KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Environmentalists are asking you to think twice about what you do with your leaves.

Some traditionalists may not want to hear this, but experts say stop raking. They say it’s not the best option for your yard or the environment. Specialists say you should mow right over the leaves.

Raking can create some issues when it comes to disposal. If leaves are raked into the street, they can get into the storm drains and harm the water supply. Or, if leaves aren’t composted, they may end up in the trash.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 11 million tons of yard waste went into landfills in 2015.

Dennis Patton, a horticulturist with the K-State Research and Extension says mulching up leaves creates a natural fertilizer, and you don’t need to pick every single leaf up out of the yard.

"You’re going through way too much work if you’re doing all of that. Like I said, you really need to think or use as being a treasure not so much as a trash as a waste product because there is so much valuable nutrients from them," Patton said.

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