The late summer and autumn rains have given us plenty of growth in our gardens – good and bad growth. The vegetable garden has reached the end of the season and it’s time to discard the plants. It’s time to pull out the fast-growing weeds, rake and bag the leaves that haven’t been blown from the garden, cut back the chamisa and Russian sage before they get the upper hand.
But what are you responsible for cleaning? And what do you do with all this once you have it?
Where to clean up
In addition to your yard, there is the area between the sidewalk and the curb, sometimes referred to as the boulevard, avenue, or shoulder. Whatever you call it, the city of Albuquerque says you’re responsible for the upkeep. City ordinance 9-8-4 GROWTH OR ACCUMULATION OF WEEDS AND SURPASSES says, “It is unlawful for any owner of any occupied or unoccupied lot or property within the city to permit or maintain any such lot or property, including the area which is between the property line and the center of the alleyway adjacent to the property, and the area that is between the property line and the curb, the area of any curb or sidewalk that is on the property, and the area that is ten Fees outside the property are property lines without a curb, weed growth greater than 4 inches in height, width or spread, or any accumulation of weeds and/or debris.”
What to do with “green waste”
Many municipalities offer free collection of leaves, clippings, branches and other “green waste”.
Albuquerque: Albuquerque’s Solid Waste Management Department collects green waste from residential buildings at no additional cost. The fall green waste collection program begins on Monday 28th November and ends on Friday 9th December.
Leave your green waste at the curb by 7 a.m. on your regular collection day. All green waste must be placed 1.50m from rubbish and recycling containers, as must all large items intended for collection.
Solid Waste customers are required to place leaves, grass and brushwood in garbage bags. Each garbage bag should weigh no more than 40 pounds. Customers with branches must cut them to 4 feet and bundle securely.
Not to be picked up: Soil, rubble, gravel, building material or tree stumps.
The green waste is processed into coarse mulch and used to prevent erosion at the Cerro Colorado landfill.
Rio Rancho: Garden waste collection is offered for a fee and is available every second Saturday of the month. Residents must call at least three days in advance to schedule pickup at their place of residence for spring, fall, and as needed. The number is (505) 892-1200.
The Rio Rancho Waste Disposal Landfill offers one free landfill levy per month to Rio Rancho residents with a current Waste Disposal Account. Proof of residency in Rio Rancho is required; Bring both a driver’s license and your most recent waste disposal bill as proof of residence. Local residents can use the landfill every day of the month during regular operating hours. Free disposal for up to 1,000 pounds; Loads over £1,000 will be charged at the normal gate price. Commercial waste will not be accepted. For more information, contact Keep Rio Rancho Beautiful at (505) 891-8728 or Waste Management at 505-892-1200.
Village of Los Lunas: Los Lunas Village residents who pay for utilities (water, sewage and solid waste) have access to dispose of various solid waste materials at the transfer station. There are no costs for residents. Non-villagers pay $5 for green waste disposal.
A valid New Mexico driver’s license must be presented in addition to a current water bill from Village of Los Lunas at the time of disposal of items. Copies will not be 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 cleaning such as weeds, vines, tree clippings, grass clippings, etc. Loads will be rejected if excessively dirty.
• Tree clippings, branches, logs not exceeding 18 inches in diameter. No stumps of any kind.
(One final tip: don’t prune your trees in the fall; pruning trees encourages them to produce new growth, and you don’t want that for the winter. You can, however, prune dead or injured branches.)
Sources: cabq.gov/solidwaste/green-waste; rrnm.gov/4461/Green-Yard-Waste; rrnm.gov/657/Landfill-Free-Disposal-Information; loslunasnm.gov/799/Los-Lunas-Transfer-Station.