Yard Waste

There are plenty of options in Cochrane for handling your yard waste. Here are some easy suggestion and solutions.

Cochrane Eco Centre yard waste drop-off

Please sort materials into the appropriate bin and remove from any bags.
  • Grass clippings (April – November)
  • Leaves (April – November)
  • Pumpkins (October/November)
  • Tree trimmings (Year round)
  • Branches (Year round)
  • Christmas trees (January)

Reminder,  Cochrane Eco Centre site rules apply:

  1. The Seasonal Yard Waste program is not available for commercial firms, landscape or maintenance companies.
  2. Tree trimmings and branches must be sorted separately from grass clippings and leaves, and; deposited into the correct bin. Maximum branch/tree diameter is 15 cm.
  3. Yard Waste load sizes are limited to 1/2 a level pick up truck load (standard level 8 ft box) per user per week due to limited site capacity. The site operator may restrict the acceptance of any load at their discretion if the site capacity is at risk. A reminder that the intention of the Cochrane Eco Centre is to provide recycling drop-off services for small volumes of recyclables; large loads should utilize facilities designed to accommodate large loads such as ECCO, City of Calgary Landfills, Cascades Recovery, Recycling Worx and Capital Paper.


Grasscycling is simply leaving the clippings on the lawn while mowing your grass. It's an easy and effective way to maintain a healthy lawn while saving yourself the time and effort required to bag the clippings.

Just Leave It On Your Lawn

Simply leave the grass clippings on your lawn as you mow. As they decompose, they will provide water and nutrients to your lawn.
  • Mow frequently, about every 4 to 5 days during spring/summer. When growth is slower (late summer and fall), cutting once per week or less will suffice.
  • Mow high. Only cut off the top 1/3 of the grass. No more than 1/3 of the grass height should be cut at any one time.
  • Mow only when grass is dry. If grass is too long after prolonged wet weather, start with a higher cut and gradually lower it during successive cuttings.
  • Clumping may result from cutting wet grass or making too long a cut. Mowing the area again from a different direction will help dissipate the clump.

Go bagless! No special equipment required

Use any mower to grasscycle. You can "go bagless" by removing your grass bag!
  • Keep mower blades sharp: sharpening services are often available at retailers
  • Keep your lawn mower blade at a medium to high height setting to avoid over cutting the grass.

Helpful lawn care tips

Grasscycling is part of maintaining a healthy lawn:
  • Rake the lawn during spring yard cleanup to remove dead grass.
  • Aerate the lawn periodically to allow nutrients, air and water to reach the grass roots.

Grasscycling myths….

Myth 1: Grasscycling causes thatch
  • Samples taken from test lawns during an Edmonton pilot showed that proper grasscycling does not contribute to thatch growth.
  • Thatch is composed mainly of roots. Excessive root growth is the primary cause of thatch, not grass clippings. Over-watering and over-fertilizing are the primary causes of thatch as they encourage excessive root growth.
  • Grass clippings are approximately 80-85% water, allowing them to decompose rapidly.
Myth 2: Grasscycling looks untidy
  • Cut properly, clippings are virtually unnoticeable.
  • Grass clippings disappear within 3 days after cutting.
  • It will take slightly longer for clippings to break down later in the growing season as temperatures and moisture content of clippings drop.
Myth 3: Grasscycling spreads lawn disease
  • • No. Watering, fertilization and mower blade sharpness have much more influence on the occurrence of lawn disease than grasscycling.
Myth 4: I have to grasscycle every time
  • You can't always grasscycle. Prolonged wet weather or an infrequent mowing routine are situations where grass clippings should probably be bagged since you'll have large volumes of clippings.
  • It's OK to grasscycle most of the time. It doesn't need to be every time you mow.
Keep your grass clippings! They're an excellent addition to a backyard compost pile. They can also be used as mulch to provide weed control and prevent moisture loss around flowerbeds, trees and shrubs.