LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Township of Livingston is encouraging residents to “grasscycle” when mowing the lawn, rather than bagging grass clippings for pickup.

Grasscycling (similar to mulching) is the natural recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn and allowing them to decompose, which returns nutrients into the soil. It makes lawns greener and healthier, decreases yard waste, reduces the need for fertilizers, and helps the environment.

“Grasscycling is a great way for our residents to save time and money while also conserving resources,” said Mayor Shawn Klein. “It takes very little effort, with less time spent emptying the lawnmower bag when cutting the grass, and less money for yard waste bags and fertilizer.”

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The practice works best when the lawn is mowed when grass is dry and often enough so that no more than one-third of the length of the grass blade is cut at one time. Many newer mowers are designated as “mulching mowers;” however, it's easy to grasscycle using any type of mower.

A mulching blade adapter can be attached to a conventional mower to cut grass clippings into fine pieces. Blades should always be kept sharp. 

If a week is missed, the extra growth can be handled by mowing the top third of the grass every two days until the desired height is reached; adding heavy clippings to a garden as mulch; mixing clippings into the soil; or composting the grass.

“Believe it or not, grass clippings are a significant part of the municipal solid waste stream in New Jersey,” said Klein. “By recycling grass clippings, we can decrease the state’s energy use and levels of pollution—and that helps all of us.”

To maintain a healthy lawn, residents should be sure to water in the early morning or evening to avoid evaporation and water infrequently to let the grass develop a strong root system. Residents should check Livingston’s Lawn Watering Ordinance 19-2016; watering is allowed at specific times of the day, determined by sprinkler type. Those with WaterSense “smart” irrigation controllers are exempt from this restriction.

Visit the township website at www.livingstonnj.org for information about Livingston’s recycling practices and “green” initiatives.