Leaves are a resource we should exploit
08 November, 2019
‘A whole industry, gathering up leaves and processing them into compost’
• EVERY autumn our trees and bushes shed their leaves, but some see this as a nuisance. I see this as a resource waiting to be harvested – but usually it is treated as a waste product and just left to rot.
Our first harvest is the crops we eat and yet those crops need nourishment and so the farmers have to feed them with compost.
The leaves are our second harvest that just needs to be gathered up and taken to treatment centres where it is turned into this much-needed compost.
I can foresee a whole industry here, gathering up leaves and processing them into compost. Our streets could be cleared of rotting leaves that clog up the storm drains and cause flooding.
The pavements would not be slippy and would make it safer for all pedestrians. The service could be offered to people who have gardens to have their leaves taken away.
Islington Council run a similar service to this but it needs to be scaled up nationally. By scaling up we could offer excess compost to nations that want to improve their food output.
Desertification is happening in Africa and could be halted with tree planting to stop the sands being blown around. Once the trees are in place plants can be planted but the sand needs enrichment and that is where the compost would be used.
The compost, as well as water, could be given to struggling nations instead of money. By given the compost straight to farmers and growers it removes the money from the black economy and potential theft.
By encouraging farmers and growers to produce food it starts to create business, jobs and the remove the need for people to migrate in search of work.
The deserts of Africa could be a great resource if we could nourish them back into life. We would need to harvest water, as well, from our swollen rivers into unused oil tankers that would sail the water to where it was needed.
There is an industry in this project that could be sustainable and useful. It would provide jobs in Britain and help countries produce food again to help feed the rising global population.
RICHARD HOPE, N1