California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Landscape Waste Prevention

Public Agency Landscape Maintenance Practices

Waste-Efficient Landscape Maintenance

Sustainable landscape practices reduce green waste generation, reuse yard trimmings on-site, and recycle organic materials in an environmental, cost effective manner. These practices include:

  • Controlled Irrigation. Maintain plant health and appearance by irrigating with a zone/time controller.
  • Fertilization. Apply needed amounts of plant nutrients.
  • Grasscycling. Leave clippings on the lawn when mowing.
  • Selective Pruning. Trim healthy plants selectively.
  • Composting and Mulching. Use site-generated trimmings as feedstock; when possible, purchase recycled products.
  • Environmentally Beneficial Design. Install low maintenance, drought tolerant plants in a sustainable landscaping design.

Realize the benefits of the "Three Rs" in Sustainable Landscape

  • Significant savings add up from low maintenance, water, and fertilizer costs.
  • On-site management of yard trimmings return valuable, high-quality nutrients and organic matter that encourage healthier plants and prevent erosion.
  • Mulch and compost enhances soil fertility and water holding capacity, slows evaporation losses, and increases plant drought tolerance.
  • Mulch and compost use reduces fertilizer and water runoff that lead to surface and groundwater pollution.

Case Study

Fountain Circle on the west side of California‚Äôs state Capitol was selected as a demonstration project for grasscycling. The Department of General Services (DGS), the Office of Buildings and Grounds (OBG), and the Toro Company worked together in this demonstration. DGS/OBG converted their entire fleet to grasscycling mowers based on this successful venture. 

Results from Grasscycling

Anticipated results similar to the grasscycling project at Fountain Circle:

  • Cut mowing time by over 50 percent.
  • Eliminate bagging and disposal costs.
  • Recycle over 300 pounds of grass clippings per 1000 square feet of turf annually.
  • Reduce fertilization requirements by 25 percent.
  • Conserve water usage.

Sustainable Landscaping Home

Last updated: April 14, 2011
Organic Materials Management http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/
Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/Contacts.htm