What to Throw Away and What to Compost
Maintaining a tidy and well-kept yard adds to your home's curb appeal and contributes to a healthier environment. When managing yard scraps, knowing which items can be safely thrown away and which can be composted is essential. As the leading source for local waste & recycling in greater Brazos Valley, we share some helpful information below. We hope this helps you make informed choices that benefit your yard and the planet.
Read our tips for landscaping your yard HERE.
Understanding Yard Scraps:
Yard scraps encompass a variety of materials found in your yard, such as leaves, branches, grass clippings, and other organic matter. While some of these items can be composted and used as valuable plant nutrients, others may need to be disposed of properly.
Compostable Yard Scraps:
Composting is a fantastic way to recycle organic waste and turn it into nutrient-rich soil for your garden. The following yard scraps are ideal for composting:
Leaves: Fallen leaves make excellent compost material. They are rich in carbon and break down easily.
Grass Clippings: When you mow your lawn, collect the clippings and add them to your compost pile. Grass clippings provide nitrogen, aiding the decomposition process.
Plant Trimmings: Cuttings from plants, flowers, or small branches can all be composted. Be sure to chop them into smaller pieces for quicker decomposition.
Weeds: While it's important to prevent weed seeds from spreading, seedless weeds can be composted. Ensure the compost reaches high temperatures to kill any potential weed seeds.
Shredded Paper and Cardboard: Paper materials such as newspapers, cardboard, and paper bags can be added to your compost pile. However, avoid glossy or colored paper.
Yard Scraps to Throw Away:
Not all yard scraps are suitable for composting. Special note for residents inside the Brenham city limits- don’t forget to schedule a special yard scrap pick-up through the BVR Waste & Recycling app for large amounts of yard scrap. Small to moderate scraps can be bagged and disposed of in your ordinary BVR bin.
Here are some items that should be thrown away:
Diseased Plants: Any plants infected with diseases or pests should be disposed of in the regular trash. Composting infected plants can spread the diseases to healthy plants.
Pet Waste: Pet waste, including dog feces, should never be added to your compost pile due to potential health risks. Bag it and discard it in the regular trash.
Invasive Weeds: Weeds that can spread and cause harm to native plants should be discarded in your regular trash or placed in sealed bags to prevent their growth.
Sticks and Branches: Larger sticks and branches are unsuitable for composting, as they take longer to break down. Instead, consider recycling or disposing of them as woody waste. Again, BVR is happy to pick up your yard scraps upon special request!
To make the most of your compost pile, keep these tips in mind:
Balance the Ratio: Maintain a good balance between "green" (nitrogen-rich) and "brown" (carbon-rich) materials. Aim for a ratio of roughly 3:1, with more carbon-based materials.
Aerate Regularly: Turn your compost pile regularly to promote airflow and encourage decomposition. This helps prevent unpleasant odors and accelerates the process.
Maintain Moisture: Ensure your compost pile remains moist but not overly wet. Add water if needed, especially during dry periods.
Patience is Key: Composting is a natural process that takes time. So be patient; your garden will have nutrient-rich compost in a few months.
Understanding which yard scraps to throw away and which to compost is crucial for maintaining a healthy yard while reducing waste. By composting suitable materials, you can nourish your garden and also contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. Don’t forget that you can purchase single-grind and double-grind mulch at the Brenham Collection Station and schedule a yard scrap pick-up through the BVR Waste & Recycling app! BVR makes it easy to get your yard cleaned up for summer!