Throwing away dry autumn leaves? A great pity, they think. In Eindhoven for the first time, the leaves are reused throughout the city.
It has the same overpowering sound as always, but the leaf-blowing with machines in the city is different from other years. That is because of the Missie Bladgoud (mission gold-leaf), a project in which the emphasis is no longer on cleaning up, but rather on reusing the leaves.
After sweeping up, the leaves are thrown on a pile. In the winter they are turned into mulch, which in the spring is applied as a thick layer to the soil in the plant beds.
The new method was tested last year in Woensel and Tongelre. It was such a success that it was extended to the entire city this year. “You can clearly see that in those neighbourhoods”, Raymond van de Sande, of Ergon, says. “The plants do better and we don’t have to water as much”.
On streets and squares, however, the leaves are simply removed for safety reasons. Wet leaves can be life-threatening, and then it also matters which trees you have in the street… Poplar leaves create a very slippery surface, whereas Plane Tree leaves hardly do that.
The Eindhoven region is the first area in the Netherlands to take such a sustainable approach. But it can do even better. There are plans to replace those polluting leaf blowers by quiet, electric ones next year.
Translated by: Bob