The town I live in has a pretty large leaf compost system. In the fall we rake our leaves into the street about once a month, and the township comes along and sucks them into converted trash trucks and then composts these leaves into garden mulch. In the spring they dump huge piles of mulch in the town parks for anyone who wants it.
When I was a kid in the 1960's we used to rake the leaves into the street and burn them!
While I love getting free composted mulch for my garden beds, I also consider it more or less a responsibility to use this stuff. This program costs a lot of money to implement, and with everyone complaining about where our tax dollars are going, in my opinion this is a very good use of taxes. It is environmentally friendly and it helps promote local gardening systems. And yet, in my three trips to this mulch pile today to fill up some containers, I was the only person helping myself to free mulch. (it is early in the season, and the mulch was only just delivered to the local parks this week)