Yard Waste Pickup

Chicago's Yard Waste Program is a simple, effective means for conserving landfill space, reducing pollution, and creating healthy soil

To take part, just collect your leaves and grass in a paper or plastic bag and call 3-1-1 to order free collection. Yard Waste service is available all year round, free of charge. Additional crews are on-hand for the seasonal Yard Waste Drives to accommodate extra demand. 

How Yard Waste Collection Supports a Healthy Environment

When yard waste breaks down in oxygen deprived environments like landfills, methane is released. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide. 

In the US, about 20% of all methane is produced from organic matter in landfills. 

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Additionally, yard waste takes up a good chunk of landfill space. Nationally, yard waste accounts for about 15-20% of all landfill space.  Chicago's Yard Waste Program diverts waste by harvesting the nutrients found in leaves and grass.

Did you know?  Enteric fermentation, the second largest emitter of methane in the US,  is largely produced by cattle, sheep, buffalo and other livestock.  It's a gastric thing.  [source: EPA]

What happens to yard waste after it's picked up? 

The leaves and grass collected by the City go to a composting facility. Composting is a natural process that turns yard waste and other organic matter into a natural fertilizer.

At commercial composting facilities, yard waste turns to nitrogen rich compost in a few short weeksBecause of its dark color and rich fertilizing abilities, finished compost is sometimes called 'Black Gold'. Gardeners, farmers, and landscapers use compost to enrich, protect, and replenish soil, naturally

Help spread the word about the benefits of composting yard waste and let's grow a more beautiful community. 

Chicago Tribune

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