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Sep 22

Managing Fall Yard Waste

Posted on September 22, 2020 at 9:32 AM by Natalie Nebilak

Ah fall! Changing colors, a crisp breeze, and heaps (and heaps) of yard waste. Not sure how to dispose of all those leaves? Read on and learn the proper way to dispose or compost these organics.


What to consider yard waste debris

Yard waste varies according to what you have in your backyard, but the definition typically covers organic materials only. This includes grass and tree trimmings, leaves, and other plant-based waste that you accumulate as you go about landscaping and caring for your garden. It doesn’t include items like treated wood, plant ties or pots, animal waste, plastic of any kind, food, or garden tools. Take care not to include any non-organic materials in your yard waste, or it might contaminate the recycling stream! Yard waste that is placed in the trash bin will be taken to a landfill where it decomposes with the rest of the waste stream, wasting the significant amount of nutrients in the yard waste that could be turned into a valuable soil amendment.


Harrison Industries has transported all the grass clippings, tree branches, and leaves placed in residential curbside and commercial yard waste containers to Agromin Premium Soil Products, based in Oxnard. Each year, Agromin converts 380,000 tons of green waste materials into organic mulches, compost, wood chips, and other products that naturally fertilize plants and trees. Agromin has more than 240 soil products and sells them at 41 retail locations in Ventura County and throughout Southern California and online. These products save water, help reduce soil erosion, and reduce the use of non-organic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides -making our air and water cleaner.


Compost Bin vs. Yard Waste Bin

What’s the difference between an at-home compost pile and the brown yard waste bin? One is designed to handle food scraps, and one is not. While you can add fallen leaves, grass clipping, plants, and other similar organics to your at-home compost pile, you should not include food scraps in the brown yard waste bin. There are different processing methods when dealing with yard waste and food scraps, and by putting food scraps in the yard waste bin, it “contaminates” the entire load. So if you have a compost pile or compost bin, you can enrich it with smaller fall yard scraps and save the big stuff for the brown yard waste bin. Just remember to keep food scraps OUT of the yard waste bin.


Succulents, Palms, & Yucca

Ventura’s chaparral climate biome means we are primed to grow succulents, palms, and yuccas. Unfortunately, these plant’s cannot be composted or placed in the brown yard waste bin. The wirey, fibrous, tough leaves and trunks of palms and yuccas can take several years to break down making them the “plastic of plants”, if you will (even though we know plastic doesn’t break down AT ALL). If you need to dispose of these types of plants, make them as small as possible and place them in the trash bin.


Always sort your waste properly. Use the Recycle Coach app’s “What Goes Where” search tool and download the app to keep this information at your fingertips.


Residential Yard Waste

City of Ventura residents can sign up for yard waste collection service from EJ. Harrison by calling 805-647-1414.


Author Information. Recycle Coach is a platform provided by municipalities like the City of Ventura to their residents to equip them with tools and the knowledge to recycle right. From the Ask Milo “What Goes Where” search tool to waste collection reminders and notifications to their smartphones, residents receive communication and information directly from their local government, ensuring residents stay informed.