Leaf & Yard Rules in Effect

Leaf & Yard Rules in Effect

Leaf & Yard Rules in Effect

Vermont is taking the next step to reduce waste with a ban on leaf, yard and clean wood debris in landfills, effective July 1. The landfill ban is part of the 2012 Universal Recycling law (Act 148), enacted to increase recycling rates, decrease waste in landfills and ensure sustainability. Leaf and yard debris includes grass clippings, leaves, brown paper bags, small-diameter brush and other untreated vegetative matter. Clean wood includes trees, branches, stumps and root masses, as well as untreated and unpainted wood and lumber. Traditionally, these materials have been used as mulch, composted to produce a rich humus prized by gardeners for increasing soil fertility, or simply left to decompose at the edge of the backyard. Effective with the landfill ban, solid waste haulers and transfer stations must offer to collect, at a fee, leaf and yard debris. Residents may also bring debris to a transfer station, to a commercial composter or to a local stump dump, where the materials will be managed appropriately. Vermonters are also encouraged to manage leaf and yard debris at home, which many already do without even knowing it. Making a pile and just letting it rot is called passive composting. Other home management methods can actively benefit lawns and gardens. Mulching lawnmowers recycle grass clippings and leaves right back into the soil. Compost piles with food scraps benefit from the addition of carbon-rich sources such as dried leaves and grass, which reduce odors and speed up the composting process. Grass clippings, wood chips and leaves make excellent mulch for gardens and plantings. Small branches make great trellises or poles for climbing plants. For details, visit vtrecycles.com.27

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