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Spring cleaning tips: Proper yard waste disposal key

By Staff | Apr 10, 2019

Spring cleaning isn’t just for inside your house. Get ahead of summer’s heat and take care of the outside work now, before hurricane season starts on June 1.

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension provides a wellspring of resources to help homeowners deal with the unique characteristics of Sunshine State yards. Lee County Solid Waste encourages residents to consult the Lee County extension office at sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lee and to place yard waste in paper bags or waste bins instead of plastic bags once the work is done.

“If everyone in Lee County stopped bagging their yard waste in plastic, we could reuse another 10,000 tons of waste each year. It would make a huge difference,” Lee County Public Utilities Director Pam Keyes said.

Lee County Solid Waste and the extension office provide several tips for effective spring yard cleaning:

Remove all tree limbs and branches that touch your house, pool cage, or any other buildings on your property

Remove old lumber, broken lawn furniture and any other items that could become a projectile in heavy winds.

If you have stakes holding up recently planted trees, make sure they’re driven deep into the ground and that the ties are secure.

Thin the foliage on trees and bushes so wind can blow freely through the branches, decreasing the odds they will be uprooted.

If you don’t have a compost pile, create one. Composting can be as simple as placing leaves, grass clippings, and small cuttings behind shrubs or in a hidden corner of the yard and letting nature take its course. OrganicLee compost material is available for purchase at the Resource Recovery Facility on 10500 Buckingham Road and the Topaz Court Solid Waste Annex on 6441 Topaz Court in Fort Myers.

Mulch is available for free at five locations across the county:

Bonita Springs: Imperial River Kayak Launch, 27551 S. Tamiami Trail.

Lehigh Acres: Lehigh Acres Community Park, 1400 W. Fifth St.

North Fort Myers: North Fort Myers Community Park, 2000 N. Recreation Park Way.

Pine Island: 6090 Masters Landing Drive, St. James City.

San Carlos Park: Three Oaks Park, 18251 Three Oaks Parkway

“The more residents use paper bags or waste bins instead of plastic for their yard waste, the better the quality of the OrganicLee compost and the mulch,” Keyes said. “A healthier, better-looking yard and proper waste disposal go hand-in-hand.”

Find out more reasons why it’s important to keep Lee plastic free at keepleeplasticfree.com.