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Carolina Jessamine
Cooperative Extension

Carolina Yards: Recycle Yard Waste

Principle 2: Recycle Yard Waste

Instead of sending grass clippings and leaves to the landfill, consider putting them to use in your yard. Grass clippings can safely be left on the lawn as long as proper mowing height and frequency guidelines are followed. Leaves can also be left where they fall or collected, shredded, and reused as free mulch. Mowing over leaves to reduce their size will speed up decomposition. Grass clippings, leaves, and plant-based kitchen scraps can also be composted to produce a dark, nutrient-rich organic matter that can be added to a garden or flowerbed. The South Carolina Smart Gardener Handbook is a great resource for composting as well as other sustainable gardening practices.

two holding bins for yard waste

Action Checklist:

 Use appropriate bags to contribute lawn clippings to local composting efforts. Place bags outside of ditches and away from storm drains.

 Create and maintain a compost pile with kitchen scraps and yard waste. No animal products, please.

 Create worm compost by using the digestive power of worms to recycle kitchen scraps and organic material.

 Recycle grass clippings by leaving them on the lawn. Mulching lawn mowers or mulching blades are not necessary.

 Mow lawns to a height suggested by Clemson University for your specific lawn. Use the higher recommended height when the lawn is under stress, such as during times of drought and very high temperatures.

Cooperative Extension Carolina Yards
Cooperative Extension Carolina Yards | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634