GERMANTOWN -- It’s a pretty well-known fact the city of Milwaukee collects your leaves each fall, but what does the Department of Public Works do with them after that?
“They don’t get thrown away," Bryan Ukena said. "They get reused again."
The city’s composting program was set up in the 1990s when the state banned leaves from landfills.
The leaves go from laying curbside in your neighborhood to being dumped at the city’s waste management composting facility then turned into compost.
“We take it here, we process it, put it back into the soil and it’s basically a circle," Steve Meyer said.
A circle of life that not only conserves natural resources but also helps bring resources back to the city.
“It’s part of a larger approach of reusing material and getting it back into the community," Ukena said.
"[This way] it can create jobs, so that it can save money, and so that it can help the environment," he continued.
Milwaukee's composting facility in Germantown is the largest composting site in the state, and each year crews take in about 20,000 - 22,000 tons of leaves.
City of Milwaukee residents can visit www.MilwaukeeRecycles.com for information about leaf collection and to enter their address for an approximate collection day. They can also "take the pledge" and sign up for our e-mail notifications to be entered to win some compost, courtesy of Waste Management.