Can I burn my green waste in my garden ? What are the rules ?

Have you just mowed your lawn and don’t know what to do with the cut grass? Do you find yourself overrun by a plant and just cut it down? Or even more simply, you had a Christmas tree that adorned your interior in December and you don’t know where to put it after the holidays? A lot of green waste is emerging in your garden and you are wondering how to get rid of it and whether it is possible to burn it?

What is green waste?

Green waste, as its name suggests, is dry or wet plants such as grass after lawn mowing, pruning residues, dead leaves, shrub or hedge cutting residues, fruit and vegetable peelings. Basically, green waste is leftovers of plant origin. They are used as food by microorganisms and therefore broken down. What remains are the nutrients that are reused by the plants. A natural cycle is created which contributes to the functioning of an ecosystem. Check the type of your green waste to dispose of it correctly.

What to do with your green waste?

Don’t burn them

Under no circumstances should you burn your garden waste. Because making a fire and burning your green waste amounts to releasing many pollutants and fine dust into your garden. Usually what you burn is still very wet. This leads to incomplete combustion with very strong smoke development. Hazardous substances are carried away by rain and are deposited in the ground or flow into nearby bodies of water. If they seep into groundwater, they pose a threat to human health. In many municipalities, open burning of garden waste is therefore explicitly prohibited. Check with your municipality or visit the website for more information.

If you are an individual, green waste assimilated to household waste is impossible to burn. But if as part of your professional activity you have to do it, nothing prevents you from doing so. This is for example the case if you are a farmer. If you are a professional gardener or landscaper, you can burn off the prunings of trees and other hedges.

Pile them up in a compost bin

All green waste being biodegradable, the easiest way is to deposit it in a compost container. Either you are in an apartment and you have a small bucket or closed container or you have a house with a garden and you can allow yourself a compost heap. Find out more, more and more municipalities are providing compost containers where you can deposit your green waste. You just have to check the conditions of acceptance.

Why is composting relevant? In this way, nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, but also organic substances – humus – which are stored in plant matter, can be “returned” to your garden. If necessary, the pieces of wood can be crushed. You can also use grass clippings, leaves and the like to mulch your plants. This ground cover protects it and prevents it from drying out. Of course, compost only works if the level of humidity and aeration is adequate. You can use wood branches for this, provided you have ground them. Always mix wood waste with green materials such as grass clippings so that the decomposition process can work optimally. The same goes for large amounts of dead leaves that you plan to compost. Before disposing of your lawn mowing waste on the compost, it must be well dried. Damp green waste quickly sticks together so an adequate oxygen supply is not guaranteed.

If you have the soul of a conservationist, you can also create new habitats for local wildlife! Many tiny animals love brush piles. Shady places with little vegetation are particularly suitable for starting a waste pile. Hedgehogs, for example, will be delighted to take refuge there.

Drop them off at the dumpster

Beyond the possibilities of depositing your green waste in municipal compost bins, you can go to a recycling center. Many municipalities also offer centralized collection points or street collections for garden waste. Pay attention to the disposal company’s instructions regarding what can be handed over to collection points. Garden waste collected by municipalities can then be transformed into high-quality compost. The compost produced is often offered again for use, for example as potting soil. This completes the local cycle. The woody components of garden waste are in many cases mechanically separated and then serve as fuel for biomass heating plants. The wood from your garden waste thus contributes to the supply of renewable energies.

Give to professionals who wish to recover them

If you have a very large garden and you collect a lot of grass several times a year, dry it and offer it to a farmer or an equestrian center. This hay can be fed to animals. If, in addition, this happens in a period of great drought, the farmer will be grateful to you for offering more food to his animals.

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