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Because of the Yard Waste Disposal Ban under Indiana Code (IC 13-20-9), vegetative material (leaves, brush, and woody vegetative matter more than three feet in length) from landscaping and land clearing projects no longer may be taken to a solid waste landfill. As a result, persons wishing to dispose of such banned vegetative material are encouraged to take it to a nearby registered yard waste composting facility [PDF]. Composting is the biological treatment process by which microorganisms decompose the organic component of vegetative matter (such as yard or landscaping waste, including leaves, grass brush, limbs, and branches).
According to the Indiana Code (IC 13-20-10), all owners or operators of a composting facility for vegetative matter must register with IDEM.
Compliance with IDEM's Yard Waste Composting Facility Registration Program includes:
There is no charge for registration and no time limit within which IDEM must process registration applications. However, applications are usually processed in less than one week. Registrations must be renewed every five (5) years.
It is the policy of the IDEM Office of Land Quality (OLQ) that Registrations for Yard Waste Composting Facilities are not transferable. Thus, when property upon which a yard waste composting facility is located and/or operating changes ownership, the new owner must re-apply to IDEM for a new Yard Waste Composting Facility Registration, if they wish to continue to operate. Questions may be directed to IDEM’s OLQ Solid Waste Permits Section at (800) 451-6027, ext. 2-0066
Persons who wish to consider composting vegetative waste themselves should determine whether they are exempt from first registering with IDEM. Activities that are exempt from Yard Waste Composting Facility Registration requirements include:
New construction, especially on previously undeveloped land, can generate leaf, brush, and woody wastes from land clearing which - under Indiana Code (IC 13-20-9) - are banned from disposal at solid waste landfills. Persons involved in land clearing activities do have the option to bury any vegetative wastes; such as leaves, twigs, branches, limbs, tree trunks and stumps onsite. However, because of the potential for future ground subsidence where large quantities of such material have been buried, the IDEM Office of Land Quality recommends that operators consider the following options.
Please visit IDEM’s Web page for Open Burning Forms and Guidance for more information and guidance. Questions concerning open burning variances and state rules may be directed to IDEM’s OAQ Air Compliance Branch at (800) 451-6027, ext. 3-5672.
Debris from renovation and demolition sites should be properly managed. As with construction debris, disposal of demolition debris may be less expensive at a permitted construction and demolition debris landfill than at a municipal solid waste landfill. To ensure asbestos has been properly addressed, IDEM provides information, including tips for homeowners and a listing of state-permitted municipal solid waste landfills, on IDEM’s Asbestos Waste Handling Requirements Web page. Questions about licensing, demolition, notification and disposal may be directed to IDEM’s OAQ Asbestos Section, toll free at (800) 451-6027 ext. 3-6880, or IDEM's OLQ Industrial Waste Compliance Section at (800) 451-6027 ext. 308-3103 or 308-3008.