Mulching and leaving in your yard is a better choice than the city coming by with a big truck.
LEAVE PICKUP SCHEDULE FOR 2014-15
Your lawn, garden, and flower beds need nutrients. All those leaves that you rake or blow into a giant pile for city pickup are chuck full for nutrients. A much better alternative is to mulch those leaves with your mower and simply let them stay on your yard.
Ideally it’s best to leave no more than an inch of chopped up leaves on your grass and three to four on your beds. It would be awesome if the city didn’t have to spend all the extra time cleaning up our leaves and could focus on keeping the drains clear.
I realize that city dwellers with a small backyard that is 90% patio the mulching alternative isn’t going to work and that a backyard three feet deep of leaves is not ideal. That being said every little bit helps and mulch what you can. Most leave blowers have a vacuum option and that will do an excellent job of chopping up leaves for use in flower/garden beds.
If you do decide that you’re not mulching please don’t rake into the street. Leaves by nature are not bright, don’t follow directions, and will not stay put. Instead of staying in a nice pile they go with the flow of rain and either clog up the street drains leading to street flooding or they get washed into the watershed and causes problems. Too many leaves in our waterways causes algae to bloom, which in turn soaks up oxygen that fish need.