From Pine View Farm

Vast Grasslands 4

State lawmakers once again are trying to block a yard-waste ban at Cherry Island Landfill that would add years to the life of the state’s largest trash site but at a higher cost to residents.

The ban has been on hold since May, when Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed a House-Senate resolution barring enforcement until Jan. 24. Legislators claimed at the time that residents wouldn’t have a convenient and affordable way to dispose of yard waste. The resolution directed state officials to develop a plan to “simplify and economize” yard-waste recycling for residents.

How stupid is it to bag “yard waste”?

Let me count the ways.

You take something that is perfectly biodegradable, wrap it in a plastic bag and turn it into something that will last forever, and toss it in the landfill.


This whole idea of having a pristine, weed-free lawn is just an invention of the fertilizer and weed-killer companies anyway. And what do they care about? Creating new markets for their noxious chemicals.

Note that I’m talking about the lawn, as opposed to the yard.

We had a yard where I grew up. Several of them, in fact. About two and a half acres of yards: front, back, and side.

My father and later my brother and I cut it. We played baseball and football on it. And none of us thought much about it it, as long as it was green.

The idea that it should be populated with a single breed of grass and have no clover was completely unknown to us. Heck, that little patch of blue grass on the north side stood out really prettily from the bull grass.

And just, pray tell, is wrong with having grass clippings or leaves in the driveway or on the pavement?

Why must legions of persons carrying un-muffled leaf-blowers disturb the morning moving those leaves and grass clippings about. Honestly, that is what wind and rain are for.

And let us not mention the energy that gets used up just to move bits of biomass around. That’s energy as in gasoline being wasted in a pointless, senseless activity. (Unlike, for example, boating, which is a noble was of communing with nature, especially if you have an open runaboat.)

I say ban yard waste, mandate common sense, and get a mulching mower.

Oh, yeah, and while we’re at it, let’s ban leaf-blowers and edgers too.



  1. Karen

    December 21, 2007 at 7:25 am

    We have a tree in the front that doesn’t consider its season complete until it lets all its leaves go, & there’s enough to cover 2 yards. Those get picked up.

    The leaves in the back don’t. The girls break them up & they are mulch for the back.

    My lawnmower is a mulcher.

  2. Frank

    December 21, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    When I lived in Arlington, Va., Arlington would send around a big vacuum cleaner truck to pick up the leaves. We just racked them to the curve.

    I don’t know where they went from there.

    Arlington was a great place to live. I still have copies of two commendations I sent in on two Arlington cops.

  3. Bill

    December 21, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    When I lived in Arlington, Va., Arlington would send around a big vacuum cleaner truck to pick up the leaves. We just racked them to the curve.

    I don’t know where they went from there.

    The City of Dover does that. Once each week (until about mid-January) a vacuum truck comes around my neighborhood, sucks up the leaves, and grinds them into mulch. (During the fall, once each week is not often enough.) The City deposits the material in an area near the local Little League park. The material composts for several months and is used for mulch in various places around the City. Also, one Saturday in the spring residents can carry away as much mulch as their pick-ups can hold. Makes a hell of a lot more sense than bagging leaves to be hauled and buried in the Cherry Island landfill.

  4. Opie

    December 23, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Waste that is non-biodegradable, non-toxic and non-volatile should be rocketed off into the cosmos. Somewhere there will be a planet whose inhabitants need it desperately.