Leaf and Yard Waste

Leaf and yard waste includes leaves, small hedges or tree branches, garden trimmings, dead plants, etc. There is a NEW Leaf and Yard Waste Curbside Collection programme for urban residents in the County starting in Fall 2020.

As of October 1, 2020 all six County waste facilities accept leaf and yard waste from County of Wellington residents, free of charge.

Please note, grass clippings are not accepted as leaf and yard waste, and must be managed separately. You will find information on "grasscycling" further down on this page.

Many residents may also choose to compost leaf and yard waste in their own backyard. You will find easy steps for composting leaf and yard waste further down on this page.

Leaf and Yard Waste Curbside Collection (urban areas only)

Leaf and yard waste material is collected in urban areas only. Leaf and yard waste is collected during the same week as garbage collection, with collection starting on the Monday and continuing throughout the week until completed. Please remember, leaf and yard waste must be set to the curb by 7:00am on the Monday of the collection weeks noted below.

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

 2020 Schedule

Event Collection Week Collection Area (urban areas only) Set-out Day
Yard waste collection #1 Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6), Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, October 26, 2020
Yard waste collection #1 Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, November 2, 2020
Event Collection Week Collection Area (urban areas only) Set-out Day
Yard waste collection #2 Week B Minto, Centre Wellington (East of Hwy 6), Wellington North, Puslinch Monday, November 23, 2020
Yard waste collection #2 Week A Mapleton, Centre Wellington (West of Hwy 6), Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Monday, November 30, 2020

 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
  • Grass edgings
  • Pine cones
  • Fallen fruit and nuts from trees
  • Pumpkins
  • Straw
  • Corn stalks

 Unacceptable Items

  • Plastic planter pots
  • Plastic bags
  • Grass clippings
  • 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."

Materials can 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).

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 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. Regular fees apply for wood, brush, and commercial/business loads.

This material is accepted from Spring through Fall (approximately April through November) every year.

 Acceptable Items

  • Leaves
  • Small twigs (no branches)
  • Garden trimmings
  • Dead plants
  • Grass edgings
  • Pine cones
  • Fallen fruit and nuts from trees
  • Pumpkins
  • Straw
  • Corn stalks

 Unacceptable Items

  • Plastic planter pots
  • Plastic bags
  • Branches
  • Tree stumps
  • Treated lumber or wood products
  • Grass clippings
  • 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

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.

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: http://a.msn.com/0E/en-ca/BB19YYS7?ocid=se

© 2020 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909