The City picks up yard waste every other week on garbage collection day from mid-March to mid-December as well as Christmas trees in January. The yard waste that is collected is turned into compost, some of which is offered to the public for free at Community Environment Days. The City’s yard waste program allows it to divert approximately 80,000 tonnes of yard waste from landfill each year.

Yard waste collection requirements:

  • Yard waste must be put out on correct week/day according to Collections schedule during seasonal service delivery
  • Yard waste must be bundled or placed out in KRAFT paper bags or any open rigid-top containers, i.e. reusable container without a lid, extra garbage can, or bushel basket. The height of the container must not to exceed 95 centimetres. No cardboard boxes or plastic bags
  • Material that is prohibited will not be collected
  • Yard waste must be placed out by 7:00 a.m.
  • Each KRAFT paper bag or open rigid container or bundle cannot weigh more than 20 kilograms/44 pounds
  • Metal ties are prohibited in bundling branches
  • Each bundle cannot exceed 0.6 m (2') in diameter X 1.2 m (4') in length to ensure they fit in collection vehicles
  • Approved items only
  • Material must be under 7.5 centimetres (3") in diameter
  • Items/containers out for collection must be accessible.

The following items are accepted as yard waste:

  • Plant cuttings, roots, leaves and weeds (incl. crab grass - clumps of dirt and/or sod must be removed from weeds)
  • Tree, hedge and shrub trimmings, brush cuttings, twigs and branches under 7.5 cm (3 in) in diameter, and bundles less than 2 feet in diameter and 4 feet in length
  • Christmas trees - if placing out for yard waste collection (not Christmas tree collection after Christmas) and the tree is longer than 4 feet, the tree must be cut in half
  • Halloween pumpkins
  • Waste fruit from trees.
  • For branches and body wood (stumps, logs etc) over 3 inches in diameter see: Solid Waste Drop-Off Depots - Transfer Stations - residential waste - fees

The following items are prohibited in yard waste:

  • Grass clippings
  • Sod
  • Soil
  • Logs
  • Tree stumps
  • Kitchen waste (fruit and vegetables)
  • Giant Hogweed (should be placed in a secured plastic bag and must be placed in regular garbage).

Dog Strangling VineThe Dog-Strangling Vine is considered an invasive species although it has been in Canada for more than 100 years. For some it considered a desirable plant due to its manner of growth and colourful flowers. For most it is a nuisance and in some cases major efforts are carried out to control its spread.

Proper DisposalCan I put the vine in the green bin or with my leaf and yard waste? The best method of disposal would be to place the plant in secured plastic bag and put it out as garbage. Do not put it out for Leaf and Yard Waste collection because this will not control the spread.

What steps is the City taking to control the spread of the Dog Strangling Vine?Actions are being taken in certain areas of the City (High Park, Rouge Valley) to curtail or eliminate this plant using various techniques including the use of chemicals, controlled burns, etc.

What does it look like?

  • Grows one to two metres high by twining onto plants, trees or other structures.
  • Leaves are oval with a pointed tip, seven to 12 centimetres long, and grow on opposite sides of the stem.
  • Pink to dark purple star-shaped flowers have five petals about five to nine millimetres long.
  • The plant produces bean-shaped seed pods four to seven centimetres long that open to release feathery white seeds in late summer.

KRAFT bags vs. plastic bagsKraft leaf and yard waste bags are protected with a wet-strength coating that resists water absorption. It rained during the pilot testing of the kraft bags and they held up just fine. Collection crews were able to pick up the bags intact.

Kraft bags hold considerably more than the economically-priced plastic bags. Kraft bags are stronger than plastic bags and subsequently do not puncture from twigs as easy as plastic bags. Another benefit is that kraft bags are likely easier to use in terms of staying open when you're filling them with leaves/yard waste because they stand up and open without collapsing like plastic bags.

Plastic bags don't break down, so they aren't compostable and pieces of shredded plastic not only cause onsite litter, they contaminate the quality of the finished compost. By prohibiting plastic bags, the City is able to offer a richer, finer quality of compost.

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