The Carroll County Recycling Office is urging homeowners to turn yard waste -- grass clippings, leaves, brush and other lawn debris -- into compost instead of discarding it as trash.
Yard trimmings and other waste may be recycled in several ways. The Recycling Office offers these tips:
* Grasscycling: This improves the quality of the lawn by returning important nutrients to the soil. It saves time and money and does not create thatch.
To grasscycle, mow high and never cut more than one-third of the grass height at one time. Mow when you have to, usually every five to six days during the peak growing season and every 10 days at other times. Always mow when grass is dry.
Keep mower blades sharp -- dull blades rip and tear grass, which can cause turf disease and browning of the lawn. Avoid over-fertilizing the lawn, which encourages overgrowth that contributes to thatch buildup.
Water only during extended dry periods. One inch of water every five to seven days is recommended.
* Composting: This natural process converts yard and garden trimmings into a soil conditioner. It can be as simple as putting trimmings into a shallow depression in the ground or as complex as building and maintaining a multichambered bin.
Materials used for composting include leaves, grass clippings, brush and vegetables. Use alternate layers of plant materials high in nitrogen (fresh grass and other green plants) and materials high in carbon (dry leaves, small wood chips or sawdust).
Shredding materials and turning them often will speed the decomposition process for a compost product to within two to three months.
Residents also can recycle yard waste by taking it to the yard waste area at the two county landfills. Northern Landfill, Route 140, is open 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturdays. Hoods Mill Landfill is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays only.
Residents are asked to empty bags containing yard waste and either take them home to reuse or deposit them in the proper containers at the landfill.
Free mulch also is available from the landfill.