Ashland officials are encouraging residents to take advantage of disposal programs designed to keep fall leaves out of landfills and the streets.
Putting leaves in the garbage or the streets has negative impacts, said Risa Buck, zero-waste specialist for Recology Ashland Sanitary Service.
"It is really important to keep leaves out of the landfill and from clogging storm drains," she said. "They have value and we lose the opportunity to compost the leaves."
Residents can drop off their leaves for free at the Ashland Recycle Center, 220 Water St., between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. this Sunday and Dec. 2 and 16.
Recology, the Ashland Conservation Commission and the cities of Ashland and Talent also have teamed up to offer discounted compostable leaf bags.
A set of five bags can be purchased for $10 until Sunday from Recology at 170 Oak St., Ashland.
Up to two sets of bags per household are available. Identification is required.
People who live within the Ashland and Talent urban growth boundaries can buy the set of discounted bags, which normally cost $14.50, according to Recology.
Once filled with leaves, the compostable bags should be set out on the curb on regular green debris collection days during November and December.
Buck said that Recology collects the leaves and sends them to Rogue Disposal and Recycling in White City, where they are used to make compost.
Leaves and other yard debris also can be hauled to the Valley View Transfer Station and be disposed of for a fee of $8 per square yard.
The station is located outside Ashland at 3000 Valley View Road and is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jackson County has a leaf exchange program where people who want to get rid of leaves can pair up with people who want leaves for compost.
For more information on doing a leaf exchange, call 541-774-8207.
Open burning season has ended in Ashland and the city only allows burning of noxious weeds and material that was cut to reduce wildfire risk, according to city officials.
Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.