Yard Waste

The Region of Waterloo collects yard waste from eligible households every second week (the opposite week from garbage collection), seasonally from late March to end of November or early December depending on the biweekly schedule. Yard waste is converted into compost. Learn more about our free compost and mulch giveaway by visiting our Compost page.

  • There are many reasons why items are not collected. Check out information about our Oops stickers for details.
  • To report a collection concern, please use our online form. Or contact our Call Centre at 519-575-4400, available 24 hours a day, every day. 

How to prepare yard waste for curbside collection

  1. Paper yard waste bag (available for purchase at local Yard waste can and bag with measurementsgrocery and hardware stores). 
    • Do not overfill
    • Keep paper bags dry to ensure each bag is strong enough to hold its contents at collection.
  2. Reusable approved-size garbage can.
    • Tie a bright ribbon onto the handle, or adhere a yard waste sticker on the side. (Email us to order free yard waste stickers or call the Call Centre at 519-575-4400.)
  3. Bundles: Branches having a maximum thickness (diameter) of 7.5 centimetres (3 inches) and maximum length of 92 centimetres (3 feet) tied into bundles with jute or cotton twine. 

Maximum weight allowed for each yard waste paper bag, reusable

Bundled twigs

can, and bundle is 23 kilograms (50 pounds). 

Yard waste set out in plastic or reusable yard waste bags, blue boxes, green bins, pails, or cardboard boxes will not be collected during the seasonal collection period. 

What is accepted?

  • Branches, less than 92 centimetres (3 feet) in length and 8 centimetres (3 inches) in diameter, bundled with jute or cotton twine
  • Leaves, fallen fruit from trees, pine cones
  • Plant waste from yard maintenance
  • Pumpkins (remove candles and decorations, place beside yard waste bags/containers.) 

No oversized or unbundled branches, glass, metal, noxious weeds, plastic, pet waste, litter, renovation waste, wooden pallets, stones, soil/dirt, sod, stumps or treated wood.

Note: Branches greater than 7.5 centimetres (3 inches) in diameter, or stumps of any size cannot be collected curbside. Regional waste management sites can accept some of this material. Fees will apply.

Wondering if an item is accepted in our Yard Waste program? Ask the Waste Whiz

Collection schedule and rules

  • Set out at the curb by 7 a.m. on your collection day every second week (opposite from garbage week), spring to fall. Please note: On your collection day, different trucks pick up different materials starting at 7 a.m. (they work into the evening). The time that your items are collected will vary week to week depending on various factors, such as routing changes, road construction, and weather conditions. Collection crews sticker and leave behind unacceptable items.
  • Follow the 2024 collection schedule.
  • Keep it visible and accessible for collection crews (not behind a parked car, etc.).
  • Bundle branches with jute or cotton string. Do not use wire, tape or plastic cord.
  • Maximum weight for each bag, bundle or can is 23 kilograms (50 pounds).
  • Use the proper container. Yard waste will not be collected in blue boxes, green bins or cardboard boxes. Each container must be able to support its contents. 

After the seasonal yard waste collection has ended, use the options to deal with yard waste, listed in the section below.

What are other options for dealing with yard waste?

  1. Do backyard composting.
  2. Grasscycle. Mulch your grass when mowing your lawn to provide nutrients for a healthier lawn. Mulch leaves, too!
  3. Spread excess dirt on your lawn or flower beds. This could include last year's used potting or houseplant soil, or dirt shaken from edgings or weeds. 
  4. Drop it off at Region of Waterloo waste management sites (fees will apply).
  5. Layer leaves on your vegetable garden and flower beds in the fall. This could help reduce weeds, and when you dig in the leaves in the spring, it will add carbon to the soil. Watch this video about how to deal with leaves.
  6. Use the seasonal loose leaf collection and drop-off programs offered by local cities. Visit your city's website for details:  City of Cambridge, City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo


  • After our seasonal collection program has ended, yard waste set out in paper yard waste bags or garbage cans will go to our local landfill as garbage and count towards your garbage limit. Any items over the limit will require a garbage tag.
  • Bundles of branches will also be collected and dumped at our landfill and count toward your bulky item limit
  • We have a two-week special curbside collection of natural Christmas trees. Go to our Waste Collection Requirements page for details.
  • The Townships do not provide loose leaf collection or leaf drop-off sites at this time.


  • Use our free Waste Whiz app to set collection reminders.
  • Keep yard waste dry to ensure that it doesn't get waterlogged and overweight. Store it under a tarp, or in a shed or garage. This is particularly important when to you use paper yard waste bags; prevent the bags from tearing.
  • Don't set out items the night before collection if rain and windy weather are expected. Place your items on the curb by 7 a.m. on your collection day if the weather is better.
  • Consider using the options listed in the section above. Most help reduce the amount of yard waste you need to set to the curb.
  • Ensure your yard waste is visible and not behind lamp posts or shrubs.
  • If you use acceptable garbage cans to set out yard waste, ensure they have bright ribbons or our yellow yard waste stickers on them. This helps collection crews on yard waste trucks identify items that need to be emptied. If you want yard waste stickers email us your order and the stickers will be mailed to you.

Use our Waste Whiz search tool to find out how to prepare and dispose of an item.

Ask the Waste Whiz!




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