Trash, Recycling & Compost


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​March 10, 2023 branch update: 

The City of Ann Arbor has contracted Davey Tree Expert Company to augment city staff efforts to pick up branches from the recent ice and snow storms.

Due to continued snowy weather and remaining urgent tree issues, progress on branch pick up has been slow. Dedicated public works crews have been collecting and chipping branches in addition to their duties clearing roads of snow/ice and addressing other infrastructure needs. As of Friday, March 10, less than five percent of the city's solid waste routes have had branches collected. The city seeks continued patience and understanding as cleanup efforts continue for the next several weeks. Residents are reminded to please follow the guidelines below to help speed up work and keep everyone safe.

Branches are not to be placed on the street or in bike lanes as they can be a safety hazard.

Large branches (at least 3 inches in diameter, roughly wider than a soup can, and at least 4 feet in length):

  • Place branches facing the same direction of the street on extensions.

  • Remove any spikes, metal or nails from branches.​

Smaller branches and twigs (less than 3 inches in diameter and less than 4 feet in length):

  • Bundle (twine recommended but not required) in bunches up to 18 inches in diameter and left at the curb.

  • Break down larger bundles of branches already placed at the curb to make them safer to handle.

Logs, trunks or roots with stumps (rootballs) will not be collected. ​​


​​Regular weekly compost pickups will begin again on Monday, April 3, 2023. ​

Yard trimmings at home  ​Acceptable and unacceptable material  Preparing compost & cart   Yard trim​mings drop-off ​& sales   ​Free wood chips

​Compos​t carts

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 $56, 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.​
  • Leave​s an​d brush
  • Branches less than 6 inches diameter (must ​fit in cart with lid closed)
  • Unpainted, untreated lumber (must fit in cart with 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 in compost cart. ​

*Items for compost carts only.

Unacceptable compost materials

  • Plastic bags or containers 
  • Trash and recyclables
  • ​Dirt, rocks, stones or gravel​
  • Sawdust​
  • Branches over 6 inches in diameter or over 4 feet in length
  • Painted or treated wood​
  • Animal waste or cat litter
  • Tree stumps
  • Diapers​
Compost Facility PFAS Fact Sheet - Updated Jan. 28, 2020​​

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.

Dealing with fall leaves, com​post, yard trimmings and organic material at home

Check out our tips pa​ge 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. ​​​

Preparing compost and cart

Make sure to prepare ​your co​mpost and compo​st cart​ properly for timely service and to avoid odors.​​

Compost facility: yard material, drop-o​ff, 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 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.  To drop-off or purchase, visitors must utilize the 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, 7 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

  1. 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. ​

  2. 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, drop off yard trimmings or drop off 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 pickup of materials. If  purchasing material, please visit the compost office inside the Compost Center after using the scale. 

  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 vehicle to exit via scale.

  5. 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:

  • Compost
  • Natural wood mulch
  • Pallet mulch
  • Woodchips

Payments may be made by check or credit card only. Please visit WeCare Denali, for current fees and pricing. No cash accepted. 

Free wood chips

Ann Arbor Public Works is making free wood chips available to residents at five locations ​around the city beginning on Friday, April 22, 2022.​ Residents will be required to load and haul the material away themselves. The wood chips will be available while supplies last.

Locations for free wood chip pick-up include:

E-mail picture

To report missed pickup or other problem, please use A2 Fix It. ​​​

Customer Service Center

Larcom City Hall, first floor 
8.00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday (except holidays)

301 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Assistance by phone or email 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday (except holidays)

[email protected]​​