by saving time and money, but because it is great for the ecology."

Partially processed leaves exhaust from deck towards un-mulched area.

Move more slowly than when mowing grass to allow finer leaf chop.

About 2/3 to 3/4 width intake under mower deck is optimum.

A second pass over leaf debris ensures finest chop.

Thanks to College of New Rochelle and Mike DeBartolo of Westchester Landscape Depot (located in New Rochelle) for this LELE demonstration.

New Rochelle, Yonkers Receive Joint Grant for Leaf Mulching

The City of New Rochelle and the City of Yonkers were awarded a grant from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities to support a joint project to create a training, marketing, and policy campaign for on-site leaf mulching. This grant was matched by the Westchester Community Foundation, as well.
"Everyone benefits from green practices that improve our environment while also cutting costs, so New Rochelle is delighted to work with the Westchester Community Foundation on this positive initiative,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. 
“The Westchester Community Foundation is pleased to partner with the cities of Yonkers and New Rochelle in support of ‘Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em.’,” said Catherine Marsh, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We commend Mayor Spano and Mayor Bramson for their leadership in jointly promoting this low-cost and innovative “green” program that reduces waste while saving homeowners and municipalities money.”

Read the full press release (.pdf).

LELE Yard Signs Available

If you are interested in LELE yard signs to help spread the word, please contact Director of Planning and Sustainability Nina Arron at (914) 654-2183.
Sustainability plans, entitled GreeNR, define the "smart growth" of New Rochelle over the next 20 years and will serve to guide the City’s future development so that New Rochelle can grow in an environmentally responsible, economically vibrant, and socially equitable manner. GreeNR identifies the City’s sustainability goals and presents specific initiatives to achieve those goals.