Grass clippings: what to do if the tip does not accept them in France

Rennes metropole is the first to bring in a ban - and has ended door-to-door pick ups - but other areas have followed

Fresh cut lawn in Garden wheelbarrow for a compost bin.
Mulching is one alternative in areas where tips have stopped accepting grass clippings

Several areas of France have started to refuse grass clippings at local tips or in door to door collections out of concerns that their disposal contributes to climate change. We look at what alternatives there are.

The Rennes metropolitan area (Ille-et-Vilaine) was the first area in France to refuse grass clippings on January 1, 2024, after a city council ruling in March 2023. 

Not only does this ban affect people taking grass clippings to the tip, but it also ends door-to-door pick-ups.

In 2021 alone, the Rennes metropolitan area collected 31,421 tonnes of vegetation (including grass clippings), 90% of which was from the area’s municipal tips.

However, the city council decided that the disposal of this vast amount of grass was hindering its efforts to fight climate change.

Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain) followed the example of Rennes, ordering tips in the area not to accept grass clippings from March 1, 2024.

Read more: Grass cuttings are no longer accepted at some public tips in France 

What can people do with grass clippings?

A spokesperson for Rennes métropole told The Connexion that it had prepared inhabitants for over six months for the move to ban grass clippings from municipal tips.

The solutions alternative solutions it has put forward include:

  • Mulching - using a mower with a ‘mulching’ attachment, and then leaving the clippings where they are. This makes the lawn greener, and more resistant to drought and heat.

  • Drying clippings in a container - the dry grass can then be spread around like straw to prevent the garden from drying out in the summer months

“Grass is mostly water and it is far more efficient for people to manage it at home,” said the spokesperson, “we have made several alternative solutions available for people”.

The spokesperson added that while Rennes does have plans to implement a biowaste collection system “soon”, this will not concern grass clippings.

Read more: Are you (and your council) ready for obligatory compost law in France? 

The metropole also suggests that people simply grow different, hardier varieties of grass that grow more slowly, or plant an alternative type of lawn with other plants such as moss, clover or carex grass.