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 and arrange for pick up or delivery, please contact the customer service center at 734.994.7336 or via [email protected].
Carts exceeding 112 pounds for the 32-gallon, 224 pounds for the 64-gallon, or 336 pounds for the 96-gallon size will not be serviced.
Acceptable compost materials
- 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 diameter (must fit in cart with lid closed)
- Unpainted, untreated lumber (must fit in cart with lid closed)
- 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 in compost cart.
*Items for optional compost carts only.
Unacceptable compost materials
- Plastic bags or containers
- Trash and recyclables
- Dirt, rocks, stones or gravel
- Branches over 6 inches in diameter or over 4 feet in length
- Painted or treated wood
- Animal waste or cat litter
- Tree stumps
Paper yard bags and bundled brush/tree limbs
Paper yard bags may be used for yard trimmings such as leaves, weeds and other vegetation. Bundled brush or tree limbs, four feet or less, can be tied with natural twine in bundles up to 18 inches in diameter, 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,
we are encouraging all composters, who can, to take advantage of carts. If you
must use paper yard bags, please don’t overload them.
If you can’t lift it comfortably, neither can city staff.
Preparing compost and cart
Make sure to prepare your compost and compost cart properly for timely service and to avoid odors.
Compost facility: 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 open weekdays 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. To drop-off or purchase, 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, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. A valid city of Ann Arbor driver's license is required for this free service.
Using the new automated scale system
All material transactions (pickup and drop-off) require vehicle to drive onto the scale. Wait to enter the inbound scale until clear of all vehicles.
Approach 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.
Follow the signs and proceed to the compost facility to drop-off or pickup of materials. If purchasing material, please visit the compost office inside the Compost Center after using the scale.
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 vehicle to exit via scale.
Approach kiosk and scan QR ticket provided in step 2 during scale entry. Follow kiosk instructions and complete 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:
- Natural wood mulch
- Pallet mulch
Payments may be made by check or credit card only. Please visit WeCare Denali, for current fees and pricing. No cash accepted.
Free compost, up to one cubic yard, is available, for a limited time, to Ann Arbor residents. This material is located within the compost facility and can be picked up on Saturdays only, 7 a.m.– 11 a.m. between April 17 and July 3, 2021, or while supplies last. In order to obtain free compost, a valid city of Ann Arbor driver's license is required. The limit is 1 cubic yard of compost per household. At the scale, enter material type outbound compost resident free or outbound mulch resident free.
Please note that this is a self-loading program, therefore each resident must bring their own shovel and containers they may need.
Compost facility tours
*The city's compost facility is currently closed for tours until further notice. Tours of Ann Arbor's composting facility are available to the public. Located at 4150 Platt Road in Ann Arbor, each 1 hour tour will include a description of industrial composting, overview of the equipment and facility as well as a look at the finished compost product. Tours start at noon on the second Wednesday of the month with one Saturday tour as noted below. There will also be tours during the Department of Public Work's Open House in October. Date to be determined.
Dealing with leaves, compost, yard trimmings and organic material at home
Check out our tips page for suggestions on how to deal with yard material and ideas for those who want to explore alternatives to disposing of compost material at the curb.