How do I? close menu

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

Questions?
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