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With a little planning, your lawn waste doesn’t need to go to waste

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Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.

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Fall has fallen, making for a hefty amount ofbryard waste to dispose of. From leaves to branches and even yard clippings frombrthat end-of-season lawn mowing, when all is said and done, many residents arebrfinding themselves waist deep in disposable earth.

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But is it really disposable? Is there somethingbryou can do to make all that organic matter into something useful?

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According to Jud Lowe, Foreman at the Payson CitybrLandfill, yard waste can be recycled into garden mulch. In fact, the landfillbrhas state-of-the-art machinery that can grind even the largest logs down intobrwood chips and fine, garden mulch.

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“The city landfills allows residents to bringbrtheir secured loads of green waste free of charge, so we can grind it intobrmulch,” Lowe said. “This is a great way to turn some of your yard waste intobrsomething reusable.”

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While this is a great service the city andbrsurrounding cities offer, Lowe wants to remind residents that not all greenbrwaste is treated equally.

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“Many residents will bring in garden waste, like theirbrold zucchini plants, weeds and even food waste,” Lowe said. “The problem is, webrcan’t put that stuff into our mulch piles because of the seeds and because itbrclogs up our machines. We don’t have the ability to kill the seeds before theybrgerminate, and then we can’t sell a clean mulch to residents who want it.brNobody wants mulch full of weed and other random seeds that will grow comebrspring.”

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Lowe recognizes the need for a place to compostbrother matter like fruits, vegetables and other food waste, but says that rightbrnow, the city landfill isn’t that place. If brought in as green waste, thosebritems, he said will be put into the construction pile and buried, and cannot bebrrecycled.

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In order to make sure that your yard waste isbrrecycled in the green waste section of the landfill to be turned into woodbrchips or mulch, Lowe said that residents need to sort it out before bringing itbrin. Additionally, loads that are not clean yard waste, will be weighed andbrcharged accordingly.

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“We are our own worst enemies,” he said. “If youbrgather all your garden waste with yard waste, including dirt and garbage andbrexpect it to be ground into clean mulch, it’s not going to happen. With all thebrstuff we have coming in on a daily basis, we can’t sort through it all, and it willbrend up in the construction pile and buried.”

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Lowe suggests that residents who want tobrparticipate in the free green waste program, bring only branches, twigs, leavesbrand grass clippings in a secured load free from bags. Flowers, weeds, gardenbrwaste, dirt — things with seeds — will not be accepted as green waste at thisbrtime.

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For information on your own city’s green wastebrprograms, contact the cities directly. (Brown is a Serve Dailybrcontributor.)

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Avatar
Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.

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