Is It Illegal to Dump Your Yard Waste in the Woods in Massachusetts?
The colder temperatures are becoming a reality in Massachusetts and autumn is in full swing.
One of the best parts about fall in Massachusetts is the stunning fall foliage. Leaf peepers know the best foliage in the state can be found in the Berkshires. The historic mountains of Massachusetts see over 2.5 million visitors annually, with a large portion of folks coming for the autumn season. While the vibrant colors of changing leaves provide an amazing backdrop, they also happen to be a pain in the butt when they finally do fall.
While visitors delight over the stunning colors, Massachusetts residents that after that beauty comes the not so beautiful clean-up. After the leaves fall, the race to get our yards clean and tidy before the snow comes commences. Even the small yard at my home, with only two or three trees nearby produces a crazy amount of leaves, branches, and twigs, which quickly fill contractor-size bags. Last year my small yard produced over 10 bags of yard waste. Once they're full, the question is, what do we do with them?
Many municipalities throughout the state have special collection weeks or drop-off spots for residents' yard clipping, like Pittsfield, MA which recently reached an agreement with Casella Waste Management allowing city residents to drop off their yard waste for free through December 1, 2022.
However, some Massachusetts residents take it upon themselves to dump their yard waste where ever they please, which is a big no-no.
It is Illegal to Dump Your Yard Waste in the Woods In Massachusetts
Dumping yard waste in any place that is not designated for you to do so is the same as dumping any other kind of waste - It's illegal. You wouldn't dump your trash in the woods, so you cannot dump your yard clippings or leaves anywhere except designated areas OR your own property. If your yard backs up to woodlands that are still your property, you are allowed to dump or compost yard clippings.
Umass Amherst's Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment give Massachusetts several other suggestions on what to do with their yard waste, besides dumping it.
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