Compostable bags or reusable containers now required for yard waste pickup

Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling customers getting ready to take care of their yards this year need to know which bags to use for yard waste. Starting on garbage day in the week of April 9 – the beginning of this year’s yard waste collection season – bagged yard waste put out for collection must be in compostable bags – either paper bags or compostable plastic bags – or reusable containers.

A four-week grace period will allow a transition for folks who have plastic leaf bags filled from last season. An educational/instruction tag will be left by collection crews during this four-week transition period.

Through trash day the week of April 30, leaves in non-compostable plastic bags from last year will be collected. Due to the extra work and expense this requires, however, the City requests that if you still have empty non-compostable plastic bags, please do not fill them. After the week of April 30, yard waste in plastic bags will be left and tagged for resident re-packaging.

Using paper and compostable plastic bags rather than conventional lawn and garden plastic bags will reduce the amount of plastic being sent to local composting facilities. Screening out less plastic from the finished compost means lower processing costs and better quality of the finished compost. The compostable bag requirement is a state law.

Compostable plastic bags are distinct from conventional lawn and garden plastic bags because they are usually clear or a translucent shade of green, pink or white. Most home improvement, grocery, and hardware stores now carry them. Anyone who prefers not to purchase these compostable bags may place unbagged yard waste in a reusable container with sturdy handles. Other options include dropping off yard waste at a compost facility and taking the bag back home, or composting yard waste at home and using the nutrient-rich compost for gardens and lawns.

Minneapolis solid waste customers can set bags of yard waste, bundles of brush and reusable yard waste containers next to their garbage cart by 6 a.m. on their garbage pickup day. Branches and leaves must be tied with string or twine, bagged in a compostable bag or placed loose in a reusable container. Compostable bags and reusable containers must be 33 gallons or less and weigh less than 40 pounds. Branches must be less than three inches each in diameter and less than three feet long. Bundles must weigh less than 40 pounds.

For questions about leaf and brush pickup, call 612-673-2917 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or read more about yard waste collection.

Published Mar 16, 2012