The City of London provides a yard material collection program using a "Green Week" collection system. Materials collected include plant, tree, and hedge trimmings as well as brush and leaves. Sod, stumps, grass clippings, rocks, dirt, and garbage will not be collected.
The Waste Management By-Law WM-12 governs the collection of municipal garbage, recyclables and yard materials.
How to handle your fall leaves
- Mulch and compost them: Mulch your fall leaves into your lawn by mowing over them. The leaves will break down and return nutrients and organic matter back to your soil. Saving leaves to layer into your backyard composter whenever you add kitchen scraps is another great way to reduce what you set to the curb and create organic matter for your lawn and garden. Composters are available for purchase at the City EnviroDepots.
- Set them to the curb: Check your collection schedule to learn when collection trucks will be in your area. Please use the right container (see below) – the City of London does not collect yard materials in plastic bags.
- Take them to a depot: There are Depots where you can drop off fall leaves and yard materials for free.
How can I dispose of yard materials?
There are two ways to dispose of yard materials. The City provides curbside collection during dedicated weeks or you can take your yard materials to a depot.
- Curbside collection - see your Waste Reduction & Conservation Calendar for the dedicated "Green Weeks" that indicate yard material collection. Place yard materials at the curb by 7 a.m. on Monday of the dedicated collection week. Pick-up can take place anytime during the week (including Saturday) and will only occur once during that week.
- Depots - there are four EnviroDepots available for the drop-off of residential yard materials.
How should I package the yard materials?
Compostable Bags Required for Yard Material Collection
The City of London requires residents to use certified compostable bags, paper bags, or reusable containers for their yard material collection. Residents will no longer be permitted to use standard, non-compostable, plastic bags for their yard materials. Acceptable containers are:
- Certified compostable bags (featuring one of the logos below)
- Paper yard material bags
- Reusable containers (e.g. garbage pails)
Plastic bags that are labelled 'degradable', 'biodegradable' or 'oxo-degradable', but do not carry the BNQ or BPI logos (below) are not accepted. Please note, paper bags are accepted in our programs but do not carry these logos.
By using paper bags, certified compostable bags or reusable containers, you will be helping to produce better quality compost and reduce the cost of the composting process. Also try mulching your fall leaves into your lawn by mowing over them. The leaves will break down and return nutrients and carbon rich organic matter back to your soil. Save fall leaves to add to your backyard composter in layers with kitchen scraps (eg. fruit, vegetables, peelings, etc).
Tie brush in bundles; the branches must be less than 1 metre (39 inches) in length and each branch less than 10 centimetres (or 4 inches) in diameter.
Or deliver yard materials to one of London's Community EnviroDepots. At the Depot, branches do not have to be tied but must be less than 1 meter (39 inches) in length and each branch less than 10 centimetres (4 inches) in diameter.
What do I do with my grass clippings?
Leave them on your lawn! This adds nutrients to the soil and helps to hold moisture in your lawn. By "grass recycling" you will fortify and strengthen your turf naturally.
There is no curbside collection for grass clippings. Bagged grass clippings can be taken to the Community EnviroDepots for $1.50 per bag.
Are leaves vacuumed at the curb?
Loose leaf vacuum service in the core area of London, old south and parts of old north was discontinued in 2003. At that time, it was a decision of Municipal Council to ensure that a standardized service and frequency of service was available to all curbside homes. The cost savings from this service change was used to offset the costs of the overall yard waste and fall leaf collection program.
Where are the Depots and when are they open?
See City of London Depots for locations and hours of operation.
When is collection scheduled?
The Waste Reduction and Conservation Calendar contains the scheduled dates for garbage and recycling collection, the scheduled weeks for yard materials collection and the days that the Household Special Waste Depot is open. It also contains instructions to participate in the City's waste management programs.
Why were my yard materials not picked up?
Your yard materials may not have been collected for a number of reasons including:
- Grass clippings are not collected curbside. See City of London Depots for drop-off locations.
- Yard materials must be set out for collection in reusable containers, kraft paper bags or Certified Compostable bags featuring a logo identified above.
- Branches must be tied in bundles. Branches longer than 1 meter (or 39 inches) in length and/or greater than 10 centimetres (or 4 inches) in diameter will not be collected.
- Stumps, sod, dirt, and rocks are not collected. Search online or the yellow pages directory for private disposal locations for these items.
What should I do with Halloween pumpkins?
Residents that receive curbside leaf and yard material collection can also set their Halloween pumpkin out on the same collection week. Remove the candle and any metal or plastic from the pumpkin and place in a container with yard materials or fall leaves. Pumpkins are heavy, so be sure the container is not over the weight limit of 20 kilograms (44 lbs). If you have missed your collection, or do not have access to curbside pickup, the EnviroDepots will accept pumpkins for composting.
What should I do with my Christmas tree?
Trees should be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on Monday January 7th for collection during the week. Collected trees will be chipped / composted. Crews will only collect from each neighbourhood once. To avoid being missed, make sure trees are out for the 7 a.m. Monday set-out deadline. Check your Waste Reduction & Conservation Calendar for details.
Trees will not be collected with regular garbage and the temporary Christmas tree drop-off depots will not be open.
Where can I get a composter?
Backyard composters are available for City of London residents to purchase ($35 each, taxes included) at one of 4 City of London Depots. The different models that are for sale are based on manufacturer availability. You can also purchase a composter at some hardware stores or garden centres throughout London.
Where can I get compost made from the City's leaf and yard materials?
Compost made from yard materials collected curbside and from the depots is available in the spring at various compost events. These events will be advertised in various ways including the City's website. Bagged compost is available at the Community EnviroDepots and you can get larger quantities of compost from the processing contractor, Try Recycling.