Yard Waste Cleanup Time in Calgary

Today's post has two purposes. The first is to let you know, if you didn't know already, that it is spring cleanup time in Calgary. That means that you can take your yard waste (grass clippings, branches, plants, etc) to city landfills for composting. This program runs until May 29th.

If the landfill isn't convenient for you, they are also accepting yard waste, as well as other recyclable items, at the community cleanups which are held throughout the city starting this weekend. Each community's cleanup is different, so it's best to double-check what they're accepting before hauling your stuff down there.

At our house, we throw our yard waste in a compost pile we framed out of pallets, but if you don't have the space for that, the City programs could be quite helpful.

The second purpose of this post is to air one of my biggest pet peeves: compostable materials in plastic bags. It has been many years since we bought plastic bags around here, for garbage or for yard waste. Of course, we are trying not to create garbage, but what we do throw out, we throw straight in the black bin without bagging it first. Yard waste goes in the compost pile, and if it is too much to carry in our arms, we put it in the wheelbarrow or a bucket to get it there.

Every year the alleys in our neighborhood are scattered with plastic bags filled with leaves, sticks, grass, and weeds. Something about compostable materials entombed in plastic really brings me down. I realize that those materials have almost no chance of actually breaking down in a landfill setting, but they certainly have none when first wrapped up in non-biodegradable garbage bags. So, for the record, there are other options available if you must send your yard waste to the landfill.

First, you could throw it directly into your black bin. As long as you are not breaking the weight restrictions for the bins, the City does not require your garbage to be bagged, except for a few types of trash which they've listed. As it happens, one of the things they ask to be bagged is grass clippings.

If you feel that bags are required, there are compostable/bio-degradable types available. You can find them at lots of stores, with Home Depot coming to mind. You can find them made of corn starch, potato starch, paper, and likely other materials. In my mind, almost anything is better than sending plastic to the landfill.

What do you do with your yard waste? Leave a comment!


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