Reduce your yard waste, improve your lawn, help our landfill

Each spring, The City of Edmonton’s Waste Services processes almost twice the amount of residential waste compared to the winter because grass, leaf and yard waste are added to the waste collection stream. 

This spring, the City is expecting even more.

With the late snowmelt this year and residents staying home due to COVID-19, the City expects more waste—and quicker. 

But there are ways residents can help manage their yard waste and keep it out of the landfill. 

Leave on lawn

The simplest tip is to leave grass and leaves on the lawn instead of bagging it. Lawns and gardens love a layer of mulch, which provides a great source of carbon and protection from the sun and wind. Or mow over dry leaves to break them into smaller pieces and leave them on the lawn along with grass clippings.

Another tip: pile leaves around the base of trees or shrubs to keep moisture in the ground and to add nutrients to the soil.

By the way, spring is a great time to start home composting. The City has several resources available for residents on their home composting journey, with Dr. Compost available to answer any questions along the way.

Bring it to an Eco Station

The Eco Station summer hours are in full swing. Residents are encouraged to help divert grass, leaf and yard waste from landfill by bringing it free of charge to an Eco Station. The Coronation, Kennedale and Strathcona locations are now open 11 a.m. –  7 p.m., seven days a week.

Bag it, but be transparent 

If residents are unable to visit the Eco Stations and would like to set out their grass, leaf and yard waste for collection, here’s an important thing to remember:

Place the yard waste into clear or coloured bags (not black, blue or paper). This will help with the sorting at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre.

“By using clear or different coloured bags, residents will help our staff at the Integrated Processing and Transfer Facility easily identify the yard waste during their manual sorting,” said Neil Kjelland. 

“Such a small change can make a big difference in keeping Edmontonians’ yard waste out of the landfill.”

Waste Services employees rotate the yard waste piles at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre cure site to help with decomposition.

Part of a compost supply chain

Once the yard waste is manually sorted, it is then moved to the EWMC cure site. There, the large piles of grass, leaf and yard waste are regularly rotated to encourage decomposition, which, over time, results in a nutrient-rich compost for gardens and lawns. 

Not only is this process keeping yard waste out of landfills, but it’s also great for the circular economy. 

Nutrient-rich finished compost

Edmonton Cart Rollout, and thanks

Residents participating in the Edmonton Cart Rollout should check their collection calendar for specific yard waste dates and continue to set out their yard waste in paper yard waste bags or top up their green cart. 

Waste Services pickups continue through the COVID-19 pandemic.  Right now the best way to thank your collector and make them feel appreciated is to package your waste correctly

“Ensure there is no loose garbage and that your carts and bags aren’t overstuffed—and wave to your collector from an appropriate distance,” said Mordecai Baba, General Supervisor, Collection Services. 

Or leave them a nice note.