Even if barely, spring has sprung across most of Canada now and that means a whole lot of homeowners will be seeing to their lawns and gardens soon. With gardening season comes mounds upon mounds of grass clippings and other varied gardens waste arriving at yard waste disposal facilities all across Southern Ontario. Taking your organic waste to the correct municipal facilities is very important, and it’s understandable for some that managing all those clippings can be overwhelming. Some may be surprised to learn that proper disposal of grass clippings, in particular, is important for protecting our water.
Load n’ Lift is a Trenton and Colborne area waste disposal bin rental service provider with deep roots in the local community, and we certainly like to see the natural beauty and ecological diversity of the region being protected and maintained. Disposing of grass clippings the wrong way can lead to significant environmental problems, and of the more common problematic practices is placing yard waste near storm drains or directly into local lakes, streams, wetlands, and bays. This practice can:
- Block storm drains and cause flooding
- Promote harmful algae blooms from excessive growth of nitrogen and phosphorus
- Decrease the quality of aquatic life environments
- Suppress native aquatic plants that support a healthy ecosystem
- Deplete oxygen and make it easier for non-native invasive plants to establish themselves
- Promote illness in livestock when waste has been treated with fertilizers or pesticides
It’s perfectly understandable that many people wouldn’t be aware of these risks when they place a mound of grass clippings along a culvert or anything similar and think it will just be washed away. But unfortunately it’s not that simple a process .
Rather than dumping grass clippings, with a little initiative you can turn them into compost. This not only reduces waste mass for the municipal yards, but it also:
- Builds healthy soil for plants and gardens
- Reduces the need for water, fertilizer and pesticides, saving you money in many cases
- Builds rich soil that absorbs runoff and breaks down urban pollutants that harm fish in urban streams around Ontario
- Improves landscape appearance
If composting isn’t something you have the time, ability, or will to do, there are a few other options for disposing yard waste in Ontario properly:
- Place in a curbside yard waste container provided by your municipality
- Drop it off at a yard debris collection site – contact your local public works or municipal solid waste department for details
- Mow grass without a lawnmower bag and leave clippings to naturally decompose
This last technique there is particularly effective if you also take the time to spread the clippings evenly across your lawn. Doing so will not produce thatch, and you also have the option of purchasing a mulcher mower. These mowers have a separate multi-blade chamber that cuts the grass clippings into extremely small pieces that can then fall freely onto your lawn.
It’s convenient, and works for a nice lush, green lawn too.
It’s been a long winter no doubt, but as reliably as ever spring has come around and now it’s time to enjoy the outdoors. Keep your lawn and property looking great, but make sure to dispose of lawn and garden waste responsibly.