To cultivate a healthy landscape and properly enjoy your home’s greenspace, even a small yard will require regular maintenance and upkeep. The lawn needs to be mowed, flowers pruned, weeds pulled, and your plants and trees must be frequently trimmed.
But here’s a problem you have likely encountered: all that yard work often results in piles of green waste—grass, leaves, plants, weeds, flowers, branches, you name it.
While you could technically just throw that yard waste in a dump, the community (and the world at large) would be better off if that biodegradable material were properly removed and recycled for compost.
To that end, today, let’s discuss the best practices for yard waste removal in Northeast Ohio.
What Is Yard Waste?
Also referred to as green waste, the Ohio EPA defines yard waste as: “Solid waste that includes only leaves, grass clippings, brush, garden waste, tree trunks, holiday trees, and prunings from trees or shrubs.”
As a note, this definition does not include industrial or agricultural processing wastes. So, essentially, yard waste includes almost any type of residential organic waste that can be composted.
Having said that, many people mistakenly add nonrecyclable materials to their yard waste piles.
For example, at Kurtz Bros., Inc., we encourage our customers to drop off organic debris at any of our stores or production locations for a nominal fee. However, we do not accept any of the following items:
- Plastic, including bags, flowerpots, and bottles
- Food waste
- Fruits or vegetables
- Anything that grows below ground level
- Solid waste product
- Demolition wood
- Mud or dirt
- Tree logs >12" in diameter
Wood Waste Drop-Off
Similarly, not all kinds of wood waste are accepted at Kurtz Bros.' drop-off locations. The type, size, and treatment of the wood all impact viability. For instance, we accept:
- Clean, untreated wood
- Solid wood pallets
- Clean, solid wood chips
- Solid wood crates
But we do not accept:
- Treated lumber
- Painted lumber
- Oil-soaked material
- Particle board
- Pressed wood
- Foam or plastic, such as shrink wrap left on pallets
Best Practices for Yard Waste Collection and Removal
If you want to protect the environment and support the recycling processes, it’s important to be careful about what you recycle and how you dispose of the waste. For example, you should:
- Never put waste in plastic bags or line paper bags with plastic bags, since these bags can’t be recycled with yard waste.
- Cut branches so that they’re no more than 48” in length and 4” in diameter.
- Tie branches into bundles using twine.
- Keep branch bundles less than 2’ wide .
- Keep bags or trash bins below 50 lbs.
How Does the Composting Process Work?
The green composting process typically follows these steps:
- After collection, the materials are transported to a special recycling/composting site.
- All of the materials undergo a filtering process to remove non-compostable materials.
- Viable green waste is laid out in windrows for decomposition.
- Windrows are exposed to high temperatures and frequent sifting to speed up the decomposition process.
- The recycled waste is then used for various industrial purposes, including:
- Manufactured topsoils
- Sewage disposal
- Renewable energy
Kurtz Bros. Drop-Off Locations
Yard waste removal is an essential part of responsible landscaping. This vital practice saves the state tax dollars, extends the life of the local landfill, provides useful compost, and contributes to a healthy planet.
So, if you have yard waste you want to get rid of, we’ll take it off your hands for a small fee. But, before you swing by, please be sure to only include acceptable materials. You can bring your green waste to any of the following locations:
- Cleveland Area
- Bridgeview Production Facility: 5603 Canal Road, Valley View. (216) 986-7031 (This location can accept larger tree logs)
- Avon: 1180 Miller Road. (216) 986-7033
- Garfield Heights: 13532 Broadway. (216) 986-7032
- Strongsville: 12701 Prospect Road. (216) 986-7050
- Valley View: 5915 Canal Road. (216) 986-7030
- Willowick: 32800 Lakeland, (216) 986-7035
- Akron and Canton Area
- Akron: 2436 Arlington Road S. (330)644-1900
- Hudson: 5347 Akron-Cleveland Road. (330) 655-0680
- North Canton: 5335 Strausser Street NW. (330) 499-8309
- Norton: 3246 Barber Road. (330) 848-2213
If you have any other questions feel free to contact us!