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Solid Waste Newsroom


Changes to Yardwaste Collection

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Acceptable Yardwaste ContainersIn May 2014, the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government Waste Management District adopted a yard waste container regulation (51.507R) clarifying collection procedures. Residents who utilize yard waste collection services must use one of the following containers: reusable bin, paper yard waste bag, or compostable plastic bag meeting ASTM D6400 standards.

Answers to Common Questions

What is yard waste?
Yard waste includes organic waste generated during regular household landscaping and gardening activities. Rocks, dirt, and gravel are not considered yard waste.

What are my options if I need to have my yard waste collected?
  • Reusable containers are often cheaper than using single-use bags in the long run. Bins should have sturdy handles for collection crews, a capacity between 20 and 35 gallons, and weigh no more than 60 pounds when filled.
  • Paper yard waste bags are durable and stand upright for easy filling.
  • Compostable plastic bags should clearly state they meet ASTM D6400 standards for composting. Bags marked “biodegradable” do not meet the requirement for this regulation.

Are there alternatives to setting out yard waste for collection?
Yes. Mulching and/or composting at home is often the fastest and cheapest way to manage your yard waste. For excess yard waste during the peak Fall season, free drop-off sites will be available.

Why is using compostable bags important?
After your yard waste is collected, it is delivered to a compost facility. Regular plastic bags are not compostable and must be separated from the yard waste. Removing plastic bags increases processing costs and remaining shreds reduce demand for the compost. Compostable bags or reusable containers greatly reduce the amount of plastic sent to local compost facilities. This reduces processing costs and enhances the quality of the finished compost.

Can I still bundle my branches?
Yes.
 
Does this affect my regular garbage collection?
No, this change only impacts yard waste collection.

What happens if I set my yard waste in a regular plastic bag?
After the initial education and outreach period, yard waste in plastic bags will not be collected and the homeowner may be subject to fines.

Will compostable plastic bags breakdown if stored for a long period of time?
The shelf life of compostable plastic bags typically ranges from one to three years. Storing bags in a cool, dry place will help them last longer.

Questions?
Just call MetroCall at 311.