Yard Waste Pickup
Chicago's Yard Waste Program is a simple, effective means for conserving landfill space, reducing pollution, and creating healthy soils.
To take part, just collect your leaves and grass in a paper bag and call 3-1-1 to request collection. This free Yard Waste service is available April 1st to November 30th.
Composting Yard Waste Supports a Healthy Environment
The Yard Waste program diverts food waste away from landfills and uses it to create compost instead.
When yard waste and other organic materials break down in oxygen deprived landfills, they release methane. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
In the US, about 20% of all methane emissions are produced from landfills.
(Not relevant, but intersting... the second the second largest emitter of methane is enteric fermentation which comes from the burps of cattle, sheep, buffalo and other livestock. Learn more about that gastric phenome thing. [source: EPA]
Additionally, composting yard waste conserves landfill space. Nationally, yard waste accounts for about 15-20% of all landfill space.
What happens to yard waste after it's picked up?
The leaves and grass collected by the City go to a composting facility. Composting is a natural process that turns yard waste and other organic matter into a natural fertilizer.
At commercial composting facilities, yard waste turns to nitrogen rich compost in a few short weeks. Because of its dark color and rich fertilizing abilities, finished compost is sometimes called 'Black Gold'. Gardeners, farmers, and landscapers use compost to enrich, protect, and replenish soil, naturally.
Help spread the word about the benefits of composting yard waste and let's grow a more beautiful community.
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