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Grasscycling refers to leaving grass clippings on the lawn when mowing. The term is a portmanteau word combining "grass" and "recycling", and had come into use by at least 1990[1] as part of the push to reduce the huge quantities of clippings going into landfills, up to half of some cities' summertime waste flow[2], as 1,000 square feet (93 m2) of lawn can produce 200 to 500 pounds (90 to 225 kg) of clippings a year.[3]

Because grass consists largely of water (80% or more[4]), contains little lignin[4], and has high nitrogen content, grass clippings easily break down and return to the soil within one to two weeks[3], acting primarily as a fertilizer supplement and, to a much smaller degree, a mulch. Grasscycling can provide 15 to 20% or more of a lawn's yearly nitrogen requirements.[5] [6] Proponents also note that grasscycling reduces the use of plastic bags for collecting yard waste and reduces trips to the curb or landfill to haul waste.[7]

Optimal grasscycle techniques include:[3][5][8]

  • Cutting no more than 1/3 the length of the grass
  • Cutting when the grass is dry to the touch
  • Cutting when the height is between 3 and 4 inches (7 to 10 cm)
  • Ensuring that the mower blade is sharp

Although a mulching mower can make grass clippings smaller, one is not necessary for grasscycling.


  1. ^ Grasscycling definition/etymology.
  2. ^ Denver Recycle Grasscycle.
  3. ^ a b c Rivanna Solid Waste Authority Grasscycling Info.
  4. ^ a b Grasscycling FAQ.
  5. ^ a b Grasscycle!.
  6. ^ California Integrated Waste Management Board - What is grasscycling?.
  7. ^ King County Experience: Grasscycling.
  8. ^ Bay Delta Grass Recycling Campaign.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Grasscycling". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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