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Recycling Yard Trimmings

Grasscycling and Composting Yard trimmings are banned from being landfilled. They are a valuable resource and should be recycled. Yard trimmings can be recycled by grasscycling and composting. If you are bagging lawn clippings, you are wasting a valuable resource. Grass contains valuable nutrients; 4% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus and about 2% potassium. Grass clipping left on the lawn provides organic matter to the soil, reducing the need for commercial fertilizer. This is called "grasscycling", and it saves you money and time, improves the appearance of your lawn, and does not cause thatch.

How to Grasscycle:

  • Set mower blade to keep grass 2 1/2" to 3" high. (Grass mowed too closely slows root growth, reducing the lawn's tolerance to heat, drought and weeds.)
  • Never cut more than one-third of the grass height at one time.
  • Mow as needed, and when grass is dry.
  • Keep mower blades sharp. Dull blades rip and tear grass, which can cause turf disease.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. It encourages overgrowth, which contributes to thatch buildup. The best time to fertilize is in the fall.
  • Water only during extended dry spells. One inch of water every five to seven days is recommended.
Composting:

Composting is the natural process of decomposition and recycling of organic materials into a humus-rich soil amendment known as compost. Composting can be as simple as creating a compost pile in a corner of your yard, or as sophisticated as building a three-chambered system.

Ingredients:
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Plants
  • Small trimmings
  • Top soil
  • Water
  • Air
Do Not Include:

fats, meat scraps, plants with disease or (chicken, dog, cat) manure
Directions:

Layer your yard waste about 6" then cover with a thin layer of topsoil. Several shovels of soil scattered over the top layers should be adequate. Another layer of plant material can be started right on top of the soil.


HOT COMPOST (for fast results):

Once ingredients have been layered, they should be turned every week or so. This form of composting will heat up from the activity of micro-organisms. Within a few days the temperature will reach 130 to 160 degrees fahrenheit. Hot compost can be ready to use in two to three months.

SLOW COMPOST:

Layer ingredients and let sit. This is the easiest way to compost. You will need to be patient because this method will take six months to two years before the compost is ready to

Separated trimmings are accepted at the yard waste area at the County Landfills. The wood trimmings are mulched and the grass and leaves are composted. The mulch and compost are available to County residents at no charge. For more information call the Northern Landfill at 410-386-4550.

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