Tips for Recycling Yard Waste in the City

Thank you for participating in the City’s mandatory yard waste and leaf collection program and using yard waste bags. The following materials should be placed in the bag: tree trimmings, plant debris from garden and flower beds, shrubbery, prunings, weeds, leaves and limited grass clippings (best to let them lay on the yard).  There are some materials you may collect from the yard that should not be placed in the bag since they do not biodegrade and detract from the quality of the mulch or compost. Contaminants include: trash, litter, plastic film and flower pots, sod, stones, and glass. Yard waste that is collected from your yard may become compost/mulch that you use, so keep contaminants out to achieve the purpose of recycling – to turn waste into a usable product!

The following are procedures to follow when using the bags and participating in the city yard waste recycling program:

  1. Fill the bags up to the marked fill line.  Although bags are provided to city residents at no direct cost, the expense to provide bags is part of the service fee the city must charge. So fill them completely, but limit the weight to no more than 30 pounds.
  2. Do not use tape or wire.  There is no need to roll the top of the bag down or secure the bag closed.  Tape and wire is a contaminant.
  3. Keep the bags dry.  Although the bags have wet-strength properties, they should be kept as dry and filled as closely as possible to the scheduled collection day. Wet bags and organic material, along with warm temperatures, can begin the decomposition process which can result in bags falling apart during collection.
  4. Do not line the bag with a plastic bag.  The paper bag is designed to hold yard waste that may be moist. Plastic is unnecessary and is a contaminant.
  5. Do not use the bag for oversized material.  For tree and shrubbery branches that do not fit in the bag, tie these in bundles with string or twine that is biodegradable. Wire, plastic twine/rope and duct tape are contaminants. Bundles should be no longer than 4 feet in length or weigh more than 30 pounds.
  6. Set bags out close to curb.  Set out where trash and recycling containers are placed for collection.

Collection Schedule

Yard waste is collected on the first week of each month. Yard waste will be collected the same day as trash and recycling, so please set out yard waste at the same time and location. The November and December leaf collection uses the same bag, but that collection is limited to leaves only.