Yard Waste

What is yard waste? Yard waste includes organic waste generated during regular household landscaping and gardening activities. Examples include: leaves, branches, twigs, shrubbery trimming, straw, pine needles, wood ash, and Christmas trees. Rocks, dirt, and gravel are not considered yard waste.


Effective January 1, 2015, yard waste set out for collection must be in one of the following containers: reusable bin, paper yard waste bag or compostable plastic bag meeting ASTM D6400 standards.

For a printable Citizens Guide to Yard Waste click here.

So what is the best way to handle your yard waste? Louisville’s Waste Management District recommends citizens use the following methods for handling yard waste, in order of preference:

Most Recommended: For a healthier, greener lawn utilize leaf mulch, grass clippings and trimmings by returning them to the turf system.

Second Best: Place the yard waste in 20-40 gallon reusable containers with handles (old style trash cans) to reduce the need for continual purchase of single-use bags

Next Best: Place yard waste in paper bags designed for yard waste collection

Still Works: Place yard waste in compostable plastic bags that meet ASTM D6400 standards.  Where can I find these bags?

For large amounts: Reduce the volume by using a lawn mower or leaf shredder before putting them in a container or utilize seasonal drop-off centers for yard waste materials.

Yard waste collection within the Urban Service District

Yard waste is picked up separately from household garbage on a once a week, Monday thru Friday schedule. It is collected on the same day as your recycling, so sufficiently separate yard waste from your orange recycling bin.

There is no limit on the number of bags or cans of yard waste that may be set out for collection. The same Holiday Collection Schedule applies as stated under Residential Garbage. Guidelines for collection of yard waste:

• Yard waste may be set out in garbage cans, paper bags, or compostable bags as long as each can or bag weighs no more than 60 pounds and can be easily lifted by the average person.

• All yard waste must be set out by 6 AM on collection day - no earlier than 4 PM on the day before collection day.

• All containers must be removed from the street or alley no later than 4 PM the day after collection and stored on the property.

• Yard waste such as grass, leaves, or other yard waste must be free of other garbage or plastics flower pots etc…

• Woody waste (such as tree limbs and shrub trimmings) should be less than 2 inches in diameter and should be cut into 4-foot lengths and securely tied into bundles light enough to be easily handled by one individual.

Yard waste collection outside the Urban Service District

Residential yard waste collection within the suburban areas (outside the former City of Louisville) is the responsibility of the individual residents/property owners and is contracted through private waste haulers. These entities are listed in the Yellow Pages under “Garbage & Rubbish Removal.” Your private waste hauler can provide you with a collection schedule and guidelines for pickup.

Many small cities provide yard waste collection by contract with their waste hauler. Residents should contact their city administrator for yard waste guidelines and acceptable materials.

More information

For a detailed look at the yard waste issue and recommendations including links to websites, click here.

For a copy of the resolution and regulation, click here.

Want to know more about lawn care...check out Michigan State University's Turf Sciences website. Michigan State University is a national leader in managing residential lawns, golf courses, and athletic fields. It has many recommendations including mowing tips, pest identification and control, watering and fertilizing, and leaf management.


What does Scott's Miracle Grow say about handling leaves?