Landscape Logic column: Teabags, toilet paper and green waste
For a list of Front Range yard waste recycling centers, visit http://www.alcc.com/assets/docs/coloradorecyclingcenters.pdf.
Note: Garden Centers of Colorado also has a recycling program whereby gardeners can return plastic pots after planting to be recycled. Visit http://www.gardencentersofcolorado.org/recycling.html.
Celestial Seasonings tea is packaged without a string, tag, staple or individual wrapper for its teabags. A few years ago they realized that eliminating these elements from their product would save more than 3.5 million pounds of waste from entering landfills each year.
This year, the Scott paper company introduced its no-tube toilet paper product. The full-page ads that launched this product announce that each year 17 billion toilet paper tubes are thrown away. Scott’s innovation may change how things roll in the bathroom — and on its way to the landfill.
Many industries are on board with reducing the waste they generate and that includes the landscape industry. One of the landscape industry’s major commitments for many years has been to reduce the volume of green waste going to the landfill. This applies specifically to high volume waste produced by mowing lawns and pruning trees and shrubs.
During the last 20 years, most lawn maintenance companies have converted to mulching mowers which finely cuts grass and deposit the clippings back on top of the lawn. This practice alone has removed tons of green waste that would have headed to the landfill each year.
In addition, this process of grasscycled mulch reduces the amount of fertilizer needed on the lawn because as clippings decompose, they create nutrients for the lawn. These clippings also help hold moisture in the soil, which reduces water needs.
Every year, tree service companies and landscape maintenance companies cut down dead trees and prune live trees to remove dead branches and keep trees properly shaped and healthy. This activity produces tons and tons of debris that is recycled for compost or chipped and ground to create wood mulch. Many recycling and composting centers throughout the state accept pruning debris from landscape companies and homeowners.
Mulch derived from pruning debris can be put right back into the landscape as a healthy amendment. Because this mulch is derived from organic material, it settles onto the soil and does not blow away like mulch that has been recycled from treated or dried wood products such as pallets. It must first be watered in so that it settles.
Over time, the mulch breaks down and completes the cycle of returning back to the earth from which it came.
Mulching tip: When using wood mulch, do not use landscape fabric under the mulch as its slick surface will cause mulch to blow away in the wind.
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.