For those living in Ramsey County Minnesota, Tuesday is a big day. The county yard waste sites reopen (may be delayed if the predicted snow hits). While I do make use of most of my garden waste/leaves for my hen operation and own backyard compost, these county collection points are useful for woodies and items that are trickier to compost at home- such as thick tomato stems.
I tend to grow a largish pile of brush over the winter due to the branches I collect from these same yard waste sites for use as winter decoration in both my yard and at community plantings. The photo above shows a Midway business and community members adding branches like these to a planter. The branches all end up back at the yard waste site in the spring.
The urban/suburban brush collected at Ramsey County goes to St. Paul's District Energy, which supplies heating, cooling and electricity to downtown St. Paul all created from that biomass.
That's a tight closed cycle for these decorative woody branches used in the Midway.
St. Paul yard --> Yard Waste Site --> St. Paul Yard--> Yard Waste Site -->District Energy in downtown St.Paul ---> heat & energy to St. Paul business & homes