Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 9:30 AM

Options for Yard Waste Disposal

stock photo of paper yard waste bags lined up where a property meets the sidewalk, a tree is in the background

Since putting yard waste at the curb in paper bags became mandatory two years ago, residents of St. John’s have diverted more than 2,500 tonnes of organic yard waste from the landfill!

The City is very pleased with the success of the curbside yard waste collection program as we’re seeing more and more organic material including leaves, grass clippings and small twigs being composted rather than landfilled. The yard waste bags are composted at the Robin Hood Bay Waste Management Facility and used in City landscaping projects.

The best choice for grass clippings, both environmentally and economically, is to mulch them. In other words, just mow and go! Mulching is the most economically efficient way to dispose of leaves and grass and the most earth-friendly approach for handling them.

If mulching is not an option for you, put your leaves and grass clippings in paper yard waste bags at the curb on the same day as your recycling day.

To find out when your recycling and yard waste collection is go to curbitstjohns.ca

Yard waste in bags stays out of the landfill
The City of St. John’s collects yard waste at the curb in paper yard waste bags only. Place the paper yard waste bags at the curb biweekly on the same day as your recycling day, until the end of November.

There is no limit to the number of paper yard waste bags that can be set out for collection at the curb. Yard waste bags must be under 50 lbs and are collected separately from your garbage and recycling.

Paper yard waste bags can also be brought to the Residential Drop Off at Robin Hood Bay until December 12

Mulch is the Best Option

Mulching is the earth-friendly approach to disposing of leaves and grass. It does wonders for your lawn! Save time, money, and your back. No need to rake your grass clippings, buy bags, or lug the bags to the curb. 

Soil Enrichment
Grass and leaf mulch puts nutrients back to the soil. Your lawn and garden will require less fertilizer and other additives.

Water Conservation
Grass and leaf mulch helps to retain moisture in soils. When soil is covered with mulch, the mulch lowers the soil’s exposure to sun and wind which reduces evaporation.

Mulch acts like an insulating barrier from the heat in the summer, from the cold in the winter and from the wind all year round. Mulch prevents compaction and erosion of soils from wind and rain.

Weed Control
Mulch can help prevent the growth of weeds. Add a thick layer - 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3”) - to gardens to reduce the need for herbicides.

What else to do with leaves?
Dig leaves directly into your garden to add organic matter and nutrients to the soil. Put leaf mulch on gardens and flower beds and around shrubs and trees.

Add 2.5 cm (1 inch) layers of leaf mulch to your backyard composter while alternating with other materials or use a separate composter for leaves only. For a leaf composter, alternate 15 cm (6 inches) of leaf mulch with a 2.5 cm (1 inch) layer of soil or finished compost and maintain by turning it regularly and keeping it moist.

Rake regular or mulched leaves into a 90 cm (3 foot) pile in a back corner of your yard. If leaves are dry, dampen with water. Turn the pile a few times in spring and summer to speed up the decomposition process which can take up to 12 months.

Learn to Compost
If you are interested in learning how to properly backyard compost, the experts at the MUN Botanical Garden can help!

Sign up for a free information session at curbitstjohns.ca

Backyard compost bins are available for purchase once you’ve completed the session. Cost is $50 for a standard compost bin, and $75 for a tumbler bin. Complete your purchase by calling Access St. Johns’ at 311 or 754-CITY (2489).

If you need to replace your compost bin or want to purchase more bins contact Access St. John’s and they will take your payment. Once payment is received the City will deliver your bin to your home.