The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority allows residents to drop off yard and green waste at the Utica and Rome EcoDrops during normal business hours. All yard and green waste must be delivered loose and not in plastic or paper bags. Limbs must be less than 14 inches in diameter and no more than 6 feet long. No stumps or root balls accepted. Residents may also purchase finished compost at both convenience stations. The finished compost is made from yard waste only and makes a great soil amendment for garden and landscape applications.
Grass recycling—leaving grass clippings on your lawn—reduces the amount of yard waste, saving everyone time, effort, and money. The Authority encourages residents to “just mow it!”—the easiest route to a healthier, greener lawn and a better environment. If at times grass clippings or any other yard waste, including leaves, must be set out, please ask your hauler or municipal highway department about collection procedures for your area. Eliminate the raking, bagging, and hauling, and “Just mow it!”
The key to successful grass recycling is keeping the clippings small. By mowing once a week, grass clippings remain small and disappear in the lawn and decompose easily; leaving clippings on the lawn returns nutrients and valuable organic matter to the soil.
Cut grass when it’s dry and approximately three inches in height. Cutting approximately one inch off the top helps develop a larger and deeper root system. Residents may even want to consider a mulching mower.
Avoid over-fertilizing and observe recommended rates for slow, controlled-release fertilizer. Grass recycling can reduce the need to fertilize by as much as 25 percent—saving even more time and money.
Thatch is the accumulation of slow-to-decompose organic matter at the surface of soil and is caused by over-fertilizing, improper watering, or allowing grass to grow too long between mowings. Grass clippings, however, do not cause thatch.
Grass recycling increases moisture retention and saves water. The rule is to water infrequently but deeply. Most sprinklers need to run about four hours one day each week to saturate the soil.
Mulching and Composting
Grass clippings can be used as mulch—a protective covering for trees, shrubs and plants. Clippings can also be composted, creating an organic soil conditioner that can be used on lawns, trees, and shrubs.