header image
Skip Navigation LinksHome » Departments » Trash, Recycling & Compost » Compost


​ Subscribe for updates 

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

​​​ First floor, 301 E. Huron Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
(excluding holidays)



Paper yard bags & branches/tree limbs              ​ 

Preparing compost & cart   

Yard trimmings drop-off ​& sales 

2024 compost changes

Regular weekly compost collection for 2024 begins on Monday, April 1. 

​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 $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 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)*
  • Grass clippings*
  • CMA-W certified compostable products​*
  • 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 
  • BPI certified or other "compostable" plastic like products
  • Bamboo or pal​m leaf products
  • Glass
  • 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

Paper yard bags and bundled brush/tree limbs

Paper yard bags and bundled brush/tree limbs can be used for yard trimmings such as leaves, weeds and other vegetation. From April through October, there is a 10 bag per-property limit, which expands to 20 for fall leaf season starting in October. Each bag must weigh less than 50 pounds. ​

Branches, tree limbs and brush are collected at the curb but must be under 4' in length. Brush and branches can be tied together in a bundle with natural twine not exceeding 18" in​ diameter. Individual tree limbs must not exceed 6" in diameter.

Participating residents must place their compostable material at the curb before 7 a.m. on their weekly waste collection day — allowing at least 3 feet between each cart with clearance from any obstacles overhead. Carts should not be placed in lanes of travel, either roads or bike lanes, instead using yard extensions or buffer zones as directed.  

Dumping yard trimmings/waste in parks or other public places is not allowed. Please make use of the drop-off facility mentioned below. 

Preparing compost and cart

Make sure to prepare ​your compost and compost cart properly for timely service and to avoid odors.​​

For winter composting, the colder temperatures mean changing up how to put material in carts. Our winter composting page ​has all the tips and tricks that may help. 

Compost facility: yard material, drop-o​ff, sales ​

Ann Arbor's compost facility is located at 4170 Platt Road. The facility is operated by WeCare Denali, normally open weekdays 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturdays between April 13 and June 29, 7 a.m.–11 a.m. ​ To drop-off or purchase, visitors must utilize the automated scale system, which for contractors includes weighing in and out. Residents need only to weigh in, and may use the bypass lane to exit skipping weighin out. ​

Residents can 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., with a valid driver’s license showing a city address.​

To obtain free compost and/or mulch, residents can visit the compost facility on Saturdays only, 7 a.m.–11 a.m. between April 13 and June 29, or while supplies last. They need to bring a valid driver's license with a city of Ann Arbor address. The limit is 1 cubic yard of compost and/or mulch per household, equivalent to about three paper yard bags. Residents must bring their own shovel and containers for loading.​

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 (compost or mulch) or dropping off (yard trimmings or food waste). Take the printed ticket with you to show the staff at the Compost Center.  
  3. Follow the signs and proceed to the compost facility to drop off or pickup materials. If you are purchasing material, that will be done inside the Compost Center. 
  4. Residents, to leave, proceed back to the scales, use the bypass lane and exist the gate onto Platt Road.
  5. Contractors, to leave, proceed back to the scales and use the out bound scale to complete your 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, and up to 4 feet in length

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, or call 734.794.6380, for current fees and pricing. No cash accepted.​​

Free wood chips

Free wood chips are available for residents at four locations around the city, while supplies last. Staff are not available to load or haul materials.

Locations for free wood chip pickup:

  • Veterans Memorial Park
  • Southeast Area Park
  • Allmendinger Park.
  • 721 N. Main Street​

Dealing with yard 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. ​​​