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2014 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report

Yard Waste

Green arrow indicator
Yard waste comp‚Äčost and mulching diversion continues to increase in Mecklenburg County. 

Incoming Yard Waste chart 

Yard Waste
In Mecklenburg County, "yard waste" is defined as organic material such as brush, grass, limbs, leaves, and untreated wood, generated primarily through landscaping, yard maintenance, and land-clearing activities in the public and private sectors.

There are four County-owned facilities that manage Mecklenburg County's residential yard waste. Compost Central is the primary residential yard waste management facility in Mecklenburg County and is permitted to handle "Type I" Waste (e.g., only yard waste, garden waste, and untreated and unpainted wood waste). The remaining three County-owned facilities are smaller in scale and are integrated within the Foxhole, Hickory Grove, and North Mecklenburg full-service recycling center operations. Classified as "Treatment and Processing Facilities," they focus on small yard waste collection and materials grinding.

Yard waste diverted from the landfill has increased steadily from 71,000 tons in 2006 to over 100,000 tons in both 2012 and 2013. The increase is due largely to the annexation of unincorporated areas to the City of Charlotte and with that the provision of curbside collection of yard waste. In 2008, Mecklenburg County began selling compost in bulk to the public. This decision more than doubled compost sales from 2008 and 2009.  Since 2009, Mecklenburg County sold most of its compost to a private vendor, which in turn bagged and sold the compost in stores.

For more information contact: Darren Steinhilber, Project Manager

What you can do to increase Yard Waste Diversion
  • Compost at your home
  • Take a Mecklenburg County composting class
  • Grass cycle, leave grass clippings on the yard (mulching grass clippings)
  • Shred leaves and use them as mulch around the bottoms of plants and trees
More information

Return to Solid Waste Chapter Page

The trends shown in the State of the Environment Report are not all based on tests of statistical significance. Data analysis, anecdotal evidence, and best professional judgment have been compiled to represent these trends. The State of the Environment Report takes a snapshot of important environmental indicators in an effort to educate the public while highlighting challenges, successes and the general direction of change for each indicator. For additional information on these indicators and the determination of trends, please follow the links and feel free to contact the appropriate resources.

Last updated 2/20/14