How to Reduce Yard Waste

Grasscycling: Let Clippings Fall
Use a mulching mower or retrofit your current mower with a mulching blade kit and let clips fall back into the lawn. This method:

  • Adds nitrogen from clippings to the soil
  • Cuts fertilizer use by 30% or more
Cut only 1/3 of grass blade at a time to promote root growth and shade out weeds. Deep roots help plants resist drought and disease.


Home Composting


Transform your yard waste into humus-rich compost. Use compost in the garden, with potted plants, as a topdressing for lawns, or as mulch around trees and shrubs.

Compost Benefits



  • Aerates and adds nutrients to the soil
  • Encourages root growth
  • Improves soil structure

Ideal Ratio



  • 50% Leaves (carbon)
  • 25% Grass (nitrogen)
  • 25% Soil + Water
A diagram of reducing yard waste through home composting.

Other Options


  • Add low-maintenance plant beds and ground covers, slow-growth bushes, decks, walkways and borders to your yard to reduce lawn area.
  • Add shredded leaves and grass to your compost pile.
  • Shred leaves into lawn with mulching mower; adds nutrients and does not hurt the lawn.
  • Use Shredded leaves and grass clippings as mulches to control weeds, conserve moisture and reduce soil erosion:
    • Place 1 to 2-inch layer on wet newspaper between vegetable/flower rows.
    • Sprinkle 1-inch layer around bushes or tree base.
    • Work into garden soil.
For free fact sheets on grasscycling, composting, and other yard waste reduction and healthy lawn and garden tips, call or write:

SOCRRA
3910 W Webster Road
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Phone: 248-288-5150