With Memorial Day right around the corner, getting the yard ready to enjoy with family and friends is an activity so many of us are doing right now. As you seize the opportunity to enjoy fresh air and tend to your outdoor projects, keep in mind ways you can consciously discard of yard waste, consisting of leaves, grass clippings, shrubs, weeds and brush, and twigs and small branches (less than ¼ inch in diameter). To help divert these materials from the landfill, SWACO has compiled a list of resources that are easy to utilize and can play a part in keeping your outdoor areas ready for enjoyment.
Yard Waste Curbside Pick-up:
- Most local communities provide curbside yard waste collection to residents. To participate in these programs, residents should put yard waste in biodegradable paper bags, available at most grocery and hardware stores, or place it in a container clearly marked “yard waste” and set on the curb. Be sure not to bag yard waste in plastic, like garbage or grocery bags, as these materials are not accepted through compost pick-up programs.
- Include leaves, grass clippings, shrubs, weeds and brush, and twigs and small branches.
- DO NOT Include food or pet waste, dirt, rocks, plastic bags, bottles or other litter commonly found in yards and bushes.
- DO NOT Include plastic flower or other pots that new trees, shrubs and flowers come home in. Instead reuse these items, check with your local Lowe’s or Home Depot about recycling them or place them in the trash.
- For information on collection day and additional details on your local program, contact your local community.
Yard Waste Drop-Off:
SWACO subsidizes the cost for Franklin County residents to be able to drop off their yard waste materials for FREE with several processors who turn yard waste materials into compost and mulch. Visit swaco.org for a list of those drop-off locations as well as a list of the materials accepted and hours of operations.
There are also diversion opportunities, like backyard composting, you can utilize from your own home to minimize the amount of yard waste that enters the landfill:
- Compost adds nutrients to plants, retains soil moisture and offers a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers.
- Check with your local government regarding any rules or regulations pertaining to properly composting at home.
- Get Started! Gather grass clippings, leaves and brush to create a home compost system. The rich humus produced can be used for the lawn and garden.
- Download SWACO’s easy-to-use Compost at Home Guide.
- Watch a pre-recorded webinar on how to start composting at home.
DYK that Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District’s Community Backyard programs also offers a $50 rebate towards the purchase of a new compost bin? There are two ways to qualify. Find out how.
Keeping yard waste out of the landfill is easy to do. SWACO provides opportunities for all Franklin County residents to divert organic waste from the waste stream and turn it into compost. As a result, SWACO helps Franklin County residents and businesses divert nearly 200,000 tons of organic lawn and yard waste from the landfill each year.
Properly disposing of yard waste offers several benefits to the environment and the community – it saves space in the landfill, reduces the amount of greenhouse gases being generated and promotes the use of natural, renewable resources.
Visit SWACO.org to learn more.
Together, we can make a difference.