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Yard Waste

YardWasteThe City of Des Moines, Department of Public Works, Sanitation Collection Division provides yard waste collection service to Des Moines residents.  


Yard Waste Details

Call our 24-hour Customer Service Center at (515) 283-4950 or submit an Online Garbage and Yard Waste Request
How do I dispose of yard waste?
What time should I put my yard waste out?
Yard waste should be at the curb no later than 7:00 am on collection day or after 5:00 pm the day before.
How should I prepare my yard waste for collection?
  • Bags must not exceed 40 pounds
  • Brush and limbs must be bundled and tied with a “Compost It” Sticker attached.
  • Yard Waste Collection Carts
    • Place at curb on a level surface (no more than 18” from the street or arms-length)
    • Cart should be placed at least 3 feet from all permanent structures.  (This includes all other collection carts, yard bags or bundles, mailboxes, fences, walls, utility poles and other stationary items on the curb.
    • DO NOT place cart under low hanging tree branches.
    • DO NOT put yard waste in your garbage collection
    • Lid must be closed.  Do not overfill your yard waste cart.
    • Metal bar must face the street
How do I sign up for a Premium Yard Waste Collection Cart?
  • Subscribe to Premium Yard Waste Cart Program by calling us at 283-4950 or Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Request Form.
  • Program issues a wheeled collection cart for year-round disposal of leaf and yard debris.
  • Requires subscription and 12-month commitment. Monthly fee will be billed to your water bill.
    • If you cancel prior to 12 months, a $50 retrieval fee will be billed to your water bill
    • Request to exchange for a different size within first 12 months will be billed a $50 exchange fee.
    • Rates:
      • 64 Gallon Cart - $8.34 per month for each cart
      • 96 Gallon Cart - $10.42 per month for each cart
      • Lost or stolen carts require a replacement fee.  All fees will be billed to the monthly water bill.  Replacement fees are:
What if I move?
  • DO NOT take the cart with you.  The cart is the property of the City of Des Moines.
  • Contact us at (515) 283-4950 to schedule retrieval of the Yard Waste Collection Cart.
  • Moving within the city?  Contact us at (515) 283-4950 to move service to your new address. 
What yard waste bags and containers can I use for disposal?
  • “Compost It!” bags, do NOT require a sticker and must not exceed 40 lbs.
  • Store brand / generic paper yard waste bags. Each bag requires a “Compost It!” sticker and must not exceed 40lbs.
  • Cardboard box 2’x2’x3’ or smaller. Each box requires a “Compost It!” sticker and must not exceed 40 lbs.
  • Yard waste in plastic bags will NOT be collected.
  • Do NOT put yard waste in Garbage and Recycle carts.  Garbage and Recycle carts with yard waste will NOT be collected.
How do I dispose of brush and branches?
  • Branches must be cut to 4-foot lengths or less and tied in bundles
  • Bundles cannot exceed 1.5 feet in diameter
  • Limbs must be 2 ½” inch diameter or less (limbs, stumps, or logs larger than this will not be collected)
  • Weight limit for each bundle is 40 lbs.
  • Attach a “Compost It!” sticker to each bundle.
Where can I purchase Compost It! stickers and bags? 
What is collected?
  • Grass Clippings
  • Leaves
  • Hedge Trimmings
  • Flower and Garden Plantings
  • Brush and Branches
  • Twigs
  • Christmas Trees (attach 1 “Compost It!” Sticker and make sure all tinsel is removed and not in a plastic bag)
What is not collected?
  • Pet Waste
  • Landscaping rocks
  • Plastic
  • Tree Stumps
What if I miss collection?
  • Contact us at 515-283-4950 to report missed garbage collection (or) Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Collection Request Form
  • What you should know before you report a missed collection:
    • Collection carts must be curbside at 7 AM on collection day.
    • $25 late collection fee for garbage carts put out after 7 AM on collection day. (added to your water bill)
    • Missed collections must be reported before 5 PM the day after collection.
    • Reports later than5 PM the following day will be subject to a $25 collection fee (added to your water bill). 
What are the Holiday collection rules?
When holiday listed below falls on a weekday, the garbage and yard waste collections will be delayed one day the rest of that week.
  • New Years’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
How do I dispose of my Christmas tree?
  • Christmas trees will be collected curbside on your regular garbage collection day
  • Trees must be free of ornaments and tinsel and must not be in bags
  • Trees must have a Green $1.25 Compost It! Sticker attached
  • The Compost It! Stickers are available at metro HyVee stores – Locations to Purchase Stickers
Are there fines for improper disposal of yard waste?
  • Leaves blown or raked into the street reduce traction for vehicles and clog storm sewers, preventing rain runoff from flowing into street drains.
  • Report this type of activity by calling the Department of Public Works 24-Hour Customer Service Center at 283-4950 or Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Request Form.
  • A city ordinance states that residents as well as landscape companies may be fined for placing leaves or grass clippings in city streets.
  • The fines for violations are:
    • $50 for the first offense
    • $75 for the second offense with the same year
    • $100 for the third offense