Your leaves are golden. Rather than send them out with the trash, keep them in your yard as valuable soil conditioners and mulch.
Here are three things you can do with leaves.
Rake or blow leaves into a pile and let them sit until they turn into dirt.
The dirt they turn into is called leaf mold and is a wonderful soil conditioner.
Dig it into your garden beds as you would compost. The breakdown method is a bit different
from compost--it works by fungus instead of bacteria--but the results are similar: soil that contains
beneficial organisms and structures from previously living things. The soil on earth is made of things
that used to be alive. You need life to make earth and earth to make life.
Rake or blow them onto your garden beds as mulch. If you are afraid of smothering small plants,
first chop up the leaves by running a lawn mower over them. But I just use the whole leaves.
Also, you can mulch with partially-broken down leaves from a pile you made previously.
Add them to your compost pile. Again, you can chop them up, because they break down slowly,
or just pile them on.
Leave your leaves where they fall. This option is recommended by
proponents of pollinator-friendly yards; the fallen leaves make good nesting places for
pollinators such as butterflies.