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Department of Public Works

Brush/Leaves/Grass Clippings

Leaf Collection

Leaves are recycled in the paper bags seasonally in the fall each year. At all other times, leaves are just yard debris and are collected in plastic bags by appointment. Better yet, Rutgers has a great fact sheet about backyard leaf composting and that can be found here: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/publication.asp?pid=FS074
and here: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/publication.asp?pid=FS117

Brush
Tree trimmings and similar materials, commonly referred to as brush may be placed curbside in lengths not to exceed 4 feet and securely tied in bundles not more than 2 feet thick or 40 pounds in weight. Contractors working in a homeowner's yard must bundle brush accordingly or otherwise dispose of it. Brush must be bundled for pick up. Loose brush will NOT be picked up.

Brush is picked up curbside by appointment on Thursday and Friday. Please call 732-297-1134 by noon Wednesday to ensure you are on the list.

pw brush clip image002Grass Clippings have been removed from biodegradable recycling & curbside collection as of 2010

North Brunswick no longer collects grass clippings in paper recyclable bags or in open containers.

North Brunswick promotes the "cut and leave", or "Grasscycling" option for homeowners. Grasscycling is the natural way you can have a green, healthy lawn while spending less time and money! Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn't! Grasscycling is not new. Many parks and golf courses have been practicing Grasscycling for years. A typical lawn of 5,000 square feet generates 75 pounds of clippings per mowing. Years of research have shown that by mowing frequently (5-6 times per month) and not bagging those clippings, lawn owners can save up to 40% of the time they spend on routine lawn care!

Why did North Brunswick discontinue collection of grass clippings in paper recyclable bags?

  • The Township, just like all residents, needs to use its resources as economically as possible. Grass collection uses tremendous resources – labor, fuel, bags, recycling costs, etc.
  • Less than 15% of Township and Middlesex County residents use this service.
  • Collection cost of recycling grass clippings run about $100 per ton.
  • "Grasscycling" programs save our residents time and effort, and is a process used successfully for many years in professional settings such as golf courses and parks.
  • If a resident is unable to grasscycle, clippings may be put in a plastic bag in your 95 gallon container which will be collected with your other refuse on your normal trash collection day.
  • Grass clippings will not be collected as a bulk pick up.

Simple steps to Grasscycle

  • Cut your lawn more frequently – only the top 1/3 of the grass blade should be cut, and leave the clippings to fertilize your lawn.
  • Mow your lawn when it's dry to prevent tracking and clumping.
  • Keep your lawn mower blade sharp.
  • No special equipment is needed – while mulching mowers do a great job, any conventional mower can grasscycle. Adapter kits are available at hardware stores for about $15.

Water and Fertilize Less!

  • When grasscycling is properly done, clippings settle quickly between the blades of grass where they shelter roots from the sun and conserve moisture. As they break down, they release more moisture as well as nutrients into the soil.
  • Believe it or not, clippings left on the lawn supply 1/3 more of the nitrogen needed to keep your lawn green and healthy.
  • Water as early in the morning as possible. Do not over-water – too much water causes your lawn to develop shallow root systems. Water less but more deeply.

What about thatch?
Thatch is an accumulation of dead roots, stems and rhizomes. Clippings are 95% water and decompose too quickly to contribute to thatch.

At no time may grass clippings, brush or yard raking debris be placed loose or in piles at the curb, on sidewalks, gutters or streets where it may be dispersed by wind, forces of nature, passerby or traffic.

Eric Chaszar
Director
45 Quarry Lane
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Phone: (732) 297-1134
Fax: (732) 297-9135
E-mail
Dept. Staff