Discontinuation of Grass Clippings Collection

Please be advised that the Region of Peel is no longer accepting grass clippings with yard waste collection.Discontinuing the collection of grass clippings is expected to result in significant cost savings per year for the Region, which can help offset the cost of other programs and services that the Region provides. Peel is one of the last municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area to discontinue accepting grass clippings with waste collection. The Region of Peel is encouraging residents to practice grasscycling by leaving grass clippings on your lawn to break down naturally. Some of the benefits of grasscycling are as follows:

  • It’s better for your lawn and the environment
  • Grasscycling makes your lawn healthy and helps prevent thatch buildup.
  • Fresh grass clippings are 80% water. They protect the soil by keeping moisture in the ground. Grass clippings break down quickly, providing nutrients to your lawn.
  • Cutting grass to a height of 8 cm (3 in) will develop a healthy root system and helps prevent weeds from growing.
  • Grasscycling reduces water use and the amount of fertilizer needed for your lawn.
  • Grasscycling saves time and effort. No bagging required.
  • It reduces the need to water your lawn and slows water evaporation from your soil.
  • It reduces the need to fertilize your lawn. The grass clippings break down quickly, adding nutrients to your lawn.

You can follow these steps to grasscycle properly:

  • Cut your grass regularly, cutting no more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade at one time.
  • Remove the lawn mower bag before mowing your lawn.
  • Set the mower blade height to 8 cm (3 in) before cutting.
  • Cut grass when it’s dry so it spreads evenly on your lawn and won’t clump.
  • It’s quicker to cut the grass when the blade is sharp.
  • Try not to over-water or over-fertilize.
  • Consider using a backyard composter, sold at Peel Community Recycling Centres.
  • Consider creating a fusion garden to reduce your lawn area.

Here are some common myths concerning grasscycling and the answers to them:

Leaving grass on a lawn causes thatch

  • Thatch is the buildup of organic debris that is resistant to decay.
  • You might find some grass clippings in the thatch layer, but they usually don’t add to thatch buildup because grass clippings easily break down.
  • Thatch is mainly caused by excessive root growth from over-watering and over-fertilizing.

Grasscycling makes lawns look untidy

  • When cut properly, clippings fall between the grass blades and are barely noticeable.
  • Clumping may result from cutting wet grass or cutting more than 3-4 cm of the grass blades.
  • Grass clippings are 80% water, so they break down quickly.

Grasscycling causes lawn disease

  • Grasscycling hasn’t been found to contribute to disease
  • Lawn disease is usually caused by improper watering and fertilizer use.
  • Cutting grass too short can make lawn disease more likely because it lessens food reserves in the plant, making the grass weak and unhealthy.

Mulching mowers are required for grasscycling

  • Any lawn mower, including a reel or push mower, will work.
  • Remove the bag from your mower and raise the blades to the medium setting. Keep the blade sharp.

Grass clippings aren’t useful

  • Keep your grass clippings! You can add them to your backyard compost.
  • Use them as mulch to control weeds and stop moisture loss around flowerbeds, trees and shrubs.
  • You can buy a composter at any Peel Community Recycling Centre.

Grasscycling spreads weeds

  • Mowing often prevents dandelions from spreading.
  • Mowing high prevents sunlight from reaching the ground and prevents weeds from growing.
  • A low-cut lawn is more likely to have weeds.

Grass clippings disappear after a few days; however, if you prefer not to wait that long, you can also consider:

  • Using a mulching lawn mower, which has blades designed to push grass clippings down into the ground, speeding up the grass cycling process. If you have a regular lawn mower, mulching kits (found at most hardware stores and garden centres) can be purchased to convert your regular lawn mower into a mulching lawn mower.
  • Place clippings in a backyard composter in thin layers. Composters are sold at any peel community recycling centre.
  • Reducing your lawn area by creating a fusion garden. Check watersmartpeel.ca/fusion for tips.
  • Consider calling private services in your local area.

For more information on grasscycling, please visit peelregion.ca/waste/grasscycling/#how-to. If you would like to speak to someone at the Region of Peel about this change, you may contact Paula Della Bianca at the Region of Peel at 905-791-7800 ext. 4513 or paula.dellabianca@peelreigon.ca

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