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Curbside Compost Collection Begins Monday, April 5

Archived News Release: March 30, 2021 - ​The weekly curbside collection of compostable material in the city of Ann Arbor resumes Monday, April 5, 2021, on regular collection days. Compost season runs through Friday, Dec. 10, 2021.

Residents can take advantage of curbside composting by utilizing optional compost carts, paper yard bags or by bundling larger branches/brush and placing at the curb. ​

Acceptable compost material includes:

  • 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).

  • 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 may only be placed in optional compost 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, and additional carts are available for a fee. To order a cart, please contact the customer service center at 734.994.7336 or via [email protected]. Visit for sizes and prices.

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. 

Participating residents must place their compostables 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 be placed on lawn extensions, whenever possible, and never left in bike lanes.

These items are prohibited from compost carts and yard waste bags:

  • Plastic bags or containers. 

  • Trash and recyclables.

  • Dirt, rocks, stones or gravel.

  • Sawdust.

  • Branches 6 inches in diameter or over 4 feet in length.

  • Painted or treated wood.

  • Animal waste or cat litter.

  • Tree stumps.

  • Diapers.

Yard ma​​​terial 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., and Saturdays between April and June 8 a.m.–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, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. A driver's license with a valid city address is required for this free service. 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 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 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 pickup of 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 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 materia​​ls 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 sal​​e inclu​​de:

  • Compost.

  • Natural wood mulch.

  • Pallet mulch.

  • Woodchips.

Payments may be made by check or credit card only. Please visit WeCare De​nali, or call 734.794.6380, for current fees and pricing. No cash accepted.  ​

Free compo​​st

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.

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Media Contact Information

Robert Kellar
Communications Specialist
734.794.6000 ext. 41524
[email protected]

Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.