When is my yard waste pickup?
Having trouble looking up your address? Here's a guide to help.
How to Prepare Yard Waste for Pickup
- Pile your leaves & yard waste at the street edge or terrace.
- Do not put leaves in the street.
- Keep piles four feet from obstructions.
- Separate yard waste & leaves from brush.
Covering & Bagging Leaves
This will help keep leaves from blowing into the street. However, this is not required.
Compostable Paper Leaf Bags (Preferred): Please leave bags open at the top so we can see what is inside.
Plastic Bags: Please leave bags open at the top. Bags will be slit open and either left on the terrace or put in refuse cart.
Tarp or Plastic Sheet Cover: You may also cover your leaf piles with a tarp or other plastic sheeting to prevent them from blowing away.
Yard Waste vs. Brush
Please separate yard waste & leaves from brush. We will not collect mixed piles.
What is Yard Waste?
Yard waste includes:
- Leaves, weeds, garden trimmings, and other plant debris.
- Twigs less than 18" long.
- Pumpkins, crab apples, pine cones, etc.
What is Brush?
Brush is a separate collection. Brush includes:
- Woody material trimmed from trees, shrubs or bushes.
- Tree and shrub trimmings over 18" in length.
Other Yard Waste Rules & Information
- Garlic mustard should be placed in the trash. Learn more about invasive plant species from the Wisconsin DNR.
- The DNR provides guidance on jumping worms.
- Small amounts of sod, 4 or 5 five-gallon buckets per day, with most of the dirt removed are acceptable only at the Streets Division drop-off sites. Larger volumes of sod are not accepted.
You can also bring yard waste to a drop-off site.
When rain falls on leaf piles in the street, it creates "leaf tea" that drains into the storm drains.
The storm drains lead to our area lakes, rivers, and streams.
Leaf tea contains nutrients like phosphorus that are harmful to our waterways.
The nutrients contribute to toxic algae blooms, murky water, and lake weeds. And it can cause lower the oxygen level within the lakes.
Managing your yard waste the right way can protect our lakes.
Managing Your Yard Waste
- Keep leaves out of the street by raking along the curb, especially before rainstorms.
- Sign up for rainstorm alerts from Ripple Effects to learn when to rake the street gutter.
- Leave the leaf and mulch them into the yard where they fall.
- Compost yard waste instead of setting it out to the curb.
Learn more about what you can do to protect our lakes and streams with Ripple Effects.
Ripple Effects is maintained by the Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership and the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department.
Yard Waste Collection Process
Step one for yard waste collection - yard waste is pulled or pushed from the terrace.
Step two - yard waste is pushed into a collection vehicle. There's still one more step to go after this.
The third and final collection step - a street sweeper collects the debris left behind in the road.