green waste

The Complete Guide to Green Waste: Definition, Sources, Removal

Did you know that in 2018, yard trimmings in landfills topped out at around 10.5 million tons

Green waste is biodegradable materials that should be managed by a waste management business. This can save you time and the hassle of transporting your own waste.

Additionally, it is more beneficial for the environment to compost your green waste rather than taking it to a landfill. If you want to learn more about green waste and what it is, then keep reading on. 

Green Waste

You have likely heard of recycling materials and different types of waste. Green waste is another form of organic waste. Many companies and people use the term biological waste interchangeably with green waste. 

It includes grass clippings, leaves, shrubs, and weeds, amongst other items. Typically, green waste includes more nitrogen than carbon which makes it ideal for composting and reuse. 

This means that some companies won’t include hay, straw, and other items as green waste. You also don’t need to put your green waste in a plastic bag – companies can pick it up directly. 


Where exactly is green waste recycled and what sources help out with this process? Most often, a private waste management business helps with green waste removal. 

Normally, this waste is taken for composting versus placed in a landfill. There are many benefits of composting over placing items in a landfill, which you can read more about below. 

But what can green waste help with?

When green waste is composted it is used quite frequently for a variety of tasks. This includes uses for topsoils, sewage disposal, and crops. Composting green waste also reduces greenhouse gases and improves reforestation.

If the contaminated soil has toxins, compost helps soil regeneration. Compost materials also require fewer fertilizers which reduces harsh chemicals used in the environment. 

How is the compost material made? Each private waste management might have different criteria on what they will accept as yard waste. However, basic composting includes the combination of green waste (and possible food waste) that is divided into specific ratios. 

Wood chips, or similar materials, are usually added to the mixture to assist with the breakdown process. Finally, the entire material is put through a curing process – sometimes companies use active composting which incorporates high temperatures. 

Composting vs. Landfill

Is one better than the other? How do you know what you can compost versus take to a landfill?

One argument that people have is that decomposing in a landfill or composting biological waste will still produce greenhouse gases. While this may be true to some extent, there are some differences.

Landfills are composed mainly of 50% carbon dioxide and 50% methane. Methane is more detrimental to global warming. When green waste is composted, it is mainly emitting carbon dioxide. 

Landfills are supposed to have a system in place that essentially captures the emitted methane. The methane is either burned off or used in a different energy form. In order to maintain an even balance between carbon dioxide and methane gases – up to 95% of methane needs to be captured during this process.

Why is this difficult to achieve? Some research shows that up to 90% of food decomposes in the first four weeks in a landfill. During the four weeks, it is unlikely that landfills will use their system in place to capture the methane. 

In return, you can reuse your compost for beneficial materials to the environment. Some of these materials are mulch, soil, and potting mixes. It is also sometimes healthier for your crops and garden than other types of soil.

Compost Areas

Private management companies and individuals looking at green waste composting have a few types they can choose from. Open piles are one of the simplest forms of composting.

Basically, you dump all of the green waste into one large pile and then add mulch to it to assist in the composting process. You can also create long rows of piles of green waste – these long piles are routinely turned. 

Vessels are more high-tech and require putting the green waste into a container that controls the heat, turning, and airflow. Lastly, some private companies use worms to break down the materials. 

Fire Management

Getting rid of your green waste also prevents the spread of fires. During this past fire season, you have likely seen many homes devastated by fires on the news. One of the contributors to fires is yard waste. 

Companies help you remove this waste so that you don’t have to haul large items or risk injuries. For fire safety reasons, you should have thirty feet of clearing around your house. 

Within ten feet of your house, you should remove any dried vegetation or branches. These recommendations will help keep your home safer in case of a fire and can also make your yard look even better.

Some studies show that cleaning up green waste around your yard actually increases the value of your substantially. Private management waste companies can also remove any other junk, garbage, or large items from your house. 

Green Waste Removal

If you have already spent time clearing out your yard and green waste, the last thing you want to do is work on the removal process. Green waste management companies can safely remove your waste. 

Additionally, these companies assist in the removal of a variety of different junk items or large objects. If you are looking at green waste removal, or just want some advice on how to go about yard waste – then contact us today for a professional waste removal service team. 

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