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. Yard waste can also be taken to one of the City’s Drop-Off Depots year-round.
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 90,000 tonnes of yard waste from landfill each year.
Consider leaving the fallen leaves on your lawn and garden until the spring. Native pollinator species in Toronto need plant litter such as fallen leaves and dead hollow stems to nest and survive the cold winter months. Learn more about Alternative Ways to Maintain Yards.
What is Accepted as Yard Waste?
Small tree branches, trunks, stumps (see set out information below)
Plant material including weeds and brush
Pumpkins, corn stalks
Christmas trees (curbside collection on designated days in January and Drop-Off Depots year-round)
What is Not Accepted as Yard Waste?
These materials are not collected as yard waste and must not be placed in the Green Bin (organics), garbage or recycling:
Soil (pulled weeds with excess soil removed can be placed in yard waste)
Leave grass clippings on your lawn or put them in a composter to help build healthy, nutrient-rich soil. Grass clippings are 90 per cent water and return moisture to your lawn, reducing the need for watering. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn also reduces the need for fertilizer by 30 per cent.
If you would like to dispose of the above items, please contact a private company.
All invasive plants must be placed in a securely tied plastic bag and set out as garbage, not yard waste, to prevent spread. Examples of invasive plants include:
Proper Set Out
General Yard Waste
Place yard waste in kraft paper yard waste bags or rigid open-top containers (with an external height no less than 55 centimetres and no greater than 95 centimetres, with the exception of blue and grey boxes previously used for recycling). Yard waste in plastic bags or cardboard boxes will not be collected.
Place yard waste 0.5 metre from your Garbage Bin. If you receive daytime collection, set out yard waste no later than 7 a.m. and no earlier than 8 p.m. the night before your collection date. If you receive night-time collection, set out yard waste between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on your collection date.
Store yard waste on your own property (close to your home) between collections, not on City property.
Secure brush and branches in bundles no longer than 1.2 metres (4 feet), no wider than 0.6 metres (2 feet) and no heavier than 20 kilograms (44 lbs).
The diameter of wood set out for collection cannot exceed 7.5 centimetres (3 inches). For items that exceed this size, make arrangements with a private collections company.
Yard waste that meets the above size requirements can also be taken to one of the City’s Drop-Off Depots year-round. Fees may apply.
Note: Residents employing landscaping contractors to maintain their properties are responsible for making sure contractors follow the rules as well.
Trees must be free of bags, tinsel, ornaments, nails, tree skirts and stands
Place tree next to your Garbage Bin for pick-up
Clear tree of plastic bags, tree bags, snow, and ice
Christmas trees that are not collected in January must be placed out for yard waste pickup when yard waste collection resumes in the spring or taken to a Drop-Off Depot. (Christmas trees do not need to be cut down to a maximum length of four feet, like brush and branches.)