Living in an apartment complex, I enjoy picking up the leaves that fall on the public patio and tossing them into the complex's planters. This cover the naked soil under the complex's plants, does all the benefits of mulching, such as returning nutrients to the soil and reducing moisture evaporating from the soil. This also reduces, however slightly, the need to clean the walks.
Unfortunately, the complex's contractors keeping "cleaning up" the mulch, carefully restoring the naked soil and tossing the leaves into our wastestream.
We need a way to re-orient the vision of the ideal public planter to include the normal mulching effect of fallen leaves.