How to Dispose of Yard Waste for Free

Kevin Brown

How to Dispose of Yard Waste for Free

Yard waste includes organic matter such as sticks, leaves, grass clippings, brush, tree prunings, and pulled weeds. Warm weather and big storms can lead to large debris piles.

Having a tidy lawn is great, but it presents a challenge: where to dispose of yard waste. To help you with this, we’ve compiled seven of the best options for free disposal.

How to Dispose of Yard Waste for Free

Haul it to Your City’s Free Collection Site

Many municipalities have free organic collection sites that accept all types of yard waste. You can haul your debris during operating hours. To find a location near you, visit your municipality’s community action or waste collection website.

Participate in Yard Waste Collection Days

If you live in an urban area, your city will host yard waste collection days – often once per month or a few times per year. During collection events, you can put your yard waste in a biodegradable bag and set it on the curb.

Check your city’s website for yard waste collection days.

Turn Yard Waste Into Mulch

If you have large piles of yard waste, consider turning it into mulch. You can rent a wood chipper for a few hundred dollars for a full day or borrow one from a friend. While the cost of renting won’t be worth it for small amounts of yard debris, it could be worth it if you have numerous fallen trees.

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Use your DIY mulch for flower beds and gardens to save money on purchasing mulch from a retailer.

Yard waste is the perfect material to place at the bottom of raised garden beds. Fill empty beds with as many small twigs and leaves as possible to reduce the amount of topsoil needed.

Dump it in your woods.

If you live in a wooded lot, dump your yard waste in the woods. If you don’t have a wooded area, ask friends and family who do. Most won’t mind you dropping off a small amount of grass clippings and sticks.

Burn It

Pile your yard waste and use it for a bonfire. Burning yard debris is a cheap and easy way to eliminate it. Check local guidelines first, as some localities have “no burn” laws at certain times of the year.

Leave Your Grass Clippings on the Lawn

One of the best ways to get rid of yard waste? Reduce the amount you produce. Unless your yard is overgrown or you have diseased grass, there’s no reason to collect your lawn clippings.

Leaving the clippings on the lawn is the original way to reduce waste piles.

Compost Non-Wood Yard Waste

Convert fallen leaves, grass clippings, weeds, and pulled plants into compost. According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, you can compost yard waste by layering brown and green material in a bin. Start with brown leaves, then add grass clippings and alternate.

Turn the mixture every 3-5 days, and add water as needed to keep your pile damp.

In some states, it’s illegal to put yard waste in the regular trash. Yard waste doesn’t properly decompose in landfills and instead releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Yard waste also takes up space in landfills, which can be avoided since yard debris is recyclable.

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