Don’t Bag It is back, but with new developments. The City will no longer sell the stickers used last year on bags of grass clippings for collection by Sanitation. Nor will these bags be collected with the monthly brush pickup.

This means there are only three ways to get rid of your grass clippings: leave them on your lawn, compost them, or deliver them to the drop-off sites listed in this story.

Before the grass clipping ban, our residential solid waste increased 20 to 50 percent every spring and summer due to yard waste.

According to the City’s Recycling Office, Don’t Bag It was very successful last year. From April to September, residential solid waste was reduced by 22 percent. This translates into 42,000 tons of yard waste being saved from the landfill.

As long as we have to comply with this program, it’s nice to know it works.

The City has contracted with BFI to handle its composting operations. BFI will collect waste from the transfer stations, then process and market it. Retail locations for purchase of finished compost are still in the negotiation stage. The compost created by the Don’t Bag It program is also used for parks and at other City locations.

Here are more details on your three options:

  • Leaving the grass clippings on your lawn cuts your mowing time almost in half and returns valuable nutrients to the soil. With a change in mowing habits, you will save time and energy, while benefiting your lawn and the landfill. Here’s some hints from the City’s Let It Be Lawn Care Plan that helps you decide how often to mow.

For Common Bermuda set your mower setting on 1.5 inches and mow before 3.25 inches; for “Tif” Bermuda your mower setting should be 1 inch and mow at 1.5 inches; for Buffalo, Zoysia and St. Augustine grass, the mower setting should be 2 inches and mow before it is 3 inches high; for Tall Fescue grass, the mower setting should be 2.5 inches and mow before it is 3.75 inches high.

The idea is not to remove more than one-third of the grass blades when you mow. This does mean you need to mow more often. You can also purchase mulching blades for your mower.

  • The City is sponsoring one-day Master Composter Training Seminars by Bert Whitehead on the first three Saturdays in March. Participants will receive a copy of Whitehead’s book “Don’t Waste Your Wastes – Compost ‘Em” and a Master Composter Training Manual.

Dates and locations for the seminars are: March 5, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Marcus Park Recreation Center, 3003 Northaven; March 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, 660 S. Zang; and March 19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Forest Green Library, 9015 Forest Lane. Bring a sack lunch for the midday break.

Seating is limited. To enroll, send your name, address, and telephone number, along with your first and second choices of location, to: Sunnyvale Press, P.O. Box 851971, Mesquite 75185-1971.

If you are unable to attend, many books and articles about composting are available at our public libraries and local bookstores. The advantages of composting are worth the effort.

  • If you insist on bagging, take your bagged grass clippings to any of these transfer stations: Bachman Transfer Station (Dry Gulch), 9500 Harry Hines, 670-6150; Oak Cliff Transfer Station, 4610 S. Westmoreland, 670-1927; and McCommas Landfill, 5100 Youngblood, 670-0977.