What you're seeing in this picture, from left to right: A pile of leaves from this year which I will probably use to cover the gum balls with. Next is a composting bin we bought from Lowe's (but I don't think they sell them any more). The composting bin contains yard waste but it's mostly gum balls and soil at this point as the leaves and branches have broken down. There is a pile of gum balls between the composting bins. These aren't even this year's crop yet but from previous years. Like I said, it takes at least four years for them to decompose. The compost bin to the right is an Earth Machine that we bought from the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District several years ago. Finally, there are two bags mostly containing branches ready to go to the community compost pile.
I live in the City of Norwood, Ohio and homeowners receive 10 composting bags "free" from the city. The two bags you see here are the final two of this year's allotment, meaning that eight bags have gone out for composting already. So, in my small yard, I can only handle a limited amount of yard waste.
I have thought about getting a chipper/shredder but I'm wary of using energy for this process. It would have to be electric (not easy to find) as my wife and I have given up on gasoline-powered yard equipment.
Note: This is update from a post from October 2012, "Clearing the peony bed."