Grass clippings are not accepted in our Leaf and Yard Waste Pick Up program. However, did you know you can actually make grass clippings work to your advantage at home? It's a term called Grass-Cycling! Grass-Cycling means leaving the clippings on the lawn after mowing it. It helps keep your lawn healthy while saving you the time and effort of bagging the clippings.


It's better for your lawn and the environment

  • Grass-cycling makes your lawn healthy and helps prevent thatch buildup.
  • Fresh grass clippings are 80% water; which helps protect the soil by keeping moisture in the ground.
  • Cutting grass to a height of 8 cm (3 in) will develop a healthy root system and helps prevent weeds from growing.
  • Grass-cycling reduces water use and the amount of fertilizer needed for your lawn.

How to Grass-Cycle

  • Set the mower blade height to 8 cm (3 in) before cutting.
  • Remove the lawn mower bag before mowing your lawn.
  • Cut grass when it's dry so it spreads evenly on your lawn and won't clump.
  • Try not to over-water or over-fertilize.
  • Consider using a backyard composter

Myth Busters

It causes thatch

  • Thatch is the buildup of organic debris that is resistant to decay.
  • You might find some grass clippings in the thatch layer, but they usually don't add to thatch buildup because grass clippings easily break down.
  • Thatch is mainly caused by excessive root growth from over-watering and over-fertilizing.

It makes lawns look untidy

  • When cut properly, clippings fall between the grass blades and are barely noticeable.
  • Clumping may result from cutting wet grass or cutting more than 3-4 cm of the grass blades.
  • Grass clippings are 80% water, so they break down quickly.

It causes lawn disease

  • Grass-cycling hasn't been found to contribute to disease
  • Lawn disease is usually caused by improper watering and fertilizer use.
  • Cutting grass too short can make lawn disease more likely because it lessens food reserves in the plant, making the grass weak and unhealthy.

Mulching mowers are required

  • Any lawn mower, including a reel or push mower, will work.
  • Remove the bag from your mower and raise the blades to the medium setting. Keep the blade sharp.

It spreads weeds

  • Mowing often prevents dandelions from spreading.
  • Mowing high prevents sunlight from reaching the ground and prevents weeds from growing.
  • A low-cut lawn is more likely to have weeds.