A large portion of greenwaste generated from urban landscapes (i.e. tree and shrub trimmings, grass clippings, leaves, etc.) is produced by the professional landscape industry. Consequently, CalRecycle undertook a series of landscape management outreach program activities designed to prevent excessive greenwaste generation, increase diversion from landfills, and promote the use of compost and mulch made from urban-derived greenwaste materials.
CalRecycle conducted a series of surveys among participants at major landscape industry trade shows and expositions in both Northern and Southern California. Survey results are tabulated in the following charts:
- Greenwaste Management Methods
- Barriers to Greenwaste Reduction, Reuse, Recycling
- Landscape Applications of Compost/Mulch Materials Used
- Types of Compost/Mulch Feedstock Used
- Barriers to Using Compost/Mulch Materials
Greenwaste Management Methods
The data shows a slight but positive trend toward increased use of best management practices, such as grasscycling, mulching trimmings on-site, limiting chemical fertilization usage, controlling irrigation runoff, and using selective pruning, to reduce greenwaste generation. On the disposal side, a significant reduction in the use of residential curbside bins and commercial haulers to remove greenwaste from landscape sites is shown. A slight reduction in landfill use is also noted.
|Local Transfer Station||0.00%||3.71%||5.44%|
Barriers to Greenwaste Reduction, Reuse, Recycling
A review of the reported barriers to using best management practices shows a significant jump in the number of participants reporting they have no barriers. Those reporting a lack of training on using BMPs sharply decreased, while at the same time participants reported an increase in other specified barriers. Participants reported they found a greater availability of local greenwaste hauling services.
|No Local Facilities||11.03%||9.84%||10.74%|
|No Local Hauling||11.03%||5.46%||3.36%|
Landscape Applications of Compost/Mulch Materials Used
Weed suppression and soil amendment are the two largest end uses for mulch or compost materials according to the survey results. Turf topdressing applications greatly increased, while water conservation and backfill mix uses show a downward trend..
|Material End Use||1999/00||2000/01||2001/02|
|Add Organic Matter||15.62%||12.86%||14.58%|
Types> of Compost/Mulch Feedstock Used
Yard trimmings and forestry byproducts are the two largest feedstock sources for the compost/mulch used by the survey participants. Each was consistently used by over 20 percent of those surveyed over three years. Composted manure feedstock is the next largest feedstock source, but this is significantly lower than the yard trimmings or forestry byproducts. Less than 5 percent of the participants reported using organic products made from food or agricultural residues. About 20 percent of those surveyed report using some sort of material from on-site composting.
|Food or Ag Residues||3.76%||2.65%||1.04%|
Barriers to Using Compost/Mulch Materials
Survey participants report encountering a number of barriers to using organic products in urban landscapes. The two biggest barriers are the lack of proper application equipment and the lack of technical know-how. Other significant barriers include a perception of unreliable quality and either the employer or the customer discourages its use. While the participants report that the availability of local suppliers increased, the perception that products are too expensive also sharply increased.
|No Local Suppliers||7.95%||4.50%||1.28%|
|Lack Technical Info||15.91%||12.61%||15.38%|