In addition to implementing yard waste reduction strategies, such as grasscycling, some jurisdictions have banned yard trimmings from landfills. Where such bans exist, public waste management authorities often provide residents the option of curbside collection if the yard debris is “source-separated” from other waste or public drop-off locations. Landfill bans, coupled with publicly provided alternatives and self-reliant sustainable landscape strategies, drastically reduce the total waste stream. Thanks to these efforts, the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management factsheet reported that yard trimmings had a recovery rate of 63% in 2018, or 22.3 million tons composted.
Ban on Yard Trimmings in Landfills
Since the early 1990s, Massachusetts has banned yard waste from disposal or incineration. To further facilitate diversion of organic waste from disposal, Massachusetts allows certain types of small-scale composting operations to be conditionally exempt from the requirement to obtain a site permit as long as specific performance standards are met. … Read More
Minnesota passed a law in 2009 that mandated all yard trimmings generated in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area could not be collected in plastic bags as of January 2010. The intent of the law is to prevent non-biodegradable plastic from entering composting facilities. The compostable bag law was an amendment to the existing yard trimmings diversion law (stipulating that yard trimmings may not be sent to landfills and instead must be composted) that went into effect statewide in 1994. … Read More
Pennsylvania, like many other states, has regulations that prohibit yard trimmings in landfills. Pennsylvania’s ban is less encompassing than many states, which ban yard trimmings in landfills regardless of their source of generation.… Read More
Markham has taken a comprehensive environmental approach, by implementing policies that reduce organic waste across the public, private, and residential sectors.… Read More
West Virginia addresses composting in a novel way: it categorizes acceptable farm and facility feedstock types more broadly than most states. West Virginia’s Yard Waste Composting Rule (33CSR3) prohibits yard waste from landfill dumping. … Read More