Yard Waste: What It is and What to do with It

By Rachael on March 27, 2017

There are more than 2,500 plant species in the state of Michigan, according to the DNR. While many of these plants reside in our forests and shorelines, we are fortunate to have many trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses with which to beautify our yards. But that beauty comes at a price—maintenance and upkeep. And while many of you are familiar with yard waste, you may have many “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why” and “how” questions.

Click a question below or scroll through for answers to all your yard waste collection questions.

What is yard waste?
Can I throw my yard waste in the trash?
Does Granger offer curbside yard waste collection?
Do you pick up yard waste all year?
Is there a cost for yard waste collection?
How do I prepare my yard waste for collection?
Can I put my yard waste in anything other than paper bags?
How much yard waste can I put out each week?
What if I don’t want weekly service? Can I get a one-time yard waste pickup?
If yard waste collection is not available in my area, what can I do?

What is yard waste?
Yard waste includes items like leaves, grass clippings, vegetable or other garden debris, shrubbery or brush or tree trimmings, less than 4 feet in length and 2 inches in diameter.

Can I throw my yard waste in the trash?
The quick answer is no. It’s against the law to put yard waste in a landfill in Michigan. Please visit the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy website for more information.

Does Granger offer curbside yard waste collection?
We provide seasonal, weekly yard waste collection in much of our service territory. To find out if collection is available in your area, complete a Service Request Form by clicking the link below.

Request Yard Waste Service

Do you pick up yard waste all year?
Weekly yard waste collection is available April through November each year. That means you’re covered for getting the yard in shape in the spring, all summer long and the fall raking season.

Is there a cost for yard waste collection?
There is an annual fee for yard waste collection. It’s not included with your trash service. You will need to sign up for the service for the entire season. It’s possible to sign up after the yard waste season has started, but the rate will be the same. There is no pro-rating for a partial season of service.

How do I prepare my yard waste for collection?
Materials such as grass clippings, leaves and weeds should be packed into Granger yard waste carts or brown paper yard waste bags. Yard waste bags are available from many local grocery and home improvement stores. Brush and tree trimmings should be tied with twine into 12-inch bundles. Bundles should be no longer than 4 feet and less than 2 inches in diameter.

Can I put my yard waste in anything other than yard waste carts?
Carts are the preferred method for yard waste collection since they’re the easiest for our customers and associates to handle. Brown paper yard waste bags may also be used since the weight and size is safe for our drivers to pick up. And unlike storing yard waste in plastic bags, paper bags also decompose at a similar rate to yard waste. We will not collect yard waste in personal containers.

How much yard waste can I put out each week?
During the yard waste season (April through November), you can your cart and up to five paper yard waste bags or small bundles out weekly. If you don’t have a yard waste cart, you can set out

What if I don’t want weekly service? Can I get a one-time yard waste pickup?
One-time yard waste pickup is not available. If you don’t want to sign up for seasonal service, you can bring yard waste to Granger Disposal Center of Lansing or Recycling & Disposal Center of Jackson.

If yard waste collection is not available in my area, what can I do?
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to provide curbside yard waste collection everywhere. The good news is that you still have several options. Both Granger Disposal Center of Lansing and Recycling & Disposal Center of Jackson accept self-haul yard waste. (Click the links for location, rates, hours and accepted items.) If that’s not convenient, check with your local municipality to see if they offer collection or a drop-off site. Another great thing to do with yard waste is backyard composting. Resources are available online and you’ll end up with a valuable resource when you’re finished.


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