Eldon Wallman is picking a side: he is “pro-mulching”.
“It's one of the better things you can do for your lawn at home,” he says. “It’s a much better alternative to putting bags of grass at the end of your driveway.”
As the Head of Solid Waste for the City of Steinbach, Wallman and his team are encouraging citizens to mulch their lawns instead of bagging clippings. It’s all part of a greater effort to create healthier landfills across North America.
“Landfill sites in North America account for 24% of all the greenhouse gases that are given off,” Wallman declares. “We're one of the major culprits of greenhouse gases because we put too many organic things into the landfill that should be composted or gotten rid of in a different way.”
Mulching your lawn helps retain moisture and nutrients while controlling weeds and reducing mowing frequency, and it can all be done with a new mulching blade on your existing mower.
“It just makes all the difference in the world. It works really, really well.”
But why can’t we just add our grass clippings to the landfill if they decompose no matter what? Wallman explains that organic material becomes oxygen-starved when mixed with non-organic waste.
“It’s anaerobic, they call it. It doesn’t have the oxygen and it creates a completely different gas. Together with all the other material that’s in the landfill – it creates a toxic brew.”
Along with grass clippings, organic food waste is another challenge for Wallman and his team, as that material cannot be separated at the landfill. He encourages Steinbach citizens to take advantage of composting sites across the city for all their organic food and yard waste.
“You can bring your grass clippings in black garbage bags and the volunteers you have working there will lift the bags open for you, don't have to do a thing.”
In addition to existing sites at Woodland School and Stony Brook Middle School, residents on the north side of Steinbach can take advantage of a new composting site on the Smith Neufeld Jodoin Law Office Parking Lot – all three locations open Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm.
Residents looking for more information and other ways to keep our landfills healthy can follow the City of Steinbach on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @CityofSteinbach, and stay up to date via www.steinbach.ca.