By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 04, 2020 at 2:02 PM

As Milwaukee's Department of Public Works collects the leaves from city streets, we are re-sharing this post and video showing where those leaves end up.

The leaves you rake into a neat pile on your street are turned into rich compost at Waste Management's Orchard Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility's Organics Complex in Germantown.

We got a behind the scenes look at how Milwaukee – in partnership with Waste Management and Madison's Purple Cow Organics – composts those leaves collected from city streets each autumn.

"We are encouraging residents to rake out their leaves loose into the street and our crews will be collecting those piles," says Smith.

"If residents have any questions about about when those piles will be collected they can go see a projected date at

"As a special way to encourage people to sign up for our email notification, until Nov. 10 we will be entering anyone who signs up for that notification into a drawing to get some free compost."

Remember to leave a one-foot gap between your leaf pile and the curb to allow storm water to reach sewer grates. Don't forget to keep sewer grates clear of leaves and other debris, too, to prevent backups.

(And while I'm being a nudge, please remember to shovel our your nearest fire hydrant after a heavy snow; the last thing you want when your house is on fire is for MFD to be digging around trying to find the hydrant.)

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.