How Do You Dispose Of Grass Clippings And Leaves?

If you have a large lawn with plenty of robust turf growth, you will build up a good deal of grass clippings every time you mow it. Leaving them in place threatens to kill the underlying, fresh grass and generally just looks awful, with these long rows of dead grass heaps. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to dispose of grass clippings properly. Such as using them for compost, a controlled burn, using them as mulch, giving them away to farmers, local garbage collection services, and local gardening businesses, and giving them away to locals. 

There are more ways to get rid of grass clippings than what we listed in bold, depending on your needs. However, in many ways, you’re not getting rid of them if you decide to recycle them into some other form of use, such as compost. 

If you’re a homeowner, it’s vital to understand the best ways to dispose of grass clipping and leaves, so let’s look at some potential options. 

Disposing of Your Grass Clippings

If there is a good part about the whole grass clippings thing, it’s that there are a lot of ways to get rid of them, many of which are highly useful. After all, your lawn has to be mowed, and once it’s mowed, you have to do something with all that dead grass. 

Of course, there is also the fact that decomposing grass clippings can get quite hot, and, in certain situations, they can become a fire hazard. Therefore, properly disposing of grass clippings is not only helpful but also safe.

Controlled Burning

One of the easiest ways to get rid of your grass clippings is to do a controlled burn. You can jump on Facebook Marketplace, any local sales apps, or go to a hardware store and pick up a 50-gallon drum for all of your outdoor burning needs. 

Check with your local authorities to make sure that you don’t require a burn permit. Unfortunately, some counties or municipalities mandate burn permits, no matter what time of year it is or what the recent weather has been like. 

Then other places will only mandate burn permits if it hasn’t rained for a while. Since they don’t exactly announce these things so that everyone is constantly informed, it’s always best to give them a call and check. 

At the bottom of the drum, you can cut out a square that is either 6″ x 6″ or 8″ x 8″, starting from the bottom lip and working up. This will ensure a good flow of oxygen passing through for burning. 

Often, you will be able to purchase a burn barrel that already has a square cut out at the bottom for you.

Use Your Grass Clippings as Compost

You don’t have to burn or eliminate your grass clippings if you have a composter or a large garden that would do well with a bit of compost. Grass clippings get very hot after they have been cut and are decomposing. 

This is an excellent feature that you can take advantage of, especially if you need something to help you regulate the heat in a composter. Mix your grass clippings with your other viable household trash, which will help in the heat generation process. 

The only thing that you will need to do is add moisture to both facilitate the decomposition process and keep your compost from getting too dry. 

That’s one drawback to using grass clippings in composters. It will dry things out and has the potential to make it too hot, especially if you use a lot of it at once. 

Ultimately, it makes for some decent compost, and it helps your other materials convert into excellent compost by providing you with a source of temperature modulation. 

Give Your Clippings to Local Farmers

Farmers could always use your grass clippings, and if you live close to a farm, you may be able to work something out with them. For example, farmers can use it as feed for some of their livestock or convert it into silage. 

The only drawback to this method is that there may be herbicides in your grass. So if you use any chemicals to treat your lawn or your neighbors treat their lawn, you shouldn’t bother handing your grass clippings off to a farmer. 

Give The Grass Clippings to Locals

You should give your grass clippings to your local community or neighbors before you dispose of them. Even if you don’t garden, many more people do, and they may have a lot of uses for your grass clippings. 

Not only will you help them out, but endearing yourself to the local community is always good. You will make new friends and build yourself a network of people who help each other out when someone needs something. 

The downside is that it will take some research to find out how to donate the clippings in your area. But it will be worth it, and you’ll be able to get rid of your clippings without having to do anything special.

Local Disposal Sites and Yard Waste Collection Services

Many communities have yard waste collection services built on a foundation of recycling and sustainability. If you have grass clippings to get rid of, there is a use for those grass clippings that you may not have considered before. 

Of course, some disposal services will just dump them somewhere, and if that is the kind of service we’re talking about, you should exhaust some of your other options first. If you decide to dispose of them yourself, at a local dump or something similar, make sure you only use lawn bags to collect your grass clippings. 

On top of that, be sure to only place grass clippings in these lawn bags and nothing else, especially nothing that is dry and potentially flammable. As we mentioned above, grass clippings get hot when decomposing and become a fire hazard. 

If you place them in a bag with something else with a lower flash point, you’re running a high risk of generating a fire. 

Use Your Grass Clippings for Mulch

Grass clippings are excellent for keeping out weeds and retaining moisture because of the shade that they supply when sitting just above the base of your garden plants. If you’ve ever left something sitting out in the yard and picked it up days later, you will probably have noticed that everything underneath the object was yellow and dead. 

That’s what grass clippings will do if they are used for mulch purposes. They will kill underlying weeds by depriving them of the necessary sunlight and restrict weeds to the perimeter, away from your plants. 

Weeds will be more than happy to share roots with your garden plants, stealing nutrients and minerals away from your garden. However, you can create several excellent layers of mulch with nothing more than your excess grass clippings. 

If you combine grass clippings as mulch and compost, you will find that your grass clippings are an absolute necessity for your garden, especially since you can create mounds of the stuff for zero cost. 

Final Word

Now that you know all the different ways you can properly dispose of your grass clippings, you can generate some more ideas on your own. There are a lot of uses for grass clippings besides just bagging them and dumping them off at your local landfill. 

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