It’s springtime, which means you might be spending more time outdoors enjoying and maintaining your yard. After you garden, weed and trim your trees, there are several ways to dispose of your yard waste instead of at the landfill. The Department of Public Works encourages you to consider composting at home, dropping items off at a county recycling center or participating in curbside collection.

Approximately 30,500 homes in Charles County receive weekly yard waste collection, from April through December, and an additional 16,000 homes are eligible to schedule yard waste collection. You can find out if you can receive curbside collection by visiting www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/Recycling.

Yard waste items eligible for curbside collection include grass, leaves, garden clippings and brush. Place grass clippings and leaves in brown paper bags or a reusable container. Reusable containers must have handles and be brightly marked with an “X” or “Yard Waste.” Branches can be bundled or containerized. No individual branches should be greater than 4 feet in length and nor more than 6 inches in diameter. Curbside collection doesn’t accept dirt, rocks, sod or processed wood.

Here are a few other requirements to keep in mind for curbside collection:

• Don’t use the recycling cart for yard waste collection.

• Don’t use plastic bags.

• Don’t overfill containers.

If curbside collection isn’t available for your residence, you can still keep yard waste out of the landfill by utilizing a recycling center or the Piney Church Road Mulch Facility at 5370 Piney Church Road in Waldorf. Charles County has four recycling centers, including the Charles County Landfill Recycling Center at 12305 Billingsley Road in Waldorf; Pisgah Recycling Center at 6645 Mason Springs Road in La Plata; Breeze Farm Recycling Center at 15950 Cobb Island Road in Cobb Island; and Gilbert Run Park Recycling Center at 13140 Charles St. in Charlotte Hall.

In addition to protecting the environment, participating in the yard waste collection services puts money back in your wallet. Unlike trash disposal, residents do not pay an extra fee to participate in yard waste collection. Please remember, though, commercial yard waste loads are subject to fees. Contact the Landfill Scale House at 301-932-9038 for additional details. To schedule your yard waste collection, or for more information about yard waste or recycling in the county, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/Recycling.

We thank you in advance for your efforts to be eco-friendly and wish you a happy spring season.