A leaf shred is a leaf saved..
In the last week’s Brown Leaf blog, we had guest blogger Ratna Gokhale, who shared how she made leaf shredder at home, what difficulties were faced and how they were overcome.
In case you joined late, here is the link to the blog,
Why so much discussion on shredding? Is it necessary to shred leaves?
No, it is not necessary. But if we do, it makes management of dry leaves easy.
Challenge with dry leaves is their volume.
Volume is huge. It is overwhelming.
At the peak of leaf fall, we see heaps and heaps of dry leaves everywhere.
And it seems impossible that all these leaves will be accommodated in our pits/ piles/ composters.
Once composting starts, volume reduces in no time.
But it is difficult to believe when faced with such a huge quantity of dry leaves.
In Pune city, there are some societies with around 200 trees in their premises. Imagine the quantity of dry leave there.
I am sure, many societies in other cities as well experience the same.
Most of the times, people think it is better to pay somebody to take away those leaves, than to deal with them.
Often, those leaves are taken to the outskirts of the city and are burnt.
All those nutrients are destroyed adding to air pollution.
A thing about air pollution is that, it affects us all. It does not stay at the place where it is created.
If our neighbor burns dry leaves, yet OUR air is polluted.
If a person 5 km away from us burns dry leaves, yet OUR air is polluted.
Our kids breath that polluted air.
Hence it is vital that we prevent burning of dry leaves.
Convince people to follow MULCH – COMPOST – DONATE strategy for dry leaves management.
To make composting easy, and less challenging, shredding is one of the options.
Shredding reduces this volume to almost 1/4th of the original.
Shredding reduces surface area of the leaf. Shredded leaves decompose faster.
Composting shredded leaves is relatively easy. When shredded, large quantity of leaves is accommodated at a time, in the composter. Composting process is fast. We get ready compost sooner than we would without shredding.
Making composter at home is quite easy. We saw the detailed process in last week’s blog.
Here is my own experience.
I have 3 large trees in my building premises. At the peak of leaf fall, we collect around 4 gunny bags of dry leaves.
I compost all the dry leaves in my premises. Same compost is used for the garden.
Now, with the leaf shredder, my weekly 4 gunny bags of dry leaves get reduced to only 1. (Shredder reduces volume of leaves to ¼ of the original).
It takes around 2 minutes to shred one bags of dry leaves. So I spend around 8 minutes per week for shredding activity.
Leaf shredder courtsesy: Mr. Manish Naik
Instead of 4 gunny bags of dry leaves, now I have only 1 bag.
Say leaf fall starts in November and continues till April i.e. 6 months.
Every week, 4 gunny bags, means every month, 16 bags of dry leaves are generated.
16 x 6 = 96 bags all through the leaf fall season.
I know, 96 BAGS!!! It is LOT to manage. It is a HUGE challenge.
Let’s see what happen after shredding.
After shredding, 4 bags are reduced to 1.
Every week, instead of 4 bags, we now have only 1.
Every week, instead of 16, only 4.
And now over 6 months, it is just 24 and not 96.
Composting 24 bags of gunny bags over 6 months is a child’s play.
These shredded leaves can be easily accommodated in mulching as well.
For details about mulching and composting, here is the guide for you to download.
Also, links to mulching and composting blogs,
More on Mulching…
Here are the PROS and CONS of shredding.
|Reduction in volume of leaves
|Consumption of electricity
|Manageable leaf volume
|Speeds up composting
|Manageable volume -> more chances of composting -> less chances of burning