As we’re approaching the fall season, your amount of yard waste is about to increase exponentially. As leaves start to fall and grass requires frequent mowing, you will likely find yourself with a large amount of yard waste that must be disposed of somehow. Many town governments have some sort of restrictions regarding what type, how much and when you can leave yard waste for trash pickup. Besides these detailed restrictions that can be quite a hassle, yard waste takes up quite a significant portion of space in landfills. If you can come up with alternative disposal methods, you will do a service to your community.
Lawn clippings are great additions to a compost pile. Your yard waste will vary in its nitrogen and carbon composition, which means you can provide your pile with the necessary “greens” and “browns” to facilitate a healthy decomposing process. Grass clippings and weeds are usually considered greens and dead leaves and pine needles are considered browns. Check out our post about composting for more information on how to get started with this.
Another great use for yard waste is to build up natural areas. Obviously store-bought mulch has a much more manicured look than just dumping dead grass and leaves in these places. However, you can build up the space that you want with yard waste as a base and then just top it off with one layer of mulch or fresh pine needles. Yard waste will work as a sort of filler wherever you need it; perhaps not a natural area, but maybe a depression or gulley in your yard.
If you don’t mind spending a little money to rent a wood chipper, you can create your own mulch or wood chips using sticks or tree limbs you have gathered or cut down. When doing so, you will want to store the wood chips for a few months to let them dry out and age before using in your yard.