You see them almost everywhere, but do you understand what these green waste bins are for? What is green waste anyway? Basically, this refers to the waste materials we get from our yard like leaves, grass clippings, and even debris. Just like any other type of waste, we have to make sure that it is disposed of properly to ensure that it does not create a negative impact on the environment and the surroundings of your home. What should you do?
Dumping is Illegal
The presence of green bins is based on the fact that dumping of green waste is illegal. Yes, many would jump to the conclusion that just because tree branches, weeds, shrubs, and other general garden waste are biodegradable, it is safe to just dump these things anywhere.
Aside from creating a nuisance and causing unsightly conditions, in many localities, the dumping of brush, leaves, and debris is covered by a fine of possibly around $500. There are solid waste management councils that craft laws to prohibit the disposal of yard waste.
Why would a council pass such a law? For one, disposing of yard waste in landfills can cause its untimely overload. Another point is that these types of waste are better composted to reap the natural benefits that they can deliver into the soil. Management council for garden waste may also prohibit disposing certain amounts of green waste with regular waste.
What should you do? In terms of storage, you must ensure that the waste are stored neatly and in a sanitary manner so that it remains clean and odor-free. Use a green waste bin or similar containers to collect the waste at curbsides. Most of the time, plastic bags are not recommended as storage materials for yard waste.
Proper disposal based on what is commonly upheld by law, should be done by:
- Getting a yard waste collection service to regularly haul your green materials;
- Composting your own green waste within your property; and
- Hauling your own green waste directly to any licensed waste compost facility so that it can be properly disposed of.
Your Legal Options
You should not shudder at the thought of being penalized for the wrong disposal of your garden waste. For many homeowners, there is a certain degree of satisfaction seeing that their yard is free of tree stumps, branches, leaves, and other accumulated junk. So what are your legal options if you cannot just dump it in your backyard?
- Call the Sanitation – there are many localities that have specific personnel and departments in-charge of picking up yard clippings and organic waste. Some of your green waste will be used on public spaces in parks.
- Hauling it to the Dump – as suggested earlier, you can haul the debris to the local dump. If you have a truck where you can load all that material from your green waste bins, then that would be better than facing a fine.
- Renting a Wood Chipper – if wood is your problem, then a wood chipper might just be your solution. This is a great way to break down shrubs and large branches into smaller and usable mulch. Renting one will cost you anywhere from $200 to $400 a day. Use this with extreme caution though because accidents can be deadly.
- Get a Hauling Crew – hiring a crew to remove garden waste can be cost-effective because it takes care of most of the junk lying around at a fraction of the cost it takes to rent a chipper or a truck.
- Burning It – another option is to burn the garden waste in your yard. A word of caution though with this solution is that some localities prohibit the burning of this type of waste so make sure that you check with the authorities before doing so.
Preparing for Recycling
Another legal and possibly more favorable option to consider is to recycle your garden waste. It does not matter what type of garden waste you have, all you have to know is how to properly prepare it for recycling.
What should you do?
- All loos leaves, weeds, grass clippings, and branches that are 4 feet in length and do not exceed 2 inches in diameter can be placed in green waste bins;
- Long branches can be cut down to size to make sure that they can fit into 96-gallon bins;
- The green waste bin must be placed at the curbside only at the night before it is scheduled to be picked up by the authorized service provider; and
- Continue doing home composting, or if you do not know how, call your local authorities to get more information and directions on how you can do composting from your home.
Part of the preparation for recycling is knowing what not to do as well. So what are the things to avoid?
- Never mix your regular waste or even your recyclables with your green waste;
- The tree stumps, gravel, dirt, and rubble should never be placed in the green waste bin;
- If you have foam cups, plastic, glass, metal, paper, and other packing materials, do not mix them with your green waste;
- If your green waste does not fit in the bin, place them in another bin and never in carts or other types of containers; and
- Make sure that your green waste bins are never used for any other purpose except for storing green waste.
What Happens to the Waste?
Did you know that green waste can be used for various programs like backyard composting and grasscycling applications? These are examples of how nature handles recycling. What do they mean?
- Backyard Composting – this is the process of allowing the organic material to decompose naturally into the soil. Many homeowners can do their composting using their yard waste and some types of kitchen scraps like coffee grounds, egg shells, and fruits. This results in a healthier landscape that is highly resistant to infestation and disease.
- Grasscycling – is the practice of allowing the grass clippings to stay on the lawn after you mow it. The clippings will eventually decompose and quickly return the nutrients like nitrogen into the soil. To achieve the best result you should mow the lawn only when the grass is dry. The sharpness of the mower blade should be kept sharp. The length of the grass should not be more than a third of the length.
If you follow all of these tips, then you can be sure that your green waste will be put to good use all of the time.