Green waste is one of the worst things to send to landfill; taking up space and turning into ‘rubbish soup’ which is a major producer of methane gas and leachate. And there are so many other options. Check them out!
If it comes out of the garden and it’s plant material, including weeds, grass clippings, trees and plants, it is ‘green waste’.
What is not green waste? Dirt, stones, concrete, kitchen waste, and anything else that does not come from a plant and did not grow in your garden.
Almost half of the waste going into the landfill is green waste. It is a serious problem because of the way the landfill has to be managed. Mixed in with other waste and compacted underground means it cannot compost and rots very slowly – turning into ‘rubbish soup’. That mixture creates methane gas and leachate that threatens the environment.
Green waste also takes up a great deal of room, which means the landfill pit will need to be replaced much earlier than it should be.
There are ways you can manage green waste to ensure it does not go to landfill – and one of them might even save you money!
If you have room (and it does not take a lot) build or buy a compost bin. The result will give you great ‘soil’ to add to your garden. Ten minutes of on-line searching will tell you how to manage it (a mix of materials, sunshine and a sprinkling of water) and what not to put in it (animal products, oils, bread etc). It’s an ideal way to get rid of vegetable waste from the kitchen as well. If you’re still not sure, talk to the staff at a garden centre or contact the Hawke’s Bay Environment Centre which runs composting workshops.
If you can’t manage a compost pile, keep your green waste separate from general rubbish and take it to one of the transfer stations (pure green waste is cheaper to get rid of than general rubbish) or hire a green waste bin from a waste company. Both these options mean the green waste goes to a commercial composter – keeping it out of the landfill!
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