What’s the point of conserving Water?

The best time to trim trees is typically in the winter, when cold weather tells your trees it is time to go dormant. Certain woody shrubs, such as rhododendrons and azaleas, need to be pruned after they have flowered in the spring.

There is no right or wrong time of year to recycle tree trimmings. The best way to recycle this type of yard waste is to compost it. Composting is a process of breaking down organic matter and turning into a nutrient-rich soil additive. It is recycling at its very best.

If you have tree trimmings you need to recycle, you have a couple of different options. Many communities now offer curbside yard waste or green waste recycling. If yours is one of them, you can recycle your tree trimmings through that program (although it is important to note that you may need to cut those tree trimmings down – more on that later).

Larger communities may have private businesses that accept tree trimmings for composting and recycling. Or, if you have a yard and garden, you might consider recycling your tree trimmings yourself.

Is it important to recycle tree trimmings?

Compost is beneficial for a number of reasons. Besides giving plants vital nutrients they need to grow, it provides them with beneficial bacteria that can fight off harmful invaders. It also helps conserve water by lowering evaporation and allowing soil to hold more moisture.

When yard waste is composted, oxygen-loving bacteria cooperate with fungi, insects, worms and a host of other small organisms to break down organic matter.

“When yard waste is landfilled, it gets covered with other trash and must break down in an anaerobic environment (one without oxygen). Anaerobic bacteria give off methane, an extremely harmful greenhouse gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The only other greenhouse gas the United States produces in higher quantities is carbon dioxide. Furthermore, only the energy and agriculture industries create more methane than the country’s landfills.”

Landfilling tree trimmings has another negative effect. Tree trimmings and other types of yard waste take up an enormous amount of space in landfills. The EPA estimates that 13.5 percent of all municipal solid waste is yard trimmings. Keeping yard waste out of landfills means they will last longer and we can build fewer of them.

How to recycle tree trimmings

Many communities now offer regular curbside recycling services for tree trimmings and other types of yard waste. Salt Lake City, Sacramento and Waco all have hauling companies that provide residents with green waste recycling bins.

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