May 29, 2018 City Programs

It’s That Time of Year Again…

When Cutting Your Lawn, Go Bagless!

Here’s How

  • Mow high: Raise the height of your mower to medium range (on most mowers) and only cut off 1/3 of the length of the grass blades. Mow to the height of your pinky, or 6-8 cm (2.5-3 inches)
  • Mow often: Mow often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blades is removed, about every 4 to 5 days during heavy growth season. When growth is slower (late summer and fall, or during a dry year), cutting once per week or less will suffice
  • Mow when grass is dry: if grass is too long after prolonged wet weather, start with a higher cut and gradually lower it during successive cuttings
  • Sharpen the blade: A sharp blade makes for a sharp looking lawn. Grass recovers more quickly when cut cleanly. There are many service locations across the city
  • Prevent clumping: If there’s clumping from cutting wet grass or making too long a cut. Mowing the area again from a different direction will help dissipate the clump

Helpful Lawn Care Tips

Going bagless is only one part of maintaining a healthy lawn.

  • Rake the lawn during spring yard cleanup to remove dead thatch
  • Aerate the lawn periodically to allow nutrients, air and water to reach the grassroots
  • Adequately water the lawn. Single deep waterings (25 mm once every 7-10 days ) are more effective and less wasteful than many light wateringsGo_Bagless_Grass_Monster_800x494_rdax_500x309
Many residents are hesitant about going bagless, so it’s important to acknowledge the facts and myths about grasscycling.


  1. Nearly 60 percent of Edmonton households already help reduce waste by going bagless.
  2. Removing grass clippings from the waste stream has helped several Canadian municipalities reach high waste diversion rates. These environmental leaders include Halifax, Niagara, and Toronto.
  3. In the summer, grass and yard waste account for 50 percent of residential waste – going bagless presents a simple yet significant opportunity to reduce waste.
  4. Fresh clippings are 80-85 percent water. Leaving them on the lawn helps the soil retain moisture.
  5. When mowed to the correct height, grass clippings breakdown quickly (within 2-3 days), naturally fertilizing lawns after each mow.
  6. Going bagless saves time and money — it reduces the need to water and there’s no need to purchase fertilizer or bags for clippings.


 1: Going bagless causes thatch
 2: Going bagless looks unattractive / untidy
 3: Going bagless spreads lawn disease
 4: I need to mow more often
 5: I need a mulching mower to go bagless
 6: I have to go bagless every time
 7: Going bagless spreads dandelions
There are also videos you can check out to learn more!


You should also know:

Council is considering changes to grass waste collection, but at this time no changes have been approved. The City will continue collecting grass waste throughout 2018.

Waste Services is collecting public input regarding collection changes on an ongoing basis, including throughout the Go Bagless campaign. In addition to public engagement conducted in April, residents are encouraged to provide feedback at Comments collected will inform program change recommendations presented to Utility Committee in the summer of 2018.