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Source Reduction - Landscaping


What is Source Reduction?
Eliminating waste before it is created. It involves the design, manufacture, and purchase of materials and production to reduce the amount or toxicity of what is thrown away. Best of all, practicing source reduction can save you money!
Source Reduction Tips to Save You Money!
Grasscycle: Using mulching mowers or "leaving grass on the lawn" adds nutrients back to soil and does not create waste or incur disposal costs. 

Placing leaves in wooded areas reduces soil erosion and does not create waste or incur disposal costs. 

Composting grass and leaves creates soil enhancers that can be used as: 
  • Mulch to suppress weed growth and provide nutrients.
  • Top-dressing to add nutrients to the lawn. 
  • Side-dressing to replace nutrients and protect root systems. 
  • Soil amendments to improve drainage and prevent compaction. 
  • This eliminates waste and removal costs, and drastically reduces the need to purchase most fertilizers and planting supplements. 
  • Use reclaimed materials (pallets) to construct compost bins. 
  • Chipping branches and trees that have been removed will create mulch to be used around trees and in planting beds. This eliminates waste, reduces removal costs, and eliminates the need to purchase mulch in the spring. 
  • Perennialization of existing annual flower beds will eliminate the yearly costs in maintaining them. The cost of the perennial plants may be two or three times the cost of annuals, however, in 2 to 3 years the initial cost will be recovered and savings realized. 
  • Additionally, perennials do not create waste when they are removed at the end of the season and do not incur removal costs.
  • Reuse scrap tires in landscaping for things like tree planters, erosion controls, playground equipment, and pond landscaping.
  • Use alternatives in landscape design such as mulch islands, natural areas, and ground covers 
  • Water lawns less frequently.
  • Slow down the growth rate by reducing nutrient application (also saves cost of nutrients).
Contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, Recycling Division for more information at (410) 222-7951.
  • EPA, Waste Prevention Pays Off, (EPA/530-K-92-004), (800) 424-9346
  • EPA, Business Guide for Reducing Solid Waste, (EPA/530-K-92-004), (800) 424-9346
  • EPA, Reusable News, quarterly newsletter, (800) 424-9346

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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000