Leaf and Yard Waste

Leaf and yard waste includes leaves, small hedges or tree branches, garden trimmings, dead plants, etc.

There is a Leaf and Yard Waste Curbside Collection programme for urban residents in the County. In addition, there is a Leaf and Yard Waste Drop-off programme at all six County waste facilities available for all residents in the County. Please note, the Drop-off programme runs from Spring through Fall (approximately April through November).

Hold off on your Spring cleanup! Try to hold off on Spring yard and garden cleanup until daytime temperatures consistently reach over 10oC. Many pollinator species, including bees, spend the winter under leaf litter and slowly emerge once the weather gets warmer. By raking your leaves too early, you can disturb these vital species before they get a chance to emerge and begin pollinating. Check out this article on the benefits of not raking your leaves, or watch this quick video about why you shouldn't clean up your garden too early.

Leaf and Yard Waste Curbside Collection (urban areas only)

Leaf and yard waste is collected in urban areas only, from April through November. Leaf and yard waste must be set to the curb by 7:00 am on the Monday of the collection weeks noted below. Collection will continue throughout the week until the route is complete. We thank you for your patience.

Please see the Leaf and Yard Waste Curbside Collection Schedule below:

2022 Schedule

Month

Collection WeekCollection AreaSet-out Day
April

Week A

Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, April 25, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch Tuesday, April 19, 2022
May

Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch

Monday, May 16, 2022

June Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, June 20, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, June 13, 2022

July

Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, July 18, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, July 25, 2022
August Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, August 15, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, August 22, 2022
September Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, September 26, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, September 19, 2022
October Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, October 10, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, October 3, 2022
Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, October 24, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, October 17, 2022
November Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, November 7, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, November 14, 2022
Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, November 21, 2022
Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6) Wellington North, Puslinch

Monday, November 28, 2022

Acceptable Items

  • Leaves
  • Twigs
  • Small branches (no more than 92 cm (3 ft) in length and 8 cm (3 in) in diameter)
  • Garden trimmings
  • Dead plants
  • Mulch
  • Grass edgings
  • Pine cones
  • Fallen fruit and nuts from trees
  • Pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns (remove any candles or decorative items)
  • Straw
  • Corn stalks

Unacceptable Items

  • Plastic planter pots
  • Plastic bags
  • Grass clippings
  • Noxious weeds
  • Soil
  • Sod
  • Rocks
  • Tree stumps
  • Treated lumber or wood products
  • Large branches (exceed 92 cm (3 ft) in length and 8 cm (3 in) in diameter)
  • Driveway sweepings
  • Kitchen scraps - Please place these into your Green Bin
  • Unbundled or untied branches
  • Loose leaves - Please DO NOT rake leaves right to the curb. They must be placed into a brown bag or reusable can clearly marked "Yard Waste."

Collection crews place stickers on uncollected leaf and yard waste to explain the main reasons for materials being left behind. If you are still unclear why your materials were left behind, please contact SWS at 519.837.2601.

Sticker placed on unacceptable yard waste

Materials must be placed at the curb in any of the following:

  • Brown paper yard waste bag, available at local retailers
  • Reusable can, clearly marked "Yard Waste"
  • Small tied bundle of branches (branches must be no more than 92 cm (3 ft) in length and 8 cm (3 in) in diameter)

Each bag, reusable container, or bundle must not exceed 18.2 kg (40 lb).

There is no limit to the number of bags, reusable containers, or bundles set out for collection.

Reusable can and paper bag full of yard waste with bundle of small branches

The collected leaf and yard waste material is taken to All Treat Farms in Arthur, where it is turned into compost. The finished compost becomes the main ingredient in many lawn care and garden soil products sold through retailers across Canada. By composting this material instead of landfilling it, the County is saving landfill space, reducing methane gas emissions, and creating a valuable resource for improving soil in residential gardens and agricultural applications.

Leaf and Yard Waste Drop-off at Waste Facilities

The County of Wellington accepts leaf and yard waste at all six County waste facilities. This material is accepted from County residents free of charge, from Spring through Fall (approximately April through November) every year.

Regular fees apply for wood, brush, and commercial/business loads. Please note, not all County waste facilities accept wood and brush.

 Acceptable Items

  • Leaves
  • Small twigs (no branches)
  • Garden trimmings
  • Dead plants
  • Mulch
  • Grass edgings
  • Pine cones
  • Fallen fruit and nuts from trees
  • Pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns (remove any candles or decorative items)
  • Straw
  • Corn stalks

 Unacceptable Items

  • Plastic planter pots
  • Plastic bags
  • Branches
  • Tree stumps
  • Treated lumber or wood products
  • Grass clippings
  • Noxious weeds
  • Soil
  • Sod
  • Rocks
  • Driveway sweepings
  • Kitchen scraps – Please place these into your Green Bin

Please bring leaf and yard waste in brown paper yard waste bags, in a reusable can, or loose. As always, please tarp your loads.

The leaf and yard waste material is taken to All Treat Farms in Arthur, where it is turned into compost. The finished compost becomes the main ingredient in many lawn care and garden soil products sold through retailers across Canada. By composting this material instead of landfilling it, the County is saving landfill space, reducing methane gas emissions, and creating a valuable resource for improving soil in residential gardens and agricultural applications.

Grasscycling

Grasscycling occurs naturally when grass clippings are left on your lawn to decompose. Practice grasscycling to:

  • Divert waste from landfill sites
  • Return nitrogen and other nutrients to the lawn through the decomposition process
  • Save time by not raking or bagging grass clippings

    • Cut grass regularly and maintain the height of the lawn between 5 - 7 cm
    • Do not cut more than 1/3 off the grass blade at one time
    • Less frequent deep watering is more beneficial to lawns than more frequent surface watering

Pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns

There are a many options to divert your pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns from landfill.

  • In urban areas only, pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns may be placed curbside for collection with leaf and yard waste in brown paper yard waste bags or in reusable cans clearly marked "Yard Waste."
  • Pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns may also be brought to any County waste facility as leaf and yard waste before the end of November, free of charge.
  • Pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns may also be cut up and placed into your green bin for collection.

Please remove any candles or decorative items.

Taste Real lists some other ways your Jack O'Lantern can spread joy, even after Halloween.

Composting Leaf and Yard Waste at Home

Composting leaf and yard waste at home is easy and it can have many benefits, including:

  • Improved soil drainage
  • Increased soil nutrients
  • No need to wait for leaf and yard waste curbside collection day
  • No need to load material onto vehicle or trailer and drive to waste facility

Here are a few easy steps for composting your leaf and yard waste at home:

  1. Locate a composting area – Find a location in your yard that is out of sight, but easy to access. This area should be on level ground with good drainage; preferably a soil or gravel base. Ensure your compost will not be against a building or hedge.
  2. Choose a form of containment – Material can be composted in an open pile, but using some form of containment will prevent your compost from blowing around. A simple enclosure made of scrap wood or chicken wire works well.
  3. Add your material – You will need a good mix of dry, “brown”, carbon-rich material (eg. mulched leaves, branches, and twigs) and damp, “green”, nitrogen-rich material (eg. grass clippings).
  4. Maintain your compost – Turn and water your compost regularly to encourage airflow, disperse heat, and maintain moisture. Compost should at least 15oC, and should be moist, not soggy!

You will know your compost is ready when it is black with an earthy smell. Then you are ready to spread the finished compost on your lawn, work it into loosened existing soil for your garden, or share with a friend. It’s that easy!

For more information on composting leaf and yard waste at home, check out these helpful links below:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-leaves.htm

https://www.bcliving.ca/starting-a-garden-waste-compost

https://www.pennlive.com/gardening/2016/10/how_to_compost_your_yard_waste.html

https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/composting-yard-waste-7-212/

https://www.epicgardening.com/composting-leaves/

https://www.planetnatural.com/leaf-mold/

https://oldworldgardenfarms.com/2019/10/24/how-to-compost-leaves/

Did you know? Many species of the walnut tree family produce a chemical called juglone that can be toxic to non-tolerant plants and often does not breakdown in a backyard composter.

Fallen Fruit or Nuts

There are a few options to take care of fallen fruit or nuts on your property:

  1. Place them in your leaf and yard waste bag.
  2. Small quantities can be placed in your green bin. 
  3. Ask a friend or neighbour if they would have a use for them.  
  4. Better yet, donate them! Wellington County's Green Legacy Programme is the largest municipal tree planting programme in North America with trees grown from locally sourced seeds. Help the environment and increase forest cover in the County by donating your native oak tree (red oak, bur oak, white oak) acorns or black walnuts to Green Legacy.

Bring collected seeds to the Bradford Whitcombe Nursery in Puslinch or let the Tree Nursery Coordinator know where the seed is by emailing jessicat@wellington.ca.

collage of hand holding acorns, tree, acorns on stem, walnuts on ground

© 2022 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909