Boy taking a break from chores to jump in the leaves

It’s fall in Indiana. Our beautiful leaves are changing and starting to come down.  Many gardens are done growing and it’s time to do a thorough cleanup before the cold weather gets here. Don’t forget you can “recycle” your leaves, twigs, and garden trimmings.

One of the easiest ways to deal with leaves is to leave them alone–run over them with the mower to break them into tiny pieces and let them naturally decompose. This will not only save you some back-breaking work, but it will also provide your lawn with some nutrient-rich material. Other ideas for “recycling” leaves are to stockpile them to be used later in a compost pile or use them as mulch. As an added bonus, the Hendricks County Solid Waste Management District operates two Yard Waste Recycling Centers in Plainfield and Brownsburg that will be open until November 29, 2016, and will reopen in April .

Although “recycling” leaves is the best option for the environment, we realize that some people still burn leaves. Leaf burning may have been one of your favorite pastimes as a kid, but there are some rules and precautions you should be aware of about burning for very good health, safety and environmental reasons.

Leaf burning is not permitted in most town limits within Hendricks County.  Call your local town office or fire department to find out the rules where you live.

  • In populated areas there is more risk for fire spreading.
  • Smoke and poor air quality for neighbors are a concern.

If you live outside of a town, but within the county, leaves must be burned in a container.

  • Burning must be done during daylight hours so that the fire can be monitored.
  • A garden hose must be readily available.
  • The fire must be attended at all times.

Burning of prairie plantings is permitted.

  • Make sure that the people burning the prairie plantings are properly trained.
  • Pay attention to weather conditions.
  • Alert your local fire department before a burn.

Agricultural burning is permitted.

  • Cleaning up fence rows, clearing trees and the like are allowed.
  • Be aware of weather conditions.
  • Have a water source nearby.

Campfires and Bonfires are allowed in Hendricks County.

  • Each town has its own requirements.

Be aware that burning leaves does release particulate into the air and can cause health problems.  So, before you light a match, consider your health, your neighbors’ health and the health of the environment and mulch, compost, or properly recycle your leaves.  Note: burning trash is never legal.

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