How to Dispose of Garden Waste


Many cities have greenwaste recycling programs where they collect garden waste from homes and then turn it into rich compost. This is one good way to dispose of your garden waste, but you can also make use of it in your own back yard by building a simple compost pile or by using it to mulch other plants. Some garden waste, such as rotted fruit that fell before you could pick it, makes a good meal for red wiggler worms in a worm-composting system.

Step 1

Chop up tree parts that you have pruned into 6-inch lengths, or smaller. Layer the pieces at the base of the tree you pruned to serve as mulch, which will help keep the soil moist and give the tree some nourishment as it decomposes and leaches into the soil.

Step 2

Create a "dump pile" near the trees and other plants you often prune if you have too much garden waste for use as mulch or you are not able to chop up larger pieces. Pile your garden waste pieces near the plants from which you cut off branches and other large pieces. This technique can use up a large area if you continue to add to it, but it will prevent weeds from growing where it is located and in time will turn into rich compost.

Step 3

Start a traditional compost pile by either purchasing a bin or simply starting one on the ground in a convenient location in your yard. For both methods, alternate layers of fresh green plant material, such as leaves, with dried, brown material, such as dead branches, old tomato plants, corn stalks, or fallen leaves you rake in the fall. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will decompose and turn into compost.

Step 4

Grind up garden waste with your chipper/shredder. Use this material to mulch your plants, giving them nourishment, keeping the soil moist and protecting bulbs and other roots from freezing temperatures.

Step 5

Feed fallen fruit to the worms in a worm-composting system. Worm bins are easy to set up and provide a way for you to recycle your kitchen waste right in your home for later use as a rich fertilizer called worm castings.

Tips and Warnings

  • Materials unsuitable for compost piles include meat, chicken or fish bones, dairy products, pet excrement, diseased plants and plants on which you have applied an herbicide or "weed and feed" product.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden waste
  • Clippers
  • Saw
  • Chipper/shredder (optional)
  • Worm compost system


  • City Farmer
  • The Garden Helper
Keywords: yard waste, compost pile, vermiculture worm

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.