As the snow melts, Minnesotans get excited to get back in the yard and start spring cleaning. Unburying your gardens to get rid of last year's begonias and the mounds of leaves may be high on your weekend task list. Here are some tips for managing the yard waste that comes along with spring yard cleanup.
Yard, garden and tree waste can be recycled into compost. In fact, putting it in your garbage is illegal in Minnesota. Leaves, grass and plant trimmings, along with some types of food waste, can be combined in a backyard compost bin to create a valuable soil additive for your lawn and garden. That is recycling at its best! Later use the finished compost to improve your soil or as mulch around plants.
Compost bins can be purchased at local garden centers, hardware stores or home improvement stores. Some counties also sell bins, and the Recycling Association of Minnesota is selling bins and rain barrels at a reduced rate this spring. You can even build your own compost bin! Click here for more information on compost bins.
Curbside pickup and yard waste sites
If you don't plan on composting in your backyard, check with your garbage hauler to see if they offer yard waste pick up service, or you can drop off your yard and garden waste at the nearest compost site. Contact your garbage hauler, city or county for drop-off site locations.
Remember that if you put your yard waste in bags for curbside pickup, you must use compostable bags. You can use either paper bags or compostable plastic bags.