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View Full Version : Has anyone ever tried compacting grass clippings?


Az Gardener
04-28-2006, 09:08 PM
I was thinking about getting a used trash compactor and giving it a try. I would think it would reduce the space by at least 40% and if it was tight enough might be able to get some bricks out of it. They might also spontaneously combust too. Just a thought its been a long week. Seriously, I'm interested in any helpful or very funny feedback.

grandview (2006)
04-28-2006, 09:14 PM
Not sure by you but the town will pick up the grass clippings and they use garbage trucks and when they compact it all the grass juice leaks out . The smell from it gags you and you can smell it for a week where it stained the ground.

Petr51488
04-28-2006, 09:17 PM
Well.. with leaves.. i fill up the back of my pick up.. water them down.. and put a flat pallet on top and jump on it.. it reduces it to 1/2 the size.. the same works with grass, but most of the time i just leave the truck un tarped in the rain and it does the same job.. but yea.. it smells alot after a while..

Az Gardener
04-28-2006, 09:59 PM
What is this thing you call rain?

If you could collect that grass juice I'll bet it would be full of enzymes and nitrogen, good for fertilizing if you had an economical way to apply it.

Our grass here is not so juicy so I'm not so concerned with the juice. The small homeowner compactor would not be practical but if it worked on a small scale why not bigger bales? Then they might be an asset rather than an expense.

My landfill mentioned they may have to turn away green waste from time to time because they can't get rid of it fast enough ;) I'm just trying to be proactive.

Az Gardener
04-29-2006, 04:06 PM
Just giving this a bump to see if anyone else had tried this.

sheshovel
04-29-2006, 05:09 PM
I would think a cardboard box bailer would be better..those are way expensive though.I think a homeowner trash compactor would be way too small and not practical at all.They only have a small area for putting stuff in.Have you got a place you could make a large compost bin?Or you could buy one of those huge barrel composters that Mantis company sells and make compost out of your clippings.

David Haggerty
04-29-2006, 05:38 PM
That's how they bale marajuana to smuggle it across the border. I wouldn't want to be riding around Phoenix with bales of "grass" in the back of a pickup!

Dave

MOW ED
04-30-2006, 09:07 AM
I have thought about this but never tried it. The cool season grass here is very wet in the spring (KY Blue, rye , fescue) and I know it would hold together even after being smashed. I am trying to think of a market for the blocks of grass and wonder if an analysis of the juice would show any potentially hazardous levels of chemicals or sky high levels of NPK? Would it be miracle grow liquid? I think you are on to something. Now I am going to E-bay to find a cheap trash compactor.:)

topsites
04-30-2006, 09:09 AM
Yeah, I stopped bagging sometime in my first years and today finally (it took years) I have NO BAG ACCOUNTS.

It is amazing how much smaller my pile of clippings has gotten.

Az Gardener
04-30-2006, 02:58 PM
In the summer its to hot here to mulch, the bacteria tha breaks down the turf cant survive, and you can't mulch with a reel unless you are cutting daily.

Dashunde
04-30-2006, 03:25 PM
Never done it, but this might work good...

Use those thick contractors garbage bags, fill it up 3/4 full with grass, then wrap the end around your blowers intake and zip-tie it closed. (This assumes using a handheld with a 8-10" intake grill)
With all the air sucked out it might reduce down a lot?

herler
01-11-2015, 02:06 AM
Yeah, mine are compacted right on the lawn itself, works so good you can't even see them when I'm done cutting and the bonus is I don't have to haul them.

TPendagast
01-11-2015, 02:32 AM
I was thinking about getting a used trash compactor and giving it a try. I would think it would reduce the space by at least 40% and if it was tight enough might be able to get some bricks out of it. They might also spontaneously combust too. Just a thought its been a long week. Seriously, I'm interested in any helpful or very funny feedback.

OR you could cell the juice as a new health drink? mmmmm fescue cider!

AMW Landscaping
01-11-2015, 10:28 PM
you could get a pellet machine and make grass pellets to sell.

GrassManKzoo
01-11-2015, 10:50 PM
Hate the smell if two day old wet grass that's been marinating in the pickup bed.. The when its so bad it's leaking nasty black juice.. Although I'm sure there could be a lot of great uses for Clippings. I like the grass pellet idea as an energy source if it could work and also using the juice as a fertilizer... Someone should really check into these things beause we bring in 20 - 25 pickup trucks full per week of clippings. Would be nice to turn that green into other green if ya know what I mean
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Blade Runners
01-12-2015, 12:38 AM
Never tried to compact it but if you run grass clippings mixed with shredded leaves through a tree chipper you will basically get compost out the other end.

Armsden&Son
01-12-2015, 12:55 AM
When I was running a crew of jokesters down in Boston we collected the nasty juice in a 2 liter bottle after a good week of cutting and a bit of rain....

I remember specifically how bad it smelled that we just had to "Dude, we need to bottle that stuff up and save it!"

Well, we saved it alright, we put it behind the bench seat in the old F350 and we FORGOT ABOUT IT!!!!!

Until, halfway through the summer when somebody racked the seat back too hard and a metal part of the seat must have sliced the bottle open because all of the sudden it literally smelled like 500 rotting corpses stuffed into a porta-potty that has been at the county fair for two weeks during the summer...

Boy was that awful.... I miss getting paid to run a crew and have fun all day.... Now I am out slaving by myself with nobody to bust chops with...

sehitchman
01-12-2015, 08:09 AM
Being and old farmer, and many days spent bailing hay, I'm not sure there is much difference. That being said, I've had a pile of bermuda grass, and wood chips get hot and start smoking. So, compacting your clippings, without knowing the moisture content, could result in some damage to your equipment due to fire. Not worth it in myho without a lot more education than I have. There is a thread started recently where a guy stated he was presenting a seminar on Grass Bailing, seems like a good place to start learning.

RedSox4Life
01-12-2015, 11:50 AM
When I was running a crew of jokesters down in Boston we collected the nasty juice in a 2 liter bottle after a good week of cutting and a bit of rain....

I remember specifically how bad it smelled that we just had to "Dude, we need to bottle that stuff up and save it!"

Well, we saved it alright, we put it behind the bench seat in the old F350 and we FORGOT ABOUT IT!!!!!

Until, halfway through the summer when somebody racked the seat back too hard and a metal part of the seat must have sliced the bottle open because all of the sudden it literally smelled like 500 rotting corpses stuffed into a porta-potty that has been at the county fair for two weeks during the summer...

Boy was that awful.... I miss getting paid to run a crew and have fun all day.... Now I am out slaving by myself with nobody to bust chops with...



I'm usually a pretty laid back guy when it comes to employees....we definitly goof off sometimes attempting to have a little fun at work, but if you were working for me and did that I'd probobly Fire you. Grass juice is one of the nastiest things In existence. I wouldn't be surprised if that truck still smelled to this day.

I couldn't imagine having to apply the juice back to a lawn as fertilizer...I'd rather spend all day spreading dog poop.

ReRide
01-12-2015, 12:06 PM
Well, I have done it naturally, I suppose. One lawn I do, sometimes in the spring, needs to be double cut if I can't get there more often than maybe 4-5 days. I would cut it without picking up the clippings. Then I let them sit a few hours while I mowed other areas that don't need picked up on the same job. When I came back, the clippings are much drier, take up less space, and I probably didn't get them all with my old mower. Consequently the trailer never filled up as much as if I picked up the clippings from the start. Now that I upgraded my mower, it will pick them up and leave it looking great in 1 cut, so I have tended not to double cut so much.

redmax fan
01-12-2015, 08:14 PM
just throwin out a wild idea here : build a metal mesh basket that sits on top the pick up bed , same length n width as bed and 3' heighth . fine mesh so grass can barely escape . leave underrneath the basket open for equipment storage and air flow to help dry out grass . now at the front of basket on both sides and top have flaps jutting open to catch air and direct through the basket to dry out clippings . my thought is the air plus sun drying on the clippings over the coarse on the day would really dry em n shrink em up

also wondering about sprinkling a powdered or liquidized something over the clippings in bed which makes them dry up real quick

i like the mixin em with wood chips thru chipper idea and the cutting once then coming back later after the clippins dry up a bit idea mentioned by othern

here in michigan on our not too fancy of home route weve over the years conditioned our customers away from bagging , we'll double or triple cut and disperse clumpin clippins with our big redmax 8000s blowers and get the lawns fine enough . when it gets too thick we'll blow some of the clippins onto the drive or sidewalk where theyre easier to blow into piles to be removed

redmax fan
01-12-2015, 08:29 PM
pile em up on street on top of tarp . put a sheet of plywood over them then drive truck on top of plywood