Yard Waste

Yard waste is picked up every week. It must be placed at the curb in front of your property between 7 pm on the evening before and 7 am on the morning of your scheduled pick up day.

You often end up with yard waste when you clean up your garden, lawn or yard. Yard waste includes many natural things that decompose or break down to become a nutrient rich soil called "humus" or compost. The City of Hamilton picks up yard waste so that it can be composted instead of going in a landfill.

You can put out an unlimited amount of yard waste on your pick up day every week, in addition to your green bin.

Large loads of yard waste can be taken to a Community Recycling Centre. There is no cost to drop off yard waste at a Community Recycling Centre for residents of Hamilton if it comes from your home. There is a cost if the yard waste comes from a business.

Learn about what goes in yard waste

Get tips, schedules and learn what goes where. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play.


Tour Hamilton's Landfill - Yard Waste Composting

Yard waste tips

  • Put yard waste in open top reusable rigid containers. For example, bins, baskets or a garbage can without a lid.  There should be holes in the bottom of this container so water can drain out.
  • Cardboard boxes and recycling boxes are not acceptable containers for leaf and yard waste.
  • Paper yard waste bags, can be purchased from local stores. 
  • Roll down the tops of your yard waste bags to keep contents dry.
  • Use paper bags instead of plastic bags.
  • Bundles (for brush & twigs) must be tied with string.
  • Brush should be tied in bundles no longer than 1.2m (4ft) and .75m (2.5ft) in diameter. Individual branches can’t be larger than 7cm (2.5in) in diameter.
  • Do not put out branches that are more than 7 cm (or 2 ½ in) in diameter.  These can be dropped off at Community Recycling Centres.
  • Keep each bag or bundle or can of yard waste less than 23 kg (or 50 lbs).
  • Put your yard waste bags or cans a few feet away from your blue boxes and garbage bags or cans on the curb.
  • Do not let branches stick out of your yard waste bags.
  • Do not rake yard waste and leaves onto the roadway. These create dangerous driving conditions and clog up storm sewer catch basins.
  • Remove decorations and candles from pumpkins before placing with your yard waste. Cut large pumpkins into smaller pieces before placing in your yard waste bag/container.
  • Do not put your Christmas tree in a plastic bag. Remove lights, tinsel and ornaments from your Christmas tree.


  • Grasscycling does not cause 'thatch'. Thatch is a tight layer of stems and roots that is found between the growing grass and the soil surface. Thatch is not caused by the blade clippings from grasscycling.
  • Grasscycling does not spread lawn disease. Watering, fertilization and mower blade sharpness affect lawn disease more than grasscycling.
  • Grass clippings provide food for worms. Worms are healthy for your lawn and naturally aerate your soil.
  • Grasscycling should not leave ugly looking grass clippings on your lawn. Grass clippings can not be seen if your lawn is cut properly. Most people who grasscycle find that their clippings disappear within three days after cutting their lawn.
  • Leaving grass clippings on your lawn does not make the grass turn brown. Grass clippings add nutrients back into the soil to help make your lawn healthy and green.
  • Cut your grass often. During the spring and early summer you should cut your grass every four to five days. When growth is slower in the late summer and fall you can cut your grass about once per week.
  • Don't cut grass more than one third of its height. No more than 2.5 cm (or one in) should be cut at any one time. If the grass is long, cut off a little bit and then lower the blade and cut off a little bit more rather cutting it all off at once.
  • Make sure your lawnmower blade is sharp.
  • Keep the blade height of your mower at about 6 to 7.5 cm (or 2 ½ to 3 in).
  • Grasscycling works best when the grass is dry. Cutting wet grass or taking too much off at one time can cause grass clumping. If you get a bit of clumping, try mowing the area again from a different direction to break up the clumps.
  • Leaves take longer to break down than grass clippings. You can rake and collect your leaves and put them in a paper yard waste bag for collection. Leaves can also be used as mulch in other parts of your garden. 
  • Grass clippings are  great for your backyard composter. Don't add too many at once because they can become smelly. Allow them to dry in the sun and then add them into your composter in thin layers.

If you see a bright orange “oops! Sticker” on your yard waste bag or can after the collection truck has come by, it means there are items in your yard waste that don’t belong.

You will get an Oops! sticker if you put these things with your yard waste:

  • Artificial trees and plants
  • Dirt
  • Rocks
  • Sod
  • Tree stumps
  • Wood (lumber)

Leaf and yard waste at the Carlisle Yard Waste Depot from 9 am to 3 pm for 2018.

  • Satuday, April 21
  • Satuday, May 5
  • Satuday, October 20
  • Satuday, November 3
  • Satuday, November 17

You can also bring yard waste to any of our Community Recycling Centres free of charge.

Residents are responsible for emptying yard waste from containers, vehicles and trailers into the designated area. Please bring assistance and/or the appropriate tools if required.