Think Green; Recycle Green Waste

The U.S. produces approximately 300 million tons of solid waste annually, with nearly 100 million tons recycled (70 million tons) or composted (25 million). Of this waste, more than 12 percent, is composed of green waste, such as lawn clippings, leaves, dead trees and branches.

Finally, 8 percent of the approximately 150 million tons of waste that ends up in landfills is green waste. Recycled Green Waste

Recycling of any waste, ranging from plastics and glass to paper products, takes effort and planning and a commitment to the effort. It can certainly be made convenient in some cases, for example, many municipalities offer leaf collection services in the fall in which residents can participate by raking or blowing fallen leaves to their curb on specified dates. City owned or contracted leaf collection vehicles then vacuum the fallen leaves and transport them to locations where they are mulched and composted, and often used either on city property or made available to residents as free mulch.

Other municipalities offer wood chipping services which involve collecting fallen branches and trees, then chipping them into mulch which is then offered at no charge to residents.

But these services, while a step in the right direction, are far from comprehensive and in most cases, not available year-round.

Green Waste In The Eyes Of The Law

Laws governing how green waste, including grass clippings, leaves, dead vegetation, dead trees and limbs, vary from city to city and are in some cases, addressed by state laws. Typically, in St. Louis County, municipalities bar homeowners and businesses from disposing of green waste using regular trash. Instead – usually for residential service – the majority of municipalities contract with waste haulers to provide green waste only hauling and disposal services.

While this is effective, too often business owners and managers, as well as homeowners whose properties produce large amounts of green waste don’t always have ready access to disposal services capable of handling their volume. In addition, many landscaping services face similar issues.

Our Green Waste Recycling Services Are Here To Help You

Hansen’s Tree Service has a longstanding commitment to green recycling, composting and being proactive in caring for the environment.

We believe in being leaders in the effort to recycle green waste. Every day our crews serve customers including homeowners, apartment complexes, condominium complexes, retail businesses, office parks, government entities and others, providing them with a complete range of tree care and landscaping services.

A significant part of our service is centered on tree pruning, tree care and removal. Nearly every day we remove full-grown, mature trees that are diseased or dead from our customers’ properties. We also frequently clear land for customers, sometimes large lots overgrown by trees, scrub, grasses and brush. These services involve producing significant amounts of green waste; a full-grown tree can weigh thousands of pounds. We use large, heavy-duty equipment on-site to grind trees and branches into ready-to-use organic mulch and then haul that material to our facilities, where it will be reused for our customers.

We also haul all brush, leaves, and other organic material from our customers’ locations back to our facilities, where we add it to large compositing piles. With our years of composting experience, we regularly turn and process the compost until it becomes rich in organic nutrients perfect for use in landscaping, gardens, and lawns. The end result is that 100 percent of the green waste produced by our tree services is recycled.

But our commitment to green waste recycling doesn’t end there.

Firm supporters of composting, recycling green waste in all forms and minimizing the amount of material that ends up in landfills, we accept green waste from builders, developers, businesses, municipalities, and the greater community. Every bit of green waste that ends up in our facilities is eventually recycled and reused.

This includes everything green:

  • Wood waste, logs, tree limbs, leaves, stumps, brush. and other plants
  • Lawn waste such as grass clippings and fallen leaves
  • Green construction waste including pallets and shingles

Bring Your Waste To Us

We make getting rid of green waste as efficient as possible, and operate three green waste drop off facilities in the St. Louis area, one in the Springfield, Missouri area and another in Branson, Missouri. Each accepts specific forms of green waste:

St. Louis Area

  • 1628 Kemmer Court, O’Fallon, MO 63366: Grass, leaves, shrubs, bush trimmings, and shingles
  • 104 Hansen Court, O’Fallon, MO 63366: Brush, logs, stumps, pallets, and wood waste
  • 2305 Creve Coeur Mill Road, Maryland Heights, MO 63043: Grass, leaves, shrubs, bush trimmings, and shingles

Springfield, MO area

  • 3341 South FM 107, Brookline, MO 65619: Grass, leaves, bush trimmings, brush, logs, pallets, and wood waste


  • 521 U.S. Highway 160, Reeds Spring, MO 65737:  Grass, leaves, shrubs, bush trimmings, brush, logs, pallets, wood waste and food waste

Go Green At Home

We’re certainly here to help with your green waste recycling needs, but we recognize many homeowners and others may want to handle all or most of their green recycling needs on their own.

For most, the single largest green recycling need involves grass clippings. In the Midwest, grass typically grows and requires cutting from April through October, depending on rainfall and temperatures.

With that in mind, keep the following in mind if you’d like to recycle your green waste at home:

  • Consider a mulching lawn mower – Mulching mowers are designed to chop grass clippings into a somewhat finer form and then depositing them back on the lawn. The fine mulched grass produced by these mowers will decompose, returning valuable nutrients to the soil. As a bonus, the fine layer of mulched clippings will help the soil retain water, a benefit during hot summer months. This works well unless you allow your grass to grow long or if you cut it while it’s wet. In either case you may end up dealing with clumps and may need to bag the clippings.
  • Composting may be the answer for you – Create a compost pile consisting of your grass clippings and a roughly equal amount of dry leaves, food waste and even some newspaper. You can either flip the composting material with a pitchfork or you may want to save yourself the labor and use a compost flipper. Either way, the decomposing clippings will add a tremendous amount of nitrogen – a valuable nutrient for lawns, gardens, trees, shrubs and flowers – to your compost.
  • Make liquid fertilizer – You may want to consider filling a large barrel or two one-third to one-half full of clippings, adding water and then covering the barrel (to keep mosquitos from laying eggs on the water). After two or three weeks the water in the barrel will be packed with nutrients derived from the decomposing clippings. That water can be used as a nutrient-rich “super food” to hydrate your garden, shrubs or landscaping.
  • Incorporate grass clippings in raised flower or plant beds – Alternating layers of grass clippings with compost and soil creates a rich soil ideal for growing flowers, vegetables or herbs.
  • Till clippings into soil – If you plan to plant shrubs, bushes, flowers or trees and are going to till an area of soil prior to planting, work grass clippings into that soil using the tiller. Once tilled into the soil, the clippings will decompose quickly and enrich the soil. The clippings will also release moisture into the soil over time.
  • Rent a wood chipper or grinder – Many home improvement and garden centers rent large selections of lawn and garden tools to customers, including tillers, thatching machines, aerators and wood grinders. If you’ve accumulated a large brush pile or are planning to prune or remove a tree or trees (always prioritize safety; if you are in doubt about cutting down a tree or pruning one, contact our tree care professionals), consider renting a chipper. These machines – which must be used carefully and with proper safety equipment such as safety glasses, gloves and heavy clothing – can quickly reduce branches and if large enough, trunks to piles of would chips, which you can then incorporate into your landscaping.

A word of warning

If you’ve sprayed grass, trees, bushes or shrubs with any type of herbicide or insecticide, or if your green waste includes invasive weeds, don’t use that waste in composting. The chemicals in herbicides, insecticides and even in some fertilizers can destroy the delicate beneficial species of bacteria growing in your compost. Also, seeds from invasive weeds can survive in compost and then germinate after you’ve spread that compost around trees and plants.

Do You Need Help With Your Green Waste Recycling? Consult With The Experts At Hansen’s Tree Service Today!

Our certified arborists are have years of experience with every type of green waste recycling and can help you take the steps necessary to make the best use of your green waste. Their extensive experience with every type of recycling effort can help you get the most out of your green waste with the least effort and get optimum results while efficiently achieving your objectives.

Contact us today and let our insured, experienced professionals take care of all your tree-related needs!






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