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Grasscycling & Yard Waste

Anyone who has ever mowed a lawn knows how much of a pain it is to bag grass clippings. We convince ourselves that our lawn looks more pristine without the dead clippings lying on top and that our lawn will be healthier if we take the extra time to bag the grass. We spend countless hours lugging around a renewable resource that could just as easily be recycled rather than wasted.

Recycling grass, or “grasscycling” as we like to call it, is the fastest, easiest, and most advantageous way to get rid of grass clippings. Contrary to what many believe, grass clippings actually help your lawn, not hurt it!

According to research done by Penn State University over a three year period, the clippings from Kentucky bluegrass contained between 56-59 percent of nitrogen applied as a fertilizer. When clippings are returned, a substantial amount of nitrogen and other nutrients can be used by the grass, significantly reducing fertilizer requirements. In the end you’ll save money, reduce your yard work and yard waste, save water (grass clippings are 85% water), and get a green, chemical-free environment!


In order for the grass clippings to properly break down, mowing your lawn only once a week may not be enough. For clippings to break down rapidly, the lawn should be mowed frequently, preferably with a mower that has a mulching blade, so that large amounts of leaf residue do not remain on the surface of the grass. As a rule of thumb, no more than one-third of the leaf tissue should be removed during the mowing operation.

Occasionally, periods of prolonged rainfall make mowing nearly impossible. The grass becomes overgrown and large clumps of grass may remain on the lawn following mowing. The clumps of grass can be re-mowed after drying to facilitate dispersal if necessary.

Just remember, the grass is always GREENER…if you let it lay!

SOURCES: Professional Recyclers of PA:, York County Solid Waste Authority:

About the Author: Amanda Ellis is the Public Relations & Communications Coordinator for Penn Waste. If you have any questions or comments, please contact her directly at

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