Did you know that yard trimmings alone account for about 12% of municipal solid waste generated in the US? That’s a lot of garden waste, seeing as Americans produce hundreds of millions of tons of MSW each year.
You might think that’s okay, considering that yard trimmings are biodegradable. While that’s true, you must still dispose of yard waste properly; otherwise, it can be a source of pollution. It can even contribute to flooding, which can, in turn, result in thousands of dollars in damages.
If you’re not sure how to deal with garden rubbish, don’t worry; we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn about the correct yard waste disposal methods.
Know What Counts as Yard Waste
Not every piece of rubbish from your garden counts as yard waste. For example, waste management facilities only regard organic materials as garden waste. That includes tree branches, trimmings, leaves, weeds, flowers, grass clippings, and lawn edging.
By contrast, anything not natural, biodegradable, or compostable isn’t yard waste. That includes bricks, rocks, and gardening supplies/tools with plastic or metal parts. Likewise, plant netting, ties, pots, and even treated wood don’t belong in your garden waste.
What about pet poop, shedding, or dander? No, they don’t count as yard waste; you should put them in a separate bag to throw in the garbage. After all, their excrements contain disease-causing germs like E. Coli and fecal coliform.
Check Your Area’s Curbside Collection Schedule
Most municipalities offer residential curbside collection programs for yard waste once a week. How much they accept depends, but it’s usually a limited quantity, such as three cubic yards. They also have specific pickup times, so make sure you only put your bags on the curb during these periods.
Rake Up Fallen Foliage
Freshly fallen leaves contain phosphorus (P), a natural fertilizer. Rain then washes the element out of them. Where it goes next depends on where the dead, decaying leaves are.
Phosphorus can seep into and get trapped in the soil if the leaves are on your lawn. That’s fantastic news, as it can help your plants grow come spring.
If the leaves are on a non-soiled area (like a paved driveway), phosphorus can mix with the rainwater. The runoff can then end up in waterways, ponds, or wetlands.
Unfortunately, too much phosphorus in water promotes pond weed and algae growth. That can reduce the amount of oxygen available to other aquatic species. In more severe cases, excessive algae can also trigger toxic cyanobacteria blooms.
Dead foliage can also form clogs on storm drains and public sewer lines. When that happens, your home can also be at risk of flooding.
You can help prevent that by raking up fallen leaves outside your lawn soil. If there’s already a lot on your lawn, bag them up in paper containers. You can also add them to your compost bin to fertilize and improve your lawn soil’s conditions.
Bag or Tie Tree Branches Together
Many local waste collectors also accept tree branches and twigs, as long as they’re not too long.
One of your options is to cut them into 3- to 4-feet lengths. You can then bag them up and include them in your weekly yard waste collection provisions. As for widths, this varies from city to city, but in general, they only accept those under 6-inches wide.
You can also bundle branches and twigs together using sturdy strings or twines. Please don’t use wires, as these are metal or plastic, and thus, don’t count as yard waste.
Don’t forget to snap or cut them into 3- to 4-feet lengths and follow the allowed widths.
Get a Rental Dumpster
Suppose you overhauled your lawn and turned it into a majestic, landscaped area. Chances are, you generated a lot of garden waste and non-yard garbage.
In that case, one of the best ways to dispose of yard waste and other rubbish is to hire a dumpster rental company. For one, you can choose from a wide array of container sizes, ranging from 10 to 40 yards. Then, all you have to do is fill it with your garden waste, and after that, the company hauls it away.
Another reason to rent a dumpster for yard waste removal is that you can fill it with other types of rubbish. That means you can throw in stuff that doesn’t count as yard waste into the container. In most cases, they include the following:
- Large plant or tree trimmings that local collectors don’t accept
- Bricks, stones, rocks, and rubble
- Uncontaminated soil
- Cardboard and paper packaging
- Plastic packaging and other plastic materials
In addition, you can fill a rental dumpster with old or broken furnishings and roof debris. Construction debris and other non-hazardous waste and clutter are other items accepted.
Consider Hiring a Junk Removal Service
Yard clean-ups, landscaping projects, and renovations generate heavy debris and waste. Lifting and carrying them can, in turn, put you at risk of injuries. Indeed, such activities are among the top culprits behind overexertion and bodily injuries.
So, hire a junk removal company if you don’t have someone to help you dispose of yard waste and other rubbish. Their job is to do the heavy lifting on your behalf. Moreover, their services include hauling all your garbage away.