Curbside Compost Collection Begins Monday, April 5

Curbside Compost Collection is to begin in Ann Arbor on April 5. Here's what you need to know about curbside compost pickup.

Ann Arbor’s Curbside Compost pickup is up and running again starting April 5. Here are the dos and don’ts of curbside compost.

The City of Ann Arbor will resume the weekly curbside collection of compostable materials in the city of Ann Arbor starting Monday, April 5. These pickups will be done on regular collection days, and compost season will run through Friday, December 10.

Residents can take advantage of curbside compost by utilizing optional compost carts, paper yard bags, or bundling large branches or brushes and placing them at the curb. Acceptable compost materials include:

  • Plate scrapings and food waste (including meat and bones)
  • Bamboo dinnerware
  • Grass clippings
  • BPI certified compostable bags, containers, silverware, etc.
  • Leaves and brush
  • Branches less than 6 inches in diameter (must fit in cart with the lid closed)
  • Unpainted, untreated lumber (must fit in cart with the lid closed)
  • Weeds
  • Undecorated and cut up Christmas trees
  • Garden pruning, garden surplus, crab apples, etc
  • Used, cool wood ashes make great garden and flower bed fertilizer. If you aren’t able to use them there, then please place them in the compost cart

The city offers single-family residential properties one free 64- or 96-gallon compost cart. Pick up is free or one can be delivered for $59. Additional carts are available for a fee. To order a cart, please contact the customer service center by phone at 734-994-7336 or by email at customerservice@a2gov.org. Visit www.a2gov.org/compost for sizes and prices.

Paper Yard Bags and Bundled Brush/Tree Limbs

Use paper bags for yard trimmings such as leaves, weeds, and other vegetation. Bundled brush and tree limbs, four feet or less, can be tied with natural twine in bundles up to 18 inches in diameter and can be left at the curb for pickup. Individual tree limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter.

As bags can be difficult to service at times while also posing a greater injury and health risk to staff, composters are encouraged to take advantage of the carts when possible. If you must use paper yard bags, don’t overload them. If you can’t lift it comfortably, neither can city staff.

Participating residents must place their compost at the curb before 7am on their weekly waste collection day and allow at least 3 feet between each cart with clearance from any obstacles overhead. Place carts on lawn extensions when possible and never leave them in the bike lane. 

Yard Material Drop Off, Sales, and Free Compost

Ann Arbor’s Compost facility is located at 4170 Platt Road. The facility is operated by WeCare Denali, and is open weekdays from 8am until 4pm, and Saturdays between April and June 8am to noon. To drop off, purchase, or obtain free compost, visitors must utilize the new automated scale system, which includes weighing in and out.

Ann Arbor residents may deliver 1 cubic yard per household, per day of acceptable yard trimmings and food waste at no charge. This is done Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm. The only requirement for this free service is a driver’s license with a valid city address. At the scale, choose material type, inbound yard trimmings, or inbound food waste as appropriate.

Using the New Automated Scale System

  1. All material transactions (pickup and drop off) require the vehicle to drive onto the scale. Wait to enter the inbound scale until clear of all vehicles. 
  2. Approach the scale kiosk and, using the directions, scan your driver’s license. Remember to choose the type of material you are picking up or dropping off inbound yard trimmings or inbound food waste. Take the printed QR code ticket before leaving, as it is required to exit the outbound scale. 
  3. Follow the signs and proceed to the compost facility to drop off or pick up materials. If you are purchasing material, that will be done inside the compost center.
  4. To leave, weigh out via the outbound scale. Wait to enter the outbound scale until clear of all vehicles. All material transactions (pickup and drop off) require the vehicle to exit via scale.
  5. Approach kiosk and scan QR ticket provided in step 2 during scale entry. Follow kiosk instructions and complete the transaction.

Acceptable drop-off materials include:

  • Grass, leaves, other vegetation — must be clean and free of brush/wood.
  • Mixed yard trimmings/brush/pallets (no plywood or OSB).
  • Wood chips — must be clean.
  • Food waste.
  • Branches up to 6 inches in diameter.

Materials for sale include:

  • Compost.
  • Natural wood mulch.
  • Pallet mulch.
  • Woodchips.

Patrons can make payments by check or credit card only. Please visit WeCare Denali, or call 734.794.6380, for current fees and pricing. No cash accepted. 

Free Compost

Up to one cubic yard of free compost is available to Ann Arbor residents for a limited time. This material is located within the compost facility and pick-ups can be done on Saturdays only, from 7am until 11am, between April 17 to July 3, or while supplies last. A valid city of An Arbor driver’s license is necessary in order to obtain free compost. The limit is one cubic yard of compost per household. At the scale, enter material type outbound compost resident free or outbound mulch resident free. 

It’s important to remember that these are self-loading programs. Therefore, each resident must bring the shovels and containers they may need. The facility will not be supplying them.