Can you burn your green waste in your garden? What rules?


Have you just mowed your lawn and do not know what to do with the clippings? Do you find yourself invaded by a plant and just cut it down? Or even more simply, you had a Christmas tree that adorned your interior in December and you do not know where to put it after the holidays? A lot of green waste is emerging in your garden and you are wondering how to get rid of it and know if it is possible to burn it?

What is green waste?

Green waste, as its name suggests, is dry or wet plants such as grass after mowing the lawn, pruning residues, dead leaves, residues from shrub or hedge pruning, peelings of fruits and vegetables. Basically, green waste is the remains of plant origin. They are used as food by microorganisms and therefore broken down. What is left are the nutrients which are reused by the plants. A natural cycle is created which contributes to the functioning of an ecosystem. Check the type of your green waste to get rid of it properly.

What to do with your green waste?

Do not burn them

Under no circumstances should you burn your garden waste. Because making a fire and burning your green waste comes down to releasing many pollutants and fine dust in your garden. Usually, what you burn is still very wet. This leads to incomplete combustion with a very strong release of smoke. Hazardous substances are washed away by rain and settle in the earth or discharge into nearby bodies of water. If they seep into groundwater, they pose a threat to human health. In many municipalities, the open incineration of garden waste is therefore explicitly prohibited. Check with your municipality or go to the service-public.fr website for more information.

If you are an individual, green waste similar to household waste is impossible to burn. But if in the course of your professional activity you have to do it, nothing prevents you from doing so. This is the case, for example, if you are a farmer. If you are a professional gardener or landscaper, you can burn the product from pruning trees and other hedges.

Stack them in a compost bin

All green waste being biodegradable, the easiest way is to put it in a compost container. Either you are in an apartment and you have a small closed bucket or container or you have a house with a garden and you can allow yourself a compost heap. Find out, more and more municipalities are making compost containers available to deposit their green waste. You just have to check the acceptance conditions.

Why is composting relevant? In this way, nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, but also organic substances – humus – which are stored in plant matter, can be “returned” to your garden. If necessary, the pieces of wood can be shredded. You can also use cut grass, leaves and the like for mulching your plantings. This ground cover protects it and prevents it from drying out. Of course, a compost only works if the humidity and aeration are adequate. You can use wooden branches for this, as long as you have chopped them. Always mix wood waste with green materials such as cut grass so that the decomposition process can work optimally. The same goes for large amounts of dead leaves that you plan to compost. Before removing the mowing waste from your lawn on the compost, it must be thoroughly dried. Wet green waste quickly sticks together so that an adequate supply of oxygen is not guaranteed.

If you have the soul of a conservationist, you can also create new habitats for local wildlife! Many tiny animals are fond of brush piles. Shaded places with little vegetation are particularly suitable for starting a litter pile. Hedgehogs, for example, will be delighted to come and take refuge there.

Drop them off at a recycling center

Beyond the possibilities of depositing your green waste in municipal compost bins, you can go to a recycling center. Many municipalities also offer centralized collection points or street collections for garden waste. Pay attention to the instructions of the disposal company regarding what can be handed over to the collection points. Garden waste collected by municipalities can then be turned into high quality compost. The compost produced is often offered again for use, for example as potting soil. This closes the local cycle. The woody components of garden waste are in many cases mechanically separated and then serve as fuel for biomass heating systems. The wood from your garden waste thus contributes to the supply of renewable energies.

Give to professionals who wish to recover them

If you have a very large garden and you collect grass in large quantities several times a year, dry it and offer it to a farmer or to an equestrian center. This hay can be fed to animals. If in addition, this happens during a period of great drought, the farmer will be grateful to you for offering more food to his animals.