Yard wastes are such material as leaves, grass clippings, brush, and tree prunings.
Yard waste has been banned from landfills in Illinois since 1990. The best way to reduce yard waste is to leave grass clippings in the lawn to decompose. In this way nutrients are returned to the soil. Lawn mowers should be kept sharp and only one-third of the grass blade should be cut.
Grass trimmings and leaves can also be composted or used for mulch in flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. Composting diverts yard wastes from landfills. Not only is composting sensible from an environmental perspective, it also effectively converts yard wastes into a useful soil additive or mulch.
If composting at home isn’t possible, contact your local solid waste hauler to learn about community composting of yard trimmings and garden debris. In Rockford and some other area communities, yard waste must be placed in specially marked containers or in specially prepared paper bags for pickup during the summer months. These yard wastes are then taken to a local composting location where the yard waste and the bags we pack them in become a part of the composting process.