|Originally performed by Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog in the first season of Sesame Street in 1970, “Bein’ Green” or “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green” is one of Kermit’s best known songs. In the beginning of the song, Kermit isn’t sure that being green is all that great – it’s not sparkly and it doesn’t stand out. But at the end of the song, he decides green is beautiful and it’s what he wants to be.
Nowadays, we often associate “being green” with being environmentally friendly. It can be challenging to continually find ways to be environmentally conscious, but in the garden it’s not that hard!
Here in Northern Colorado, we’ve had a beautiful, mild fall and the fall foliage around town has been stunning! When those leaves fall from the trees, though, they will need to be raked up and removed. Perennial and annual debris from beds and container gardens will also need to be cleaned up either in the next few weeks or in the early spring. So what’s the “green” thing to do with all that waste?
- Maintain a compost pile of your own. Since there’s no transportation associated with keeping the debris on your own property, this is the most environmentally friendly option. I’ve had a compost pile for years and I’ve always been amazed at just how much waste I could toss in there and it would just sink into the heap. You can also add kitchen scraps – fruits and vegetables only – to a backyard compost pile. There are multiple compost devices available on the market to fit your space and needs.
- Put it in a green waste cart from your trash collection company. The local trash collectors encourage green waste collection for an additional monthly fee. Collection is every week from April through November.
- Take it to the Larimer County Landfill green waste site. Green waste is accepted in the Larimer County landfill (5887 S. Taft Hill Road) where they grind it up and use it to enrich the soil on the property and prevent erosion. Branches, leaves, grass clippings, and general garden debris are accepted but they do not want soil, root balls or weeds.
- Take it to Hageman’s Earthcycle where they will compost the materials and then sell it back to you as an amendment. Hageman’s is located at 3501 E. Prospect Road and accepts all kinds of garden and yard debris. However, you need to keep the types separated: sod and soil, leaves, grass and plant debris, limbs and brush. These all go in separate piles.
- Loveland residents can take this debris to the Loveland Recycle Center at 400 N. Wilson Avenue for free with a resident’s permit. The Loveland center accepts the same items and has the same restrictions as the Larimer County Landfill. If you’re not a resident of Loveland, you can still drop green waste at this site, but you will pay by the cubic yard. At any of these locations, the debris must be loose, no bags – neither plastic nor paper. When I’m doing fall clean-up, I have to use black plastic trash bags to move the debris. If you look closely, however, many of my bags are rather worn and have a few holes. That’s because I dump the bags at the recycle centers and then reuse them. I keep the used potting soil from container gardens in separate bags so it can be dumped in the correct pile at Hageman’s.
Not sure what really has to be cleaned up now and what you can leave for next spring? Check out my blog post from last year: The Importance of Fall Clean-up (or Not).
Need help clearing up your container gardens? Send me an email, call or text me at (970)988-3808 to schedule container garden clean-up.
Sorting out the green waste and handling it separate from trash is a bit of a hassle. Just like Kermit, though, I’ve decided that “bein’ green” is beautiful and it’s what I want to be!