How to Clean Yard Waste


Imagine all the brochures you've seen of new houses and their adjoining yards. It's easy to think that these spaces stay this pristine forever, but that is not the case. Owning a yard and keeping it just as beautiful as it looked on day one requires a lot of maintenance. Likewise, there are unavoidable incidents such as natural disasters, fires, or even rambunctious pets which could turn your yard upside down in an instant. 

Owning a yard inevitably produces waste – from the first landscaping job, regular maintenance, to just about any scenario in between. These could be things we deliberately want to be removed from our garden setup, like pesky weeds, to byproducts of regular maintenance like dead branches, dried leaves, and grass trimmings. For big homes, this could mean chopped-up full trees or your yearly Christmas tree after the holidays.  

Yard waste might seem inconsequential at first but leave your yard unattended for a few days and you will watch the waste quickly pile up. As such, yard waste removal is part and parcel of proper yard maintenance.  

Why Proper Yard Waste Removal Matters

It’s easy to have a “not in my backyard” mindset when it comes to clearing your yard of waste. However, here are some reasons why being mindful of where your waste goes would benefit yourself and your community. 

Lowered Waste Removal Costs

A little bit of discernment could go a long way for your wallet. Most times, our yard waste is bigger than it is because we don't sort our waste at the point of disposal. As a result, this one-size-fits-all approach to waste leads to a mammoth pile of trash to remove, which would entail bigger services or resources to get it done. And even then, the problem is removed from your sight, but not necessarily in an optimal manner for you and the environment. 

Instead, knowing which waste removal option to use for which type and quantity of waste would allow companies an easier time processing your waste, which would lower their rates to get your yard good as new – a win-win scenario for everyone. 

Reduced Overall Waste

A lot of landfills struggle with their remaining space because of how yard waste is being disposed of. This natural waste takes up a significant portion of landfill space, although many of these are biodegradable and can be beneficial to the right environment. As such, knowing the type of waste you're looking to have disposed of and removing these properly will not only clear up your yard but will also lessen the burden on the disposal centers these will end up in, too. 

Improvement for the Environment

Most yard waste comes from plants such as dead leaves, grass trimmings, and branches. These plants contain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium which can benefit the environment they reside in. Natural options for removing yard waste can also leave your yard better than you found it and may even save you from having to purchase chemical or organic fertilizers. In this manner, a closed-loop process happens wherein with regular trimming and cleaning, your yard becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem.  

How to Clear Yard Waste

Getting rid of waste in your yard sounds intuitive, but below are some best practices for doing so. 


Just because our trimmings and old branches no longer serve a purpose in our yard doesn’t mean they’re completely useless. Recycling is a great way to dispose of yard waste while continuing to utilize its strengths.  

Some yard waste may involve excess soil or big pieces of wood such as tree stumps, thick branches, and the like, which may serve an aesthetic purpose in another garden. If you have a keen eye for design, consider having these key pieces donated to landscapers who can use them as accents for their succeeding projects. Natural accents with all their flaws lend a charm that is hard to replicate in manicured gardens. 

Logs of wood could also be brought indoors to keep a fireplace burning during colder months or can be donated to facilities that reuse excess wooden materials for community building projects. Just be sure to check that the size of wood for donation makes it usable.

Not big on having to discern which piece of waste has more useful value than the other? Since yard waste is composed mostly of organic matter, these items and their inherent nutrition can decompose back into the environment as compost.  

You can make your compost at home with a DIY compost bin, a healthy ratio between “brown” and “green” waste, and stirring the bin now and then to help things break down.  

Not only would this save you on fertilizer costs, but it would also reduce your need to dispose of yard waste regularly as Mother Nature does the work for you. Just be wary of including weeds in the compost. These pesky things can survive the recycling process and wreak havoc on your plants. 

If your waste is mostly composed of small wood pieces, you may opt to grind everything to its smallest form. Try renting a woodchipper from your local hardware store and have these turned into mulch.  

Mulch is a combination of wood chips, compost, and paper materials that serve as a layer of natural protection between your soil and the outside world. The presence of mulch lessens evaporation, regulates soil temperature, discourages erosion and weed growth, and even keeps the fruit in the area clean. 

Yard Debris Pickup

There is the option to have yard waste that goes beyond reusing hauled out at no extra cost. Your local community might have a regular garbage collection schedule for yard waste; all it takes is knowing the right schedule and preparing your trash bags by the curb the day before.  

Other facilities also offer scheduled pickup options for those unable to wait around for the garbage truck to show up. Otherwise, you can also haul your trash to yard waste collection sites that accept organic materials for composting and reuse.  

Provided that you have the means to transport your waste, small-scale pickup and hauling are easy and inexpensive options to get yard waste out before it gets too big to handle. 

Note that most facilities will require the waste to be segregated and will only accept debris sorted under specific categories. Others offer to sort the waste at no extra cost. It is best to check with your community's waste collection department on the proper processes to make sure your waste will be accepted.  

Rent a Dumpster

If your waste is becoming too much to manage, you might want to consider piling it all in a dumpster. Typically used by new home construction or renovation projects, a roll-off dumpster is a big trash bin that can accommodate all of your project's waste.  

Dumpster rental companies allow homeowners to borrow a dumpster size of their choice to accommodate all waste accumulated throughout the project and get rid of all of it at once.  

To avail of a dumpster, simply call your local dumpster rental company and schedule a drop-off time and location. Then, as your home is being built or repaired, keep piling waste into the dumpster as needed. 

The great thing about a dumpster is its convenience. No need to worry about the type of waste in the dumpster; the company will accept whatever's in it. You can not only fill it up on your own time but also get things cleaned up in an afternoon in a big way too, as long as you and your construction team are ready for some heavy lifting.  

Clear Out with a Junk Removal Company

If the thought of having to clean up your yard yourself is too overwhelming, it might be best to leave this to the professionals. Junk removal companies include yard waste hauling services as well, with rates being determined by the truckload.  

Simply schedule a delivery time with your company of choice and they'll send a team out to survey the waste for pickup. While you'll also need to be on-site on the day of pickup, there is no need to break a sweat as all the heavy lifting will be done for you. 

Four Questions before Considering Your Yard Waste Removal Option

With the many options to consider, it might be confusing to assess which option would be best for your and your yard's circumstances. To help you out, here are some questions to think about before booking your next yard waste disposal. 

How much yard waste are you removing?

The degree of waste you will generate will play a role in which option to choose. Some options are only beneficialor will only accept your wasteif it’s done in a big way. This is especially relevant for homes that are post-construction or post-renovation.  

It’s easy to picture a home right after it’s been built or has gone through an overhaul: mounds of waste would be found in the corners, just looking for an opportunity to be disposed of.  

Meanwhile, those with small- to mid-sized generated waste can look into smaller-scale options for waste removal to remove the hassle and added costs of setting up a separate session to have this settled.  

How often do you need to remove your yard waste?

The frequency of removal also plays a role in which option to choose. Some options go for a one-time approach, while others hinge on the regularity of weekly visits or assigned drop-off days.  

Both have their pros and cons. One-time cleans can remove heaps of waste in one go at a higher price, while smaller removals would be easier on your wallet but can also come at the expense of added time and effort.  

The best way to assess which frequency works for you is to assess the cause of your yard waste. If it’s due to irregular events such as a post-typhoon cleanup, then it might be worth it to shell out a bit more to have everything removed in one go. 

But if the waste is from pruning or weekly maintenance and can be set aside without disrupting the home, these can be collected and handed over during regular pickups instead. 

How much time and money are you willing to spend?

Like in many things, time and money are inversely proportional. The more money you’re willing to spend, the more time you save, and vice versa.  

Taking care of a yard requires much time and effort, with some options being more labor-intensive than others. Yard waste istough to handle aloneespecially for bigger projectsand would need the help of yard removal companies to remove everything in one go. However, these full-service and convenient options come at a price, so be prepared to shell out a bit more to rest easy. 

For smaller-scale yard removal projects, the same dilemma applies. If you're busy with work and find it difficult to take time to settle your yard waste, you may want to explore other options wherein yard waste removers come to you.  

However, if you have an assigned person to care for the yard or can work out a schedule to personally remove the waste, you can look into self-service options to bring the yard waste for disposal yourself at little or no cost.  

How do you feel about recycling?

While recycling your yard waste is a noble idea, the effort it takes is not for everyone. Composting comes with a lot of effort to get the ecosystem up and running. You'll need to put in an optimal ratio of “green” and “brown” waste for the compost to be nutritious and maintain this regularly to see results. 

If your idea of recycling is reusing key garden elements for other areas or homes, it also takes effort to sift gems through the clutter, making them acceptable for donation, and finding the appropriate landscaping companies or organizations that will accept the quality you offer. First, assess if you’re willing to go through the hassle of treasure hunting before you take on these types of disposal options. 


With every yard comes the need for responsible maintenance to keep everything in tip-top shape. Before opting for third-party organizations, assess if your waste could be reused as accents, or even as gardening materials such as mulch or compost. If not, you may opt to run it through your community's weekly garbage collection or haul it to the nearest landfill. For larger-scale waste, renting a roll-off dumpster or having a hauling company do the work may just be worth the extra fee.  

If done right, proper yard waste disposal is not only good for you and your yard, it’s good for the community and the environment too.

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