All brush, leaf and yard waste are to be taken out of bags and placed in the appropriate pile at the Oxford Mills Waste Transfer Station. There is NO curbside collection of leaf and yard waste. The fee for disposing of leaf and yard waste at the Waste Transfer Station is $65/ton ($5 minimum, up to 80kg). No stumps or trees of more than 6” in diameter will be accepted. Grasscycling and leafmulching are alternatives to bringing your leaf and yard waste to the Waste Transfer Station. See instructions and tips below to learn more about these options.
What is Grasscycling?
Grasscycling is the recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn after mowing. Grass clippings break down in a few days and return nutrients to the soil.
Lawn Enrichment - Grasscycling supplies lawns with nutrients to support healthy growth. Grass clippings contain nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Studies have shown that grasscycling can reduce fertilizer requirements by as much as 30%.
Save Time and Energy - There is no need to rake and bag your grass.
Water Conservation - Grass clippings retain moisture which means that less watering is required.
Alternatives to Grasscycling
- Compost your grass clippings. Mix clippings with leaves or shredded paper to keep the grass well aerated and free from odours.
- Spread grass clippings on your garden as mulch in thin layers (2.5 cm or 1 inch).
- Take care not to cut more than one third of the grass blade at a time.
- Keep your mower blade sharp.
- Cut once or twice a week before the grass is too long.
- Water deeply only once a week to prevent excessive growth.
- Mow grass when dry to prevent clumping.
- If your lawnmower bags grass clippings, remove the bag to spread clippings evenly over the lawn.
- You may be able to convert your mower to a mulching mower by purchasing a mulching blade retrofit kit which is available at hardware stores and garden centres. Mulching blades chop up grass many times, producing very short clippings.
- If you use a lawn service, ask them to grasscycle.
MYTH – Grasscycling Causes Thatch - Thatch is an accumulation of dead roots and stems most often caused by over-watering or overfertilizing. Grass clippings decompose quickly and do not cause thatch.
MYTH – Grasscycling Spreads Lawn Disease - Watering, fertilization and mower blade sharpness have much more influence on the occurrence of lawn disease than grasscycling.
MYTH – Clippings will be Unsightly - Cut properly, clippings are virtually unnoticeable. Almost all grasscyclers find their clippings disappear within 3 days after cutting. Slightly longer breakdown times will occur later in the growing season as temperatures and the moisture content of clippings decline.
What is Leaf Mulching
Leaf mulching is the process of shredding leaves with a lawnmower and using them as mulch on your gardens and lawn.
Why Leaf Mulch?
Soil Enrichment - Leaf mulch returns nutrients back to the soil. Your lawn and gardens will require less fertilizer and other additives.
Water Conservation - Leaf mulch helps retain moisture in soils. When soil is covered with leaf mulch, the mulch lowers the soil’s exposure to sun and wind which reduces evaporation.
Save Money - By managing your leaves on site, you reduce the need to buy paper yard waste bags.
Insulation - Mulch acts like an insulating barrier from the heat in the summer, from the cold in the winter and from the wind all year round. Mulch prevents compaction and erosion of soils from wind and rain.
Weed Control - Leaf mulch can help prevent the growth of weeds. Add a thick layer (5 to 7.5 cm or 2 to 3 inches) to gardens to reduce the need for herbicides.
Alternatives to Leaf Mulching
- Compost your leaves. Add thin layers of leaf mulch (2.5 cm or 1 inch) to your composter while alternating with other materials. You can also use a separate composter for only leaves. For a leaf composter, alternate 15 cm (6 inches) of leaf mulch with a thin layer (2.5 cm or 1 inch) of soil or finished compost and maintain as usual by turning it regularly and keeping it moist.
- Take your leaves to the Oxford Mills Waste Transfer Station.
Leaf Mulching Tips
- Keep your mower blade sharp.
- Set your mower blade to 6 cm (2.5 inches) high.]
- Mow leaves when dry to prevent clumping.
- Push lawnmower slowly to give mower time to chop up leaves.
- Mow leaves when there is no more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) of leaf litter.
- When adding mulch to gardens, do not put mulch right up to the base of plants or trees and make the mulch no deeper than 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches).
- If your lawnmower bags yard waste, either remove the bag to spread mulch evenly over the lawn, or use the bagged mulch where necessaryaround trees, shrubs and gardens.
- You may be able to convert your mower to a mulching mower by purchasing a mulching blade retrofit kit which is available at hardware stores and garden centres. Mulching blades chop up leaves to produce small leaf pieces.
- If you use a lawn service, ask them to leaf mulch.
What Can You Do With Leaf Mulch?
Leave it on your lawn - Use your lawnmower to chop up leaves and leave the pieces on your lawn. It is important to make sure leaf pieces are small enough to let light get through to your grass. This may require you to mow twice where there is a lot of leaf litter.
Dig leaves into your garden - Dig leaves directly into your garden to add organic matter and nutrients to the soil.
Use leaves as mulch - Put leaf mulch on gardens and flower beds and around trees and shrubs.
Christmas trees with ALL decorations and tinsel removed can be disposed of for free by taking them to the Oxford Mills Waste Transfer Station in the month of January. There is NO curbsidepick-up of Christmas trees. After January, regular leaf & yard waste fees apply.
See Waste Transfer Station Hours here.