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Do your part – Keep your Yard Waste Cart Clean and Green!

Picture of leaves and twigs to resemble yard waste.As summer comes to an end the resplendent orange, yellow and red colors of autumn are starting to arrive, beckoning the perennial rake, pile, sweep and repeat chores of autumn cleanup. Although it may not be the most fun you can have outside, your sweat equity in fall cleanup pays dividends in a healthier garden next spring.  Also called “fall sanitation,” cleanup helps prevent disease from surviving on fallen fruit, petals and leaves over the winter.

When gathering your clippings, leaves and deadwood please keep it “clean and green”! Keeping non-organic materials out of the yard waste bin not only helps us process clean compost, it can also help you avoid contamination fees from your waste hauler.

The following guidelines will help prevent the contamination of yard waste:

Yes – Put this in your Yard Waste Cart




Plant or flower trimmings


Small pieces of wood (not-treated)

No – Put this in the Trash Cart



Do not bag yard waste in plastic bags

Animal Waste

Garden hoses

Broken lawn chairs

Ceramic or plastic flower pots

While you can’t recycle your food scraps in the yard waste cart, you can recycle your jack-o’-lanterns (pumpkins) and holiday greenery if they are free from other materials and decorations.

Vision Recycling processes your yard waste locally it into renewable landscape products like compost, wood chips and mulch.  You can find these products for sale at the Sun Street Transfer Station and Johnson Canyon Landfill. Right now your Vision Recycling driver is competing for the route with least cart contamination, so you can help your driver win recognition by keeping your yard waste clean and green.

Master gardeners suggest it is a good time to prepare plant beds by tilling compost into the soil and topping with mulch to protect and insulate the soil once you’ve completed your cleanup.

There are many benefits of purchasing locally produced recycled landscape products:

  • complete the nutrient cycle from your garden (yard waste) back to your garden (compost)
  • keeping your garden healthy
  • keeping your dollars within the community
  • reducing pollution/greenhouse gas – Did you know yard waste in the garbage produces methane released from landfill?
  • supporting local green jobs

You can give yourself a pat on the back for your eco-karma!

Are you interested in how to recycle food scraps?  Try composting at home – it may be easier than you think! Attend a FREE compost workshop offered by Salinas Valley Recycles to learn how to turn your yard clippings and food scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.  Imagine having your own renewable source for this valuable garden product in your own backyard AND reducing your garbage at the same time!  Even if you don’t have a yard or limited space, you can still come and learn how to compost with worms!  Register for a free workshop for all the details and discounts on compost bins.

When you think about your yard waste being recycled into compost, it is much easier to understand why trash and plastic are problems in the cart or home compost pile. Contaminated yard waste cart contents end up going to the landfill, so keeping your yard waste clean and green supports a future without landfills for the Salinas Valley. Thank you for doing your part!