Garden waste such as leaves, grass, hedge cuttings and old plants is a valuable resource within your garden. But as a waste product transferred out of your garden, it has economic and environmental costs. Recycling garden waste within the garden is the natural, sustainable option, reducing our impact on global warming and strengthening the soil's capacity to adapt to climate change.
- Home composting is the natural solution. It has been used all through time, apart from in the last 30 years as we started to view the organic matter as a waste that required disposal.
- Mulching is a simple process of placing garden waste such as grass clippings, leaves and pruning material in thin layers on the soil to break down naturally. Ideal for shrub borders, under hedges and in woodland areas. Mulching reduces weeds, moderates soil temperatures, retains moisture and prevents soil compaction.
- Grass mulching can be used either on borders or directly on the lawn. Contrary to popular belief, leaving grass clippings on the lawn has more benefits than disadvantages. If the lawn is cut regularly and the height of the cut is one inch or more mulching will benefit the lawn. Nutrients are returned to the soil negating the need for artificial fertilisers. The lawn will retain better retain moisture maintaining a greener colour throughout the summer. Increased worm activity will improve drainage in the winter months.
- Leaf mould can be made from leaves collected in autumn. The process is slow, taking one to two years depending on leaf type. The end product, however, is a sought-after potting compost that makes a great replacement for peat-based composts.
In general, any garden regardless of size will be able to cope with the quantity of green waste produced each year. However, a major renovation of the garden or big pruning job can result in large quantities of garden waste, which you may wish to bring to a green waste facility.
If using a landscape contractor they will often take away the material for a charge. As you are paying for the disposal of the green waste it is always worthwhile to ask the landscaper which green waste facility they will use and to make sure it has a waste permit.
Your landscaper should keep the green waste segregated from other types of waste such as soil, stone and plastics bags and pots that would be contamination in a commercial composting process.
Green waste facilities in Co. Wicklow
Green King Composting Facility
Phone: (0404) 62422/62423
Greenstar Transfer Station