Dumping green garden waste into the forest is frowned upon in Maribor

Maribor: dumping green garden waste in the forest is not a victimless crime

Maribor: dumping green garden waste in the forest is not a victimless crime

It seems logical to let plant and shrub cuttings turn to fertilizer in nature, but it can actually have harmful consequences

The Slovenian city of Maribor has decided to remind its residents to not dispose of their green garden waste in the municipal forests. Although it might seem like a harmless act, the reality is that doing this is illegal and it can have highly undesired effects on the local biosphere.

The municipality, as the owner of the municipal forest plots, is responsible for the maintenance of the forests and thus also for the removal of illegally dumped waste, which creates additional unnecessary costs for the local budget. This, however, is not even the biggest problem. Read below to find out why ditching plant cuttings in the forest can be potentially detrimental.

Out of sight, out of mind? Not so much

Green garden waste includes all the green cuttings that were created when pruning fruit trees, hedges, shrubs, mowing grass, transplanting potted plants and other garden tasks. Here are the reasons why disposing of these parts in the nearby forest is problematic:

  • Residents grow various decorative plants in their gardens, including some that are extremely hardy, invasive or even poisonous. By depositing these plants in the forest, they can cause considerable and possibly irreversible damage. A lot of damage is caused by invasive alien species due to their tenacity. These can be highly allergenic (such as ragweed) or toxic and their presence strongly affects our indigenous plant and animal species;
  • Large piles of green clippings in the dry season increase the possibility of forest fires
  • Rotten vegetables, fruit, and silage are not only unpleasant in appearance but can also be a source of unpleasant odours and a potential source of introduction of new plant diseases;
  • Often, among the piles of green waste, other waste gets mixed in: this can be plastic waste (pots, bags, nets, bins), construction material (bricks, tiles, sanitary material) and hazardous waste.

The municipality advises residents to instead create their own fertilizer by putting a compost bin in their gardens. Alternatively, they can take their green waste to the nearest collection centre and dispose of it free of charge.



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