Fall creates an abundance of gorgeous, red, orange and yellow colored leaves scattered around town. Once they have all fallen from the branches, it comes time for the yard raking to begin, but when it comes to Fort Collins, one man's leaves are another man's treasure.

Depending on how big one's yard is, homeowners can wind up with piles and piles of leaves after raking, resulting in multiple black garbage bags stuffed to the brim with debris. This season, residents in Fort Collins can avoid making trips to the stinky landfill and also extra charges being tacked onto their trash bill by instead, recycling their leaves and putting them to good use.

The Leaf Exchange Program, which has been going on for nine years now, is free, and connects people in Fort Collins who are trying to get rid of their leaves with those who are seeking them out for composting, mulching, and other needs. Local farmers are also able to use them for plant insulation throughout the winter, and one woman even uses the leaves she receives to feed her pet goats. Leaf-givers and takers can sign up and communicate with each other through the city's Yahoo Groups page.

Recycling your raked leaves is beneficial for the environment, helps to keep the streets clean during fall, and supports the local farming economy. Just make sure that your bags do not include any rocks, grass clippings, trash, twigs or large branches. For more information, call the Environmental Services Department at 970-21-6600 or visit fcgov.com/recycling/leaf-exchange.php.