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Curb It Stories, Newsletters, Publications, E-tips:

Will mulching my grass and leaves ruin my lawn?
First of all what does mulching mean? It’s simple. It means cutting your grass and leaving the clippings on the lawn. The same thing in the fall for your leaves, instead of raking them just use your lawn mower to mulch them into small pieces. This allows them to break down quickly and enrich your lawn.
Mulching either your grass or your leaves provides nutrients for your lawn which makes it healthier, retains moisture better, helps prevent the growth of weeds and keeps it green.
Both actions save you time and money. No need to purchase added fertilizers and bags. You can give up the task of raking and bagging your lawn clippings and leaves. Just “leave ’em and love’ em!”
If there isn’t a mulching feature on your mower, it’s easy to convert it. At most home hardware stores you can purchase a kit that costs approximately $20.00 to attach to the side of your mower.
Another option for your grass clippings and leaves is to backyard compost them. The City offers free information sessions on how to properly compost and bins are available at reasonable rates. Check out the sessions next spring on our web page.
If you have too many leaves for your own use, check with your family and friends to see if they need them for their back yard composter or if they have friends and neighbours in need of them. Backyard composting requires lots of browns!
Last but not least, sign up for the City’s new Leaf Collection by Appointment by visiting www.curbitstjohns.ca or download the waste app, “St John’s Waste and Recycling from your app store, or call 311. The appointment reminders will be sent to you by email. Leaves must be in paper yard waste bags so they can be composted at the landfill and used for landscaping purposes. Unlimited number of paper bags with leaves can be set out for each collection.
Instead of sending leaves and grass clippings to the landfill many of our residents are mulching them and leaving them right on their lawn to return nutrients back to enrich their own lawns. By encouraging this kind of behavior change, the City saves on tipping fees paid to the Robin Hood Bay Regional Landfill and also extends the life of the landfill.
For more information on mulching grass click here.
For more information on mulching leaves click here.

Is there an easy way to find out where my waste can go?
In the past few years there have been a lot of changes on how and where one can properly dispose of their waste. The Waste and Recycling Division wanted to provide an easy way for everyone to have that information at their fingertips. What better way than through a waste app. The app, “St John’s Waste and Recycling” can be downloaded from the app store or google play. It includes a lookup called “Put Waste In Its Place”. This look up can also be found on the web site wwww.curbitstjohns.ca. It will answer all of your questions regarding where and how to properly dispose of any waste.
Just type in the name of the item you have to recycle or dispose of and different options will pop up for you to learn about. For example, if you have a couch to dispose of the first suggestion is to consider donating it to a charity, giving it away, or selling it in a yard sale. There is a list of organizations to contact that will accept used furniture.
If the item is not in good condition then you are given options to call a private hauler or bring it to the Robin Hood Bay Landfill.
The cool thing about the app is that you have all of the information you need to stay organized with your waste. It includes: notifications for when to put out your recycling and garbage for collection; the Put Waste in Its Place look up information; when the Covering of garbage begins; the ability to sign up for Leaf Collection by appointment; when the Residential Drop Off and Household Hazardous Waste depot are open and when Christmas trees can be dropped off. All handy on your iphone.
Can’t get any easier than that!

Many of our city’s residents have learned how to make their own black gold. You may be asking yourself, how did they do that? For the past three years the City of St John’s has partnered with the Multi Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) and the Botanical Garden to provide backyard composting sessions for our residents.
The MMSB provides standard composting bins at a reduced rate, allowing the City to pass on the savings to its residents. The experts at the Botanical Garden provide the information sessions on how to properly compost in Newfoundland. There are a few things that need to be done differently because of our weather. After the sessions, residents can purchase bins and begin creating their own black gold.
Earlier this year, the MMSB approached the City to pilot a different type of bin. These tumbler composting bins are completely enclosed, raised off the ground and they turn by spinning the bin from the outside. Simpler operation and the compost breaks down quicker when compared to the standard bins. All of these features actively appealed to our residents such that we had to order 500% more tumbler bins than was planned for 2016. Now we are all sold out! Residents have reported great satisfaction with these tumbler bins. They also appreciated the City providing them at a reasonable price and assisting them with removing any barriers they had to composting. Many that purchased the tumblers have never composted before.
By encouraging these kind of composting habits, a typical household can reduce their volume of garbage by 33% or more! Residents benefit by knowing that they are producing nutrients for their gardens while reducing their “garbage footprint”. The City benefits by saving on tipping fees paid to the Robin Hood Bay Regional Landfill and extending the life of the landfill.
Instead of sending food waste and leaves to the landfill, many of our residents are composting it into Black Gold….are you?

For more information on backyard composting click here.

Recycling: Making a Difference!
Have you ever heard any of these comments from friends, family members or neighbours?
1. Recycling isn’t going to make much of a difference,
2. It’s too much hassle,
3. Where will I store the recycling and
4. The city just landfills the baled material anyway, so why bother?

1. At our recent Doors Open event at the recycling facility at Robin Hood Bay, a display was set up with filled blue bags representing the amount of recycling that could be recycled during one year for a family of 1, a family of 2, and on through to a family of 4.This display generated numerous conversations with residents about their recycling experiences. One such resident, Robert Nixon said, he was the most negative person about curb side recycling when it first began. However, his wife encouraged him to give it a try and so he did. It wasn’t long after getting started that he realized that it does make a difference because his garbage went from 6 bags down to 2 bags. He was converted and he is now one of the biggest advocates for the program. He even removes the labels off tin cans (which you don’t have to do).
2. It is understandable that people can feel overwhelmed when starting to recycle. Figuring out how to set up your kitchen a bit different so there is room to collect the recycling, storing the recycling and understanding what and how to recycle are some of the issues residents have to face.
3. Garbage will be less, so use that extra space for storing the recycling. Waste and Recycling Division staff can provide you with a starter kit which includes blue bags, a list of material that can be recycled and how to sign up for reminders, so you know what week to set out your recycling. They can also provide suggestions as to how to overcome any other barriers. All you have to do is ask!
4. All of the baled material has guaranteed markets that buy it. The sale of the material offsets some of the costs for the operation.

This week is waste reduction week and it is an excellent week to give recycling a try. Or if you were recycling and had dropped off, why not join in again? Even just start with papers and cardboard and then graduate to the containers later.
Sending recycling to Robin Hood Bay saves the City on tipping fees. Tipping fees for recycling are $20.00 per tonne while garbage costs the City $67.60 per tonne.
It’s never too late to start or restart!
Other action items to implement this week:
• Dust off your re useable bags; use them at the grocery store.
• Bring some household hazardous waste to the HHW Depot,
• Recycle old electronics and metal.
• Mulch your leaves instead of raking them.
It all adds up to making a difference!
For more information visit www.curbitstjohns.ca.

Previous Curb It Recycling Newsletters:

Curb It Newsletter Fall 2012

Curb It Newsletter Spring 2012

Curb It Newsletter Fall 2011

Curb It Newsletter Spring 2011

Curb It Recycling Brochure

A new recycling brochure with an improved list of what can and can't be recycled at the curb.

View Brochure.

Curb It E-mail Newsletter (E-Tips)

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Read the most recent Curb It E-Newsletter from January 2013.
Read previous Curb It E-Newsletters here:

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