Yard Waste Disposal / Composting Guide

Due to a state mandate, yard waste, including grass clippings, tree and shrub trimmings and leaves cannot be mixed with regular household refuse. The City's contractor for yard waste disposal is Republic Services / ARC Disposal Company, 2101 S Busse Road, Mount Prospect, IL  60005, 847-981-0091.
 
Frequency of collection

Collection of yard waste for single and two-family dwellings is made once a week (beginning the first full week of April and continuing through mid-December) at curb or alley on the same day as refuse and recycling collection. Yard waste collection is paid for through the property tax. If you live in a multiple family dwelling, please call the disposal company to find out about the specific collection program for your building.

Method of disposal
Yard waste, including grass clippings, tree and shrub trimmings and leaves shall not be mixed with regular household refuse. These materials shall be placed in specially designated biodegradable 30 gallon paper bags available at local retail stores or in a 90-gallon cart that can be purchased from the collection agency at cost and clearly marked "Yard Waste." Since yard waste will be taken to a composting facility, the yard waste bags need not be tied. The use of wire, nylon, or plastic ties is prohibited. It is also recommended that residents consider leaving their grass clippings lie.  Raking of leaves into the street or open burning of any materials, including leaves, is prohibited.
 
Branch collection
Collection of brush and branches for chipping by the City was discontinued in September 2009. For brush collection, branches less than three inches in diameter and five feet in length can be tied together in bundles weighing less than 50 pounds for collection with regular yard waste. Twigs and small brush can be broken up and placed in large paper yard bags (not plastic) or in special yard waste carts available through Republic Services / ARC Disposal on the regularly scheduled garbage day. Residents with larger branches will need to contact a tree service company or landscaper to arrange for removal.
 
The City provides curbside pickup for one week in January to pick up Christmas trees. Residents desiring this service must place their trees on the parkway next to the curb the night before their regular garbage collection day.
 

Composting Guide 

Click here to download a Guide to Composting

Residents are encouraged to compost leaves, grass clippings, pine needles, hay, straw and many other kinds of plant refuse on their property. Food scraps may not be placed in compost piles because the food will attract rodents. Composting is the aerobic biological process that creates humus from decomposed plant material. Composting requires numerous layers of fertilizer, yard waste, soil and lime. A mound of grass is not composting and will create offensive odors.
 
Procedure
All compost piles must be placed within a bin using wire or wood fencing or placed in a wooden box, barrel or garbage can. If space is available, dig a hole about 12" deep and 4’x4’ wide and encircle it with your fencing.
 

Collect leaves, grass and other yard waste to be used in the compost pile. Make a 6" deep layer of the yard waste material that is to be composted. Sprinkle with fertilizer (commercial fertilizer or manure). Cover the yard waste and fertilizer completely with 2" of soil. Sprinkle with lime or wood ashes (from a barbecue).

Repeat these layers until the container is full or the pile is about 4’ high. (Install the fencing material around the pile to keep it in place.) Make a small depression on the top of the pile and add a little water. 

Maintenance
The compost pile must be kept moist (but not soggy) for proper heating and decomposition. After a heavy rain, it is a good idea to turn the compost  and let it dry out a little. A well-constructed heap should begin heating up in a few days and will reach a temperature up to 140oF in 4-5 days. Turning the pile weekly to move composted material out of the hot center and replacing it with partially composted material from the sides greatly speeds the composting process. If the compost pile is not turned often enough, it gives off offensive odors. The decaying process should be complete in about six weeks. If the weather was cold, or the pile allowed to dry out, or the materials used were not chopped into small pieces, it may take several months for the decaying process to be complete.
 

  SWANCC (Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County) Composting Page

contains some great composting information and videos!

 

 
 
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