Grasscycling is simply letting grass clippings fall to the ground instead of being collected in the basket. A 1,000 square foot lawn can produce approximately 300 pounds of clippings per year. Because grass constitutes 80% water and contains high levels of nitrogen, the clippings quickly break down and return to the soil within a week or two along with water and nutrients.

What are the benefits?

  • Returns nitrogen and minerals directly to the soil. Provides 15-20% of a lawns yearly nitrogen needs.

  • Reduces the need for synthesized fertilizers.

  • Prevents water from evaporating.

  • Saves you time and effort since there is no need to empty the grass catcher or push the heavy, grass-laden green cart to the curb and back each week.

Since the majority of the material collected in green carts is grass, the City of Burbank encourages property owners to save time, money and effort by leaving the clippings on the lawn.

  • Cut no more than 1/3 the grass’s length

  • Cut when the grass is dry

  • Cut when the height is between 3 and 4 inches

  • Keep the mower blades sharp

  • Use a mulching mower if available (but not necessary)

Don't cut your own lawn?

Homeowners and property managers can request their gardeners to grasscycle. Download our grasscycling flyer (PDF) to give to your gardener or landscaping company.

Does grasscycling cause thatch?

No. Research has shown that grass roots are the primary cause of thatch, not grass clippings. Thatch is composed mainly of roots, stems, rhizomes, crowns, and stolons which generally contain large amounts of lignin and decompose slowly.