Yard Trim Recycling

Yard Trim Collection Ended

Yard trim collection runs from the first week in April through the third week in January. Yard trim collection will resume in April. Residents can recycle yard trim at the Alpha Ridge Landfill WoodWaste area, Monday-Saturday from 8am to 4pm.


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Curbside Yard Trim Collection

Do I Receive Curbside Yard Trim Collection?

Call 410-313-6444 or check our online tool to find your collection days.

 

Basics

Once a week curbside collection of yard trim runs from the first week in April through the third week in January (January 18, 2019).*

Here is a printable yard trim brochure.

During yard trim season, Howard County will collect grass, leaves and light brush ONLY on your scheduled yard trim collection day. These items will not be picked up on your trash collection day.

Curbside recycling and yard trim collection occur on the same day; however, there are separate trucks that can come anytime between 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

When curbside yard trim collection is not offered, we encourage residents to take yard trim to the Alpha Ridge Landfill Woodwaste Area for recycling. As a last option, residents can place yard trim material out for collection on their trash day. Please note that yard trim set out on trash day will be taken to a landfill and will not be recycled into compost and mulch.

*Households in our food scrap collection areas receive yard trim/food scrap collection year-round.

What is Accepted

Accepted

  • pumpkins
  • leaves
  • grass
  • hedge clippings/light brush
  • small limbs or branches less than 4" in diameter and 4' in length (bundled and tied)
  • dry seed pods (pine cones, sour gum balls, etc.)
  • straw/hay

 

Not Accepted 

  • bamboo
  • small limbs and branches not bundled and tied with sturdy string
  • yard trim placed in plastic bags, blue recycling carts/bins or cardboard boxes
  • bushes with root bases attached
  • yard trim mixed with trash or miscellaneous materials, such as:
    • plastic/clay pots
    • dirt, rocks, sod or sand (see the ARL Fee Schedule for dirt disposal)
    • metal wire or fencing
    • glass, pottery or stone

How To Prepare Yard Trim

Howard County reminds residents to bundle material, or use paper bags and reusable containers for yard trim collection. Collection crew will not pick-up yard trim items in plastic bags, including biodegradable bags or from blue County-provided recycling carts/bins.

  • Tie and bundle light brush with sturdy string (bundles may not exceed 40 lbs, 18" in diameter and 4' in length). 
  • Loose small branches and limbs will not be collected.
  • DO NOT USE biodegradable plastic bags for yard trim. 
  • DO NOT USE cardboard boxes as containers
  • DO NOT USE blue recycling carts/bins

Paper Bags

Why are paper bags better than plastic bags?

At home they are:

  • Easier to fill
  • More puncture resistant
  • Don't allow moisture to build, which helps prevent odors

At a composting facility they:

  • Don't have to be emptied or removed before processing
  • Decompose naturally with yard trim
  • Don't need to be screened from finished compost and mulch
  • Don't become air- or water-borne litter 

Holiday Schedule

For the holiday schedule, click here.

Other Yard Trim Options

Grasscycling

Leave grass clippings on your lawn to return nutrients to the soil and improve lawn quality. Grasscycling will not cause thatch, damage your lawn or spread disease; in fact, lawn care professionals recommend grasscycling for a greener, healthier lawn! Grasscycling also helps our streams and even the Chesapeake Bay! See GrassCycling for more information.

 

Backyard Composting

Mix leaves, grass clippings and vegetable refuse together and watch the natural decomposition process turn waste into black gold. Call 410-313-6444 for a free composting instruction kit (compost bins available while supplies last). Compost demonstrations are offered April - October.  Visit our Backyard Composting webpage for more information.


Rake & Take Program

Rakers (residents who rake and bag their leaves/grass) are matched with TAKERS (people who want leaves/grass for compost piles). Leaves provide a carbon amendment to compost piles and if left on your gardens, will break down to give you a rich, healthy soil. For more, see the Rake and Take Flier or visit the Master Gardener's website.


Drop-Off at the Alpha Ridge Landfill

You can recycle grass, leaves and brush at the Alpha Ridge Wood Waste Drop-off Area, Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Proof of Howard County residency required. Plastic bags are NOT accepted at the Wood Waste Drop-off Area.