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What is considered yard waste and when is it collected?

Weekly Yard Waste Collection Ends December 4th-8th 2017
Collection Resumes April 16, 2018

Place at the curb no sooner than 6 p.m. on the day prior to your collection day and no later than 7 a.m. on the scheduled pick up day. Yard waste left on the curb outside of these hours will be subject to a fine. 

Learn about composting leaves at home.

Preparing Yard Waste for Collection

Yard waste must be placed in clearly marked barrels labeled with “Yard Trimmings” stickers provided by DPW, or in paper bags specifically designed for yard waste. 

Small tree branches must be 3 feet or shorter and under 1 inch thick. Branches may be bundled and tied with biodegradable twine, and must weigh under 50 pounds. No stumps or root balls of any size will be collected.

Remember, yard waste gets turned into new, healthy soil. No contamination is acceptable.

NO plastic bags full of yard waste will be accepted as yard waste or trash. Yard waste is banned from municipal solid waste according to Massachusetts state laws and plastic bags are not allowed at the compost facility. Therefore, yard waste in plastic bags will be left behind with a blue violation sticker to explain what went wrong.

Arlington residents are reminded not to put leaves into public ways such as sidewalks and streets (see Town Bylaw Title 3, Article 1, Section 33) and are asked to pick up leaves in front of their house.

Compost Bins

An alternative to placing yard waste out for curbside collection is to compost leaves and lawn waste on your property, using the resulting finished compost as a soil amendment under shrubs and trees and in gardens. Compost not only nourishes your plants but also holds moisture in the ground during the hot months, reducing the need to water.  Public Works is currently working on a group-buy for Earth Machines. Read details here.

Additional Yard Waste Collection Options

Landscap Express 

218 New Boston Street, Woburn, MA, 781-933-3818

BMC Corporation

1079 South Street, Tewksbury, MA, 978-667-2171

Why & How We Collect Yard Waste

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts bans yard waste from entering landfills or incineration waste-to-energy facilities. Arlington’s contractor, JRM, is under direction never to pickup this waste in the same truck as municipal solid waste. Instead, a separate truck takes it to a compost facility, where the leaves and branches are ground up and processed. From there, long piles of organic material decompose over time and with ongoing management. In 8-12 months the nutrient-rich soil amendment, known as compost, is ready to be mixed back into municipal landscape projects.

The compost facility makes the rules about how we should prepare our yard waste. At the curb, small tree and shrub branches should be no thicker than one inch and cut to 3 foot lengths. These branches can be bundled and tied or placed in barrels, but no single item on your curb may weigh more than 50 lbs. Tree roots, larger tree limbs, soil, and leaves placed in plastic bags are not accepted at any time.




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