One way of disposing of yard waste properly is by composting, a method that turns the waste material into nutrient-rich material for use in improving the growth of other plants in the garden. Mulching grass clippings and leaving them in place instead of raking can improve the lawn. In some locations, discarding yard waste with the household garbage is illegal.

There are several methods of composting, and homeowners can compost yard waste without a big investment. One simple way is to rake yard waste into a pile that is large enough to retain the heat necessary to break down the organic material. The pile should be small enough that it does not prevent air circulation to its center. Frequent turning of the compost pile speeds the breakdown process.

Composting works best if the pile includes both green and brown materials, such as grass clippings and leaves. Never add weeds that have gone to seed, animal waste and grease to the pile. Keep the compost moist so it does not go dormant, but avoid overwatering because this causes odors.

A mulching mower cuts grass clippings into fine particles for leaving on the lawn, eliminating the need to rake or bag the clippings. As the clippings decompose, they enrich the soil.

If you prefer not to compost, contact your waste disposal company for instructions on how they collect yard waste. Some companies provide special yard waste carts while others prefer residents stack waste by the curb for pickup.