Now that the snow melted for the most part, Calgarians are taking to their yards for raking and gardening, a perfect time for thoughts to turn to composting.

This spring, the City is encouraging residents to drop off yard waste at City landfills, free of charge, so it can be composted instead of thrown away as waste. Until June 1, all three City landfills will waive fees for residential loads of leaves, branches and other yard waste.

“Yard waste makes up over one third of residential garbage during this time of year,” said Lindsay Seidel- Wassenaar, waste diversion specialist. “When it gets buried in the landfill, it can’t be turned into soil or compost due to the lack of oxygen. It takes decades to decompose while producing harmful greenhouse gases.

“Composting makes fallen leaves, branches and other yard waste useful again and turns it into a product that will help plants to grow.”

Tips for Calgarians planning on dropping off their yard waste include bringing only yard waste as charges will apply if landfill loads include other items, leaving material loose or in paper yard waste bags and visiting or contacting 311 to confirm landfill hours, locations and other details.