Burning Leaves Safely


Falling leaves are often the first signs of the seasonal shift — and of more yardwork. As the piles of raked leaves build up, you’re faced with a new problem: how to dispose of them.

A popular method of disposal is to burn them. If you’re burning leaves in your outdoor fire pit, it may be tempting to throw trash onto the pile, such as household garbage, construction debris or old papers. While leaves and grass clippings can be disposed of through burning, the Washington Township Fire Department cautions using flammable liquids to ignite the debris.

Keep an eye on the fire at all times and be prepared to extinguish it at any moment — if the wind picks up or the weather changes, an open burning can quickly get out of control.

Safe alternatives to burning leaves include:

  • Recycling. Tree limbs, grass clippings, leaves and brush can be composted, mulched or chipped into landscaping material.
  • Scheduling an additional pickup. Call Rumpke to see if they provide curbside collection of bagged leaves, although there are limitations on what they will pick up.
  • Calling a yard waste or junk removal service. They will take the debris to the dump or recycling center.


Updated: 10/11/22