By Andrew Donahue
Wondering what to do with all your leaf and yard waste after this year’s fall clean up? Due to the most recent implementation of the Universal Recycling Law (Act 148) as of July 1st 2016 all leaf and yard debris is banned from the landfill – so that is NOT an option. So, where does that leave you? No need to worry you have plenty of options.
Lastly, leaves and yard waste are perfect for composting or can also be used as a mulch for gardens and beddings. The most efficient and effective way to use your leaves as compost or mulch material is to go over them with a bagged rotary mower. The leaves will be finely chopped and mixed with grass shavings giving the mixture a good carbon to nitrogen ratio.
The finely chopped leaves will decompose faster as opposed to whole leaves that can take up to a year for decomposition to occur. The leaves and grass mixture can then be mixed in with your compost pile, or bagged and stored indoors through the winter to be used in the spring as a great nutritious and healthy natural mulch product for your garden or plants. If you don’t own a lawnmower, no worries! Your leaves will still compost, just be sure to mix them into your compost pile and turn regularly.
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Andrew Donahue is an Eco-Americorps member serving as an outreach assistant about Act 148 for the hard-working Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District for one year. He hopes his year of service brings a positive environmental impact to the area.
Cassandra Hemenway, CVSWMD Outreach Manager, Jan Lloyd, Zero Waste Events Coordinator all contribute to this blog.