Farmington is raking in a new way for residents to rid their yards of fall leaves.
The "Bag It … Tag It" program sells $3 tags for each bag of yard waste for curbside pickup. It fills a gap between subscribing to the weekly seasonal yard waste pickup service and hauling it yourself.
The program began in August and was prompted by several resident requests. It has gained popularity right off the bat, said Farmington's municipal services coordinator, Lena Larson.
"For people who like to bag their grass or do a lot of gardening, that weekly service is handy," Larson said. "But for people who just need to get rid of the leaves in the fall or clean up the yard in the spring, the per-bag service will be a lot more user-friendly for them,"
The new service is not commonly offered by other cities, Larson said, but in Farmington, the city provides garbage and recycling service. That allows the city to implement a program that would normally have to be created by private haulers.
"As far as I know, it's fairly popular considering it's brand-new," Larson said. "I think that more people need to be more aware of it."
Filling it up
Yard waste must be placed in compostable paper bags and is limited to 50 pounds or less per tag. Tags can also be purchased for bundles of branches that are no more than 2 feet by 4 feet per bundle. Branches can be up to 4 inches in diameter.
No sod, dirt or rocks are allowed in the bags. Bags should be set out at the curb on normal garbage and recycling pickup days. Tags are sold at Farmington City Hall.
Environment in mind
The yard waste is composted instead of taken to the landfill. People should also be mindful that it's illegal to put yard waste in the garbage, Larson said.
"It keeps neighborhoods clean, it's good for the environment and it's convenient for the residents."
The program will run through the week of Nov. 11 and start again in mid-April next year, the same time frame as the weekly seasonal pickup. Tags purchased in 2013 are still valid for 2014 — they don't expire. For more information on "Bag It … Tag It!" visit www.ci.farmington.mn.us/HomePage/Homepdfs/BagIt_TagIt.pdf.
For information on composting at home, visit www.dakotacounty.us and search "back yard composting."
Full yard care tips are posted at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's website, www.mda.state.mn.us.