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Sep 22

Yard Waste Collection

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM by OCOM Specialist

By Joanna Grey, Customer Service Representative

Yard waste and bundled brush are collected every Wednesday, excluding City holidays. Brush and yard waste bags should not be placed at the curb before 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Yard waste bags and brush placed at the curb prior to Tuesday are subject to a violation notice and/or fine as dictated by the City Code Chapter 34. In order for yard waste and brush to be picked up, we ask residents to prepare material in a specific way in order for the City's contracted service provider to pick it up. Brush resulting from tree trimming or removal done by a contractor will not be picked up.

Grass, leaves, and trimmings to small to be included with bundled brush:

  • Plastic bags are not compostable so materials in plastic bags will not be collected.
  • Materials must be placed in 30-gallon paper yard debris bags available at local grocery and hardware stores.
  • A yellow $1 Yard Waste tag must be affixed to each bag. Stickers are available at:
    • City Treasurer's Office
    • Brown's Hardware
    • Giant Food Store (corner of Haycock Road and W. Broad Street)
  • Each bag must weigh less than 50 pounds.
  • Yard debris must be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on Wednesday (or after 5 p.m. on Tuesday).
  • Yard debris that is not properly prepared will not be collected. Items may be treated as a special collection with the resident charged accordingly. 

Bundled Brush (tree branches, small tree stumps, and large shrubs):

  • Brush must be cut in 5-foot lengths with no individual branch or trunk larger than 6-inches in diameter.
  • Brush must be securely tied with cord or twine that is strong enough to hold the material together.
  • Brush may be neatly stacked in a container, 30-gallons or less in size, labeled "Brush."
  • Each bundle or container must not exceed 50-pounds or be too large or bulky to be loaded safely by one person into the collection vehicle.
  • Brush must be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on Wednesday (or after 5 pm.m on Tuesday).
  • Brush must be stacked at the curb, avoiding sidewalks and storm drain openings wherever possible, and not in the gutter.
  • Brush may also be placed in paper yard debris bags with $1 Yard Waste Stickers.

Why do I have to bundle brush?
Large limbs and tree trunks require additional labor and specialized equipment. The requirement to bundle brush keeps brush in manageable piles that are safe for crews to handle either with a pitchfork or with one hand. Minimizing worker labor through bundling reduces injury and allows for timely and cost effective collection. In addition, bundled brush limits the number of loose limbs clogging the storm drains during mild rainstorms.

Why do I have to use compostable paper bags for yard waste?
After collecting yard waste at the curb, the City's contractors haul all the yard waste to a composting facility. Yard waste contained in compostable paper bags break down quickly and does not affect the quality of compost. Conversely, plastic bags do not break down during the composting process and are not accepted at the composting facility.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the Department of Public Works or 703-248-5160 (TTY 711).