The late summer and fall rains have given us abundant growth in our yards – good and bad growth. The vegetable garden has reached the end of the season, and it is time to dispose of the plants. It’s time to pull the fast-growing weeds, rake and bag the leaves that have not blown out of the yard, cut back the chamisa and Russian sage before it takes over.
But what are you responsible for cleaning up? And what do you do with it all once you have?
Where to clean up
In addition to your yard, there is the area between the sidewalk and the curb, sometimes called a boulevard, parkway or verge. Whatever you call it, the city of Albuquerque says you are responsible for maintaining it. City ordinance 9-8-4 GROWTH OR ACCUMULATION OF WEEDS AND LITTER says “It shall be unlawful for any owner of any occupied or unoccupied lot or tract of land within the city to permit or maintain on any such lot or tract of land, including the area located between the property line and the middle of the alley adjacent to the property, and the area located between the property line and the curb, the area of any curbs or sidewalks located on the property, and the area located ten fee outside the property line where there is no curb, any growth of weeds whose height, width or spread is greater than four inches, or any accumulation of weeds and/or litter.”
What to do with ‘green waste’
Many municipalities offer free pickup of your leaves, clippings, branches and other “green waste.”
Albuquerque: Albuquerque’s Solid Waste Management Department will pick up residential green waste at no additional charge. The fall green waste collection program begins Monday, Nov. 28, and will end Friday, Dec. 9.
Have your green waste at the curb by 7 a.m. on your regular trash collection day. All green waste must be placed 5 feet from trash and recycling containers as well as any large items scheduled for pickup.
Solid Waste customers must place their leaves, grass and brush in trash bags. Each trash bag should not weigh more than 40 pounds. Customers who have branches must cut them to four-foot lengths and bundle them securely.
The following items will not be picked up: dirt, construction debris, gravel, construction material or tree stumps.
The green waste is processed into a rough chip mulch and used to help prevent erosion at the Cerro Colorado Landfill.
Rio Rancho: Yard waste pickups are offered for a fee and are available the second Saturday of each month. Residents must call at least three days in advance to schedule a pickup at their residence for both spring and fall, and as needed. The number is (505) 892-1200.
The Rio Rancho Waste Management Landfill offers one free landfill drop-off per month for Rio Rancho residents with a current Waste Management account. Proof of Rio Rancho residency is required; bring both a driver’s license and your most recent Waste Management bill as proof of residency. Residents can utilize the landfill any day of the month during regular operating hours. Free disposal for up to 1,000 pounds; loads over 1,000 pounds are charged the normal gate rate. Commercial waste is not accepted. For more information contact Keep Rio Rancho Beautiful at (505) 891-8728 or Waste Management at 505-892-1200.
Village of Los Lunas: Village of Los Lunas residents who pay for utility services (water, sewer and solid waste) have access to dump various solid waste materials at the transfer station. There is no charge for residents. Non-village residents pay $5 for green waste disposal.
A valid New Mexico driver’s license, in addition to a current Village of Los Lunas water bill, must be provided at the time of discarding items. Copies are not accepted, and the driver’s license and water bill must have the same address. Call (505) 839-5658 in advance to ensure the transfer station is accepting customers.
Accepted items include:
• Yard cleanings such as weeds, vines, tree trimmings, grass clippings, etc. Loads are refused if there is an excessive amount of dirt.
• Tree trimmings, tree branches, tree trunks no larger than 18 inches in diameter. No stumps of any kind.
(One last tip: Do not trim your trees in the fall; pruning trees stimulates them to produce new growth, and you do not want that for winter. However, you can cut dead or injured branches.)