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11 Things You Should NOT Do With Your Fallen Leaves

If you don't want to annoy your neighbors, harm the environment or your back, avoid these bad practices for dealing with fallen leaves.

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drainJohn Borda/Shutterstock

Don’t Rake Them Into the Street

In many places, it’s illegal to rake your leaves into the street. Leaves and other vegetation or debris swept into the street creates an unsightly, soggy mess. But even more importantly, raking them into the street can block storm drains, which can result in flooding. Check out these 5 ways smart homeowners deal with fall leaves.

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Don’t Burn Leaves in Your Yard


Burning your leaves in your yard is illegal in many places. Burning leaves release irritants into the air that can cause respiratory problems. It addition, the fire could get out of hand and sparks could ignite flammable items in your yard or your neighbor’s. Take a look at these 10 things you should never burn in your backyard fire pit.

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leaves Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

Don’t Rake Them Into Your Neighbor’s Yard


There are a lot of things you shouldn’t do if you want to remain on good terms with your neighbors, and raking your pile of leaves into their yard is definitely one of them! Keep your neighborhood relationships positive by avoiding these 10 things.

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219899284Irra/Shutterstock

Don’t Throw Them in the Trash


Some cities have banned “clean and green” materials from residential garbage collection. Composting organic yard debris like fallen leaves conserves limited landfill space and produces a valuable resource! Here’s how to build a compost bin.

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Skip the Leaf Blower


Some places have banned leaf blowers because they’re loud and create noise pollution. They also stir up a lot of unpleasant dust. If noise pollution concerns you, check out these 23 annoying noises and how to eliminate them.

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Don’t Forget to Shred Before Composting


If you’re already aware of the benefits of composting your leaves, remember to shred them before you add them to the pile. They will decompose faster than unshredded leaves and shredding also prevents matting. Running the lawnmower over leaves will quickly shred them with little effort. Here’s why you need to leave grass clippings on the lawn.

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Don’t Park Your Car Near Leaves


Parking on piles of fallen leaves is a fire hazard. Dry leaves can ignite and the resulting fire can quickly overtake your car. Also, it’s best to avoid parking your car under trees that are shedding leaves, if possible. The leaves can cause stains and if leaves get lodged in air vents, be sure to pull them out before you drive. These are the best leaf guard gutters for your home.

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rake EdBockStock/Shutterstock

Don’t Forget Protective Gear


Wearing protective clothing, such as gloves, shoes that won’t slip on wet leaves and a brace if you have back issues. If cool temps haven’t eliminated flying pests, consider applying some insect repellent so you don’t end up with bites or stings. Check out this safety gear every DIYer should own.

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kidRichard A. McGuirk/Shutterstock

Avoid Raking Too Hard


When you rake leaves, be sure to avoid raking too vigorously or deeply. This can cause fatigue in your hands, arms, shoulders and back. While that may not sound too serious, this fatigue can cause you to throw out your back, especially if you don’t maintain proper posture. Be sure not to bear down too hard while also keeping your knees bent and back straight. Also, try to allow your legs to do some of the work. It’s good to drive the tines into the thatch layer and dislodge it and don’t overdo it on tender new grass. Check out this clever life hack for a padded rake that’s easy on your hands.

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Not Using Biodegradable Bags


Bagging fallen leaves in general is a time-consuming and back-breaking task, and the bags can even end up contributing to landfills if your area doesn’t offer community composting. Furthermore, if you don’t use biodegradable bags, then the bag and leaves become environmentally unfriendly. Here are 18 strange things you never knew you could recycle.

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Don’t Dump Leaves “Down the Hill”


If you live above a ravine, dumping leaves down the hillsides could destabilize the slope. While it may be tempting, don’t create a dangerous environment where people or animals might get hurt. Now that you know what NOT to do with fallen leaves, check out 10 things you CAN do with them.

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