The plastic bag ban for yard waste begins in Charleston County

Image by Darren Midlane/Charleston County Typical plastic bag contamination mixed in with the yard waste at Charleston County's Compost Facility at Bees Ferry Landfill.

Update February 1: The 90-day deferral of the mandatory paper bags for yard waste ended yesterday -- so get ready to brown bag it, or your yard waste will just sit on the curb.

That is, unless you live in North Charleston that opted out of the program and will be using a private company.

If you don't know what this is all about, check out the info below or read the updated report The Post and Courier published today.

First reporting: Come November 1, you'll no longer be allowed to stuff yard leaves and other waste into plastic bags in Charleston County.

The effort comes as the county moves to increase the ability to compost yard waste and divert landfill usage — ultimately the county wants to be recycling 40% of all waste.

And the move to ban plastic bags comes as a final much-debated choice.

“Unfortunately, removing the bags by hand was found to be inefficient. With the sheer volume of incoming material, 59,000 tons annually, it was virtually impossible to remove all of the plastic,” said Harvey Gibson, Charleston County Composting Superintendent. “Our compost facility staff will continue to work with local municipalities, towns and public services districts to prepare for the transition.”

Residents will, however, be allowed to bring yard waste in plastic bags or containers to the convenience centers but they must empty the containers. You'll be able to find paper bags at many area grocery, home improvement, plant nurseries, and other area stores.

You can learn more nitty gritty rules at the county's webpage.