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Waste from the garden can be disposed of in the compost. Disposal stations accept large quantities. Containers or bags are available for this. Farmers or foresters are happy about green cuttings and acorns. Anyone who burns green waste or disposes of it in the forest risks penalties. Many hobby gardeners ask themselves the question: where can you dispose of garden waste?

Dispose of garden waste

In principle, you can dispose of waste from the garden on your compost. Since there are bottlenecks in the company's own composting plant in autumn, alternative disposal options are needed. There is a great temptation to remove the plant remains on your own. Care must be taken with such projects to avoid nasty surprises.

What is garden waste?

Garden waste is leftovers of plant origin. They are used by microorganisms as food and decomposed in this way. What remains are nutrients that are used again by the plants. A natural cycle is created that contributes to the functioning of an ecosystem. Check the nature of your green waste to properly dispose of it.

  • withered foliage
  • remnants of weeds
  • biological waste products of vegetables
  • Green and lawn clippings
  • branches of shrubs
  • roots and smaller trees

Proper disposal

Clippings from lawns and hedges are suitable for composting. You have to chop larger branches into small pieces because wood only decomposes slowly. A collection point for green waste is recommended for coarse clippings. If you are tempted to dispose of the leftovers in the nearest forest, you risk a fine. Depending on the federal state, penalties of between ten and 200 euros are threatened even for the illegally disposed amount of a bucket with vegetable waste. Because the green waste can contain pollutants that endanger the environment when illegally dumped on wild landfills. Hazardous substances are washed out by rain and deposited in the ground or washed into nearby bodies of water. If they seep into the groundwater, they pose a threat to human health.


A compost only works if the moisture and ventilation are right. Coarse material is necessary so that the waste does not compact too much. You can use prunings for this, as long as you have broken up the plant remains well. Always mix wood waste with green materials such as lawn clippings so that the rotting processes can take place optimally. The same goes for large amounts of fall leaves that you want to compost. The container should not be filled to one side, as this will inhibit rotting processes. Before you dispose of lawn mowing waste on the compost, the material should be well dried. Wet green waste quickly sticks together, so that a sufficient supply of oxygen is not guaranteed.

compost bin

Most municipalities, towns and districts provide every household with organic bins in which green waste can be disposed of. What belongs in the bin is regulated differently depending on the location. The disposal companies have various options for recycling the waste, so there can be no standard that applies throughout Germany. You can get more information from the public waste disposal authority in your region. In general, you can dispose of the following garden waste in the bio bin:

  • Clippings from trees and shrubs
  • vegetable residues from potted plants, weeds and flowers with soil
  • biological waste from beds

recycling center

If there is no bio bin in your area, you can hand in garden waste to a special collection point. This route is also recommended for large amounts of waste that do not fit into the organic waste bin or are compostable. Recycling centers accept twigs, branch cuttings and logs. In many places, no fee is charged for small delivery quantities. Be sure to pack garden waste properly. An employee at your local recycling center will explain which bags are accepted.

notice: Note that only untreated and natural wood, coming straight from the wood, falls under the green waste category. Timber is usually treated and can be disposed of with bulky waste.

Garbage bags and banderoles

In some municipalities you can buy special banderoles with which you can bundle branch cuttings. Special bags are offered at different prices for loose green waste. At fixed times, the respective disposal company collects the filled sacks, so that you do not have to worry about the removal. The disposal authority will tell you what you can fill in the sacks. In general, you can dispose of everything that is natural and untreated in the bags. Biodegradable kitchen waste is excluded.

  • green and garden waste
  • leaves and grass clippings
  • other vegetable waste

green waste container

Garden waste can also be disposed of in green waste containers. You can rent such containers directly from your local disposal station. The cost of doing this is far cheaper than the potential penalties for illegal disposal in nature. Depending on the amount of green waste, you can rent containers of different sizes for a certain period of time. However, these may only be filled up to the loading edge so that no parts fall down during transport.

tip: Did you know that cuttings and trunks can have a maximum diameter of 15 centimetres? The length of green waste from clippings is also limited and may not be more than one meter.


If you want to burn green waste in your own garden, you should inquire about the special regulations at the responsible office. However, you are only allowed to fire under strict regulations and with permit kindle. In general, you can burn the remains of prunings between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays when there is no strong wind. In some regions, however, the embers must be out by nightfall. Depending on the municipality, there are additional regulations that prohibit burning within built-up areas. In some places you are allowed to burn garden waste if there are no other disposal options. Some places allow controlled burning only in certain months. These strict regulations are based on the heavy burden on people and the environment:

  • heavy smoke development when burning fresh branches
  • intensive fine dust pollution of the air
  • Impairment of visibility in the adjacent area
  • Spread of toxic fumes

Farmers, animal shelters, foresters

If large quantities of lawn clippings accumulate on your property several times a year, you can dry the material and offer it to farms or riding stables. Here the hay can be fed to the animals. Especially in long dry periods, the operators are grateful for the additional supply of feed when the harvest on their own meadows is scarce. Acorns, chestnuts and cones from conifers enrich the food reserves in animal shelters, zoos and sanctuaries. The forester is also happy about a gift of collected tree fruits in autumn, which he feeds to the forest dwellers. The advantage of this disposal is that you do not incur any costs for the disposal of large quantities.

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