Ann Arbor to reduce curbside compost pick up during winter season

Photo: Meredith Bruckner

ANN ARBOR – Weekly curbside services in Tree Town will be reduced down to once a month between January and March 2023.

Regular weekly services will end on Friday, Dec. 9, with once-monthly compost collection starting the week of Jan. 2, 2023.

Winter collection will also happen during the weeks of Feb. 6 and March 6, 2023.

Here are recommendations from the City of Ann Arbor about winter composting:

  • Drain liquid from food scraps
  • Put food scraps inside an opened paper yard waste bag inside the compost cart
  • Prevent food from freezing from compost carts by putting flattened cardboard at the bottom.
  • Put food scraps in doubled-bagged BPI-certified or CMA-W-certified bags and then into a compost cart.
  • Wrap wet foodstuffs like coffee grounds or fruit rinds in one or two sheets of compostable paper towels before putting them into the compost cart.
  • Leave loose leaves on the ground so that they return nutrients to trees and give cover for wintering critters.
  • Do not move piles of leaves onto the curb or into the street--it is illegal for Ann Arbor residents or contractors to move leaves from private property into public places like the street or city parks. The city does not pick up piles of leaves.
  • Compost carts with frozen materials will not be serviced.
  • Prevent raccoons and wildlife by closing carts with bungee cords but remove cords before the carts are serviced.
  • Clean carts clean by rinsing them out with non-toxic soap and water if weather permits. Empty cleaning liquids onto grass or gravel.

Ann Arbor residents that need or want a compost cart can get one for free from the city’s customer service center. Call 734-794-6320 or email

Learn more about winter composting in Tree Town

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.