I would pile them up and get my friends together and run and jump into them and as they would scatter around the yard we would eventually rake them up and put them out for the trash and away they would go.
Nowadays, we have learned that through recycling programs that the leaves are put in a separate container and taken to a facility and mixed in with other plant materials, tree branches that were shredded into small pieces along with dirt and manure and piled high and left to sit and it is in this pile of organic matter that the process of bio-degradation is taking place. These piles can get so hot that you can see steam coming off them on cold days, this is why the piles are "turned over" so that they don't get too hot, because that will stop the process of what is known as composting. After months of this, the resulting product is planting soil that is better and safer than the stuff made with chemical fertilizers. It also reduces a huge waste stream that we once had and is good for the environment.
As technology advances, industry is producing more and more products that will biodegrade. Take packing peanuts for example, just a few years ago they were a problem to get rid of as being made out of Styrofoam they would last seemingly forever. I had a college professor that said that if a bug evolves that could devour Styrofoam, then we will all be in trouble. Today, they have packing peanuts that are biodegradable and when subjected to water, they seem to almost dissolve.
Here at Fett Affen Technologies, we stive to use packaging materials that are easy to recycle and are biodegradable (such as the packing peanuts). As our products are biodegradable, it is easy to rinse out the bottles and recycle them as well. We all need to do our part as it doesn't take that much more effort.