Can I Throw Grass Clippings In The Garbage?
Even before lawn mowing starts, many lawn owners wonder what to do with the grass clippings after the mowing. For a long time, many lawn owners simply threw the grass clippings into the garbage, and this was legal.
However, times are changing, and throwing grass clippings in the garbage is not legal anymore in many states. Even in states where it is not forbidden, many municipalities and counties ban grass clippings in the garbage.
This leaves us with a question, what to do with the grass clippings after the mowing...
Published: October 21, 2022.
What Are Grass Clippings?
When You ask lawn owners what grass clippings are, many of them will stop for the moment, trying to find a proper answer.
And the answer can be rather broad, but for short, grass clippings are organic waste that contains 90% (even more) water.
When disposed of in landfills, grass clippings generate a fair amount of greenhouse gasses.
So, what to do with the grass clippings after mowing the lawn?
There are a few solutions to this problem, and the first thing to do is to stop looking at grass clippings as a problem but as a raw material that can be very useful.
Take Grass Clippings to a Local Disposal Site
If there is a local disposal site that accepts "organic waste" or "yard waste," take the grass clippings there and let them take care of them - in many cases, such waste is used to make compost.
Note: You have to pay a small fee for using their services.
Mulch Your Own Lawn
If the mowing is done often and clippings are relatively short, perhaps the best thing to do is to leave them on the lawn.
Since the clippings are mostly water, they will dry quickly, and the microbes will do the rest - clippings are quickly turned into compost.
Grass Clippings and Thatch Thickness
When short clippings are left on the lawn, there is a very small chance that they will increase the thickness of the thatch.
But, during very strong grass growth, it is perhaps a good idea not to leave grass clippings after each mowing on the lawn... Better safe than sorry.
Make Your Own Mulch
Grass clippings can be used to make your own mulch.
Collect the grass clippings during mowing and spread them into a thin layer in the sun. Depending on the sun and temperature, turn over grass clippings every day in order to dry uniformly.
After the grass clippings are fully dried, use them as straw mulch.
Make Your Own Compost
Grass clippings, green and dried, can be used to make your own organic compost that can be used to fertilize both the lawn and the garden.
For a long time, compost was produced using piles of organic material mixed with some soil, even with some manure added to speed things up.
Since the grass is rich in nitrogen, it can be part of a well-balanced compost pile.
Nowadays, tumbling composters are a common solution for any backyard gardener wanting to recycle grass clippings and other organic material and produce organic compost.
Even better, to speed things up and reduce the potential smells, compost accelerators can be added to composters.
Long Story Short: Of course, there are other ways how to dispose of grass clippings, but these are the most common ones.
Again, when thinking about grass clippings, don't consider them as a waste - they are the raw material that can be used for many purposes.