Hire a hauling company to recycle yard waste

Yard waste like debris from downed trees can be recycled easily.(Photo courtesy of Kathleen Miller)

Yard waste like debris from downed trees can be recycled easily.(Photo courtesy of Kathleen Miller)

It’s spring and you’re in the throes of cleaning up the yard. You’ve compiled mounds of branches, leaves and other plant debris, along with cracked stepping stones and a decrepit gazebo. Now, what to do with all this waste?

Oftentimes, junk removal service companies can be hired to remove yard waste. Eco-conscious consumers should quiz hauling companies about what they do with the stuff collected. Does it go straight to a dump or landfill or is it recycled?

“Quite a few customers ask about recycling,” says Peter Kozysa, co-owner of highly rated Junk Platoon USA in Belvidere, Ill. Typically, his company hauls construction debris, but also will remove yard waste.

Deck teardowns are a frequent request, as homeowners upgrade to better materials or replace older structures with a patio. Kozysa says his crews take the extra time to divide the materials before loading onto the truck so that metal, concrete, wood and yard waste are separate, making it easier to recycle.

Tree debris has picked up the last few years because of the emerald ash borer, says Don Burns, owner of highly rated Fred & Sons’ Hauling & Tree Removal in Indianapolis. The insect, which has been found throughout Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, attacks any type of ash tree, killing it within three to five years.

Before being hauled away, wood from the dead trees must be chipped to a size no bigger than 1 inch by 1 inch to ensure the pests don’t survive.

Hauling companies can sell scrap metal to a recycler while many landfills provide an area for dumping yard waste and concrete. Gardeners interested in recycling the potentially rich compost can fill their bags with the yard waste while concrete companies reuse the old materials to make new.

Electronic gear, motor oil, paints, lawn chemicals, cleaning supplies and certain other products need to be recycled at specially designated places.

A hauling company may also be able to provide some extra hands for labor-intensive work around the house. They will pull shrubs and small trees from the ground, tear down decks, help break up concrete, take down fences and remove items from basements, garages and attics. Plan ahead and discuss any additional labor requirements before hiring.

If you’re doing any sort of demolition, be sure to inquire about permits. For instance, a permit might be required to tear down a garage but not to remove a deck.

When hiring a hauler, make sure to get a clear understanding of the costs involved, which should include fees associated with taking debris to an approved landfill or dump. Consumers also may want to provide haulers with a description of the type of material to be removed and a time frame.

About the author: Sometimes known as the Hoosier Gardener, Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp lives in Indianapolis. A freelance writer, her work appears in many publications, including The American Gardener. Her latest book, “The Visitor’s Guide to American Gardens,” is available through Cool Springs Press. Sharp, a director of the Garden Writers Association, also speaks about gardening throughout the Midwest.

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