Skip Navigation

Division of Solid Waste Services

home icon

Monday, September 1, 2014 - Labor Day: No County-provided recycling or trash collections on September 1; all collections that week shift by one day. Transfer Station closed on September 1. See holiday details. Sign up for email or text holiday reminders.

Help us improve our Division of Solid Waste Services website and e-services

Grasscycling

Grasscycling simply means recycling grass clippings—but instead of collecting your grass clippings as you mow and placing them in paper lawn bags or in reusable containers for curbside recycling collection, you can recycle your grass clippings right in your own yard. It's fast, easy, and simple.

Through mowing at proper intervals, grasscycling produces short grass particles that fall to the soil surface and quickly break down. The result: the release of valuable nutrients that fertilize the lawn and the added organic matter that conserves moisture and protects against temperature extremes. Grasscycling eliminates the need to use commercial fertilizers and reduces the amount of yard trim materials that must be collected and processed by the County.

In Montgomery County, it's against the law to dispose of yard trimmings (grass, leaves, brush, and garden trimmings) in the trash.

Why Grasscycle?

Save time

Grasscycling typically cuts the time spent on lawn chores by 40 percent.

Feed your lawn

Grasscycling protects and nourishes your lawn, eliminating the need to use commercial fertilizers.

Protect the environment

Grasscycling protects our waterways by slowing runoff from rain and melting snow, preventing soil erosion, and trapping sediments and chemicals.

Cut costs

Grasscycling reduces the need to buy commercial fertilizers, and lawn care service providers may charge less if you ask them to stop bagging your grass clippings and pass the savings on to you.

How do you start grasscycling?

Sharpen mower blades at least once a year

Dull blades can shred grass, causing browning and a ragged appearance—and creating an entryway for disease.

Make sure the grass is dry

Wet grass cuts poorly, clumps, and can clog your mower.

Mow when the grass needs cutting

Mow at least once a week, cutting the grass before or when it reaches a height of four inches (or 1.5 inches for Bermuda and Zoysia grass). If your grass starts to clump, you know you waited too long to cut.

Follow the "One-Third" Rule

Never cut more than one-third of the length of the blade of grass at one time. Set the mower’s blade height at about three inches (or about one inch for Bermuda and Zoysia grass).

If you frequently water, water appropriately

Water your lawn only when necessary—when grass loses color, becomes dull, or doesn’t spring back when you walk on it. Provide about one inch of water, preferably in the early morning when less water is lost to evaporation.

Consider a mulching mower

Any lawnmower can grasscycle; all you need to do is remove the bag. Mulching mowers cut grass clippings into smaller pieces that decompose even more quickly.

Tell your landscaper

Landscaping contractors can grasscycle too. They may be happy to save the time and effort to bag clippings—and may charge you less if you ask.

What are some grasscycling myths?

Myth: Grasscycling causes ugly thatch that will ruin my lawn

Fact: Excessive thatch is composed of grass roots, not grass clippings. Thatch build-up is caused by improper fertilization and short, frequent watering that encourages root systems to remain shallow.

Myth: Grasscycling looks messy

Fact: Grass is composed of up to 85 percent water, short grass clippings disappear within a day or two. When a lawn is properly mowed and watered, grasscycling actually creates a greener, healthier looking lawn.

Myth: Grasscycling causes lawn disease

Fact: Grass clippings won’t increase the risk of disease for a properly maintained lawn. Diseases are caused by improper watering and fertilizing.