What to do with Your Leaves and Yard Waste?

It’s time for fall yard clean up! Landscape beds may need some weeding and mulch application. Leaves should be raked from lawns and removed from sidewalks, street curbs, and roadways. Wet leaves damage lawns and present slippery conditions for pedestrians and motorists. Leaves left on the street flush into storm drains and bring excessive nutrient-rich debris to the local streams feeding the Chesapeake Bay river system, causing pollution. After doing all your work, please continue to be a considerate neighbor and dispose of your yard waste properly and in a timely fashion. If you have a wooded section in your yard, consider using the raked leaves or pine needles as ground cover to mulch in that area. Please leave your grass clippings on your lawn instead of bagging them for recycling. Lawn professionals recommend this “grass cycling” for a greener healthier lawn; the grass clippings return nutrients to the soil and improve lawn quality.

Please do not dump your yard debris on Columbia’s Open Space. The dumped material is unsightly and encourages others to dump. Howard County will collect ONLY the following yard debris on your regular recycling day from now through January 22:
• Grass, leaves, light brush, and hedge clippings
• Hay, straw, dry seedpods, pine cones, etc.
• Small limbs or branches less than 4” in diameter and 4’ in length

To Ensure Curbside Collection:
• Set out your yard recycling the night before or by 6 a.m. on your recycling day
• Place the yard recycling in OPEN plastic or paper bags or loose in trash containers without lids
• Bundle light brush/small tree limbs together with string. Each bundle can be no longer than 4 feet and less than 18 inches in diameter.
• Make sure each bag or bundle weighs less than 40 pounds

The County will not accept the following yard waste: manmade or miscellaneous material mixed with yard trimmings, stumps, bushes with root bases attached, or yard trimmings placed in recycling bins or in cardboard boxes. Store your yard recycling in an inconspicuous location until collection day. If you miss a pickup, you can take your yard waste to the Alpha Ridge Landfill. The landfill will also accept small amounts of soil, rock debris, and certain other items. (Residents must provide proof of county residency to purchase a landfill permit).

The Alpha Ridge Landfill is located on 2350 Marriottsville Road in Marriottsville. Call the Bureau of Environmental Services, 410-313-6444, or visit www.co.ho.md.us for more information about the County’s curbside collection and landfill services.

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