You may consider your grass clippings, fallen leaves and broken tree branches as yard waste, but these items are high in nutrients. Return these nutrients to the soil by mulching them. Not only is this better for your plants and garden soil, but it prevents your yard waste from going into a landfill. The main aim of mulching yard waste is to make the pieces smaller so they decompose faster.
Mow your lawn. You can either leave the bag off and allow the grass clippings to naturally add nitrogen back to the soil, or you can collect the grass clippings in the bag and dump them in a compost pile to add nitrogen to the compost pile.
Rake up the leaves and then run them over with a lawnmower. This is an effective way to shred the leaves. You can allow the leaves to break down on your lawn naturally, or add them to a compost pile.
Rent a wood chipper and turn broken tree branches in to wood chips. Either toss these in to your compost pile, or spread them around your plants before winter. They will provide protection for the plants roots as well as keep weeds from shooting up around the plant in the spring.
Complete your compost pile if you made one. Compost piles consist of three layers. Your first layer is your organic layer (all the grass clippings, shredded leaves, and wood chips plus kitchen scraps). The second layer is fertilizer (manure). Your final third layer is soil. These layers need to be mixed together after they are assembled, and then tossed once per week until they have broken down in to an earthy type substance.
Use your compost in your flower or vegetable garden.