Ann Arbor limits weekly amount of compost for curbside pickup

Bundle of sticks. (PXHere)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The City of Ann Arbor is restricting how many bags of compostable materials community members can set out for curbside collection.

Only 10 bags of yard waste will be allowed per household per week starting Sept. 4.

“This limit is an important safety measure to protect city public works staff from possible injuries that can result from lifting and loading bags,” city officials wrote in a notice.

Each of the ten bags should weigh no more than 50 pounds. Bundled tree limbs and brush count towards the 10-bag limit and should be no longer than four feet long and 18 inches in diameter.

Compostables need to be set out by 7 a.m. on collection day and should be spaced three feet apart.

Residents who leave out more than 10 bags of compost will be reminded about the limit with a sticker. Extra bags have to be removed and set out during the following week’s pick-up time. Bags near protected bike lanes need to be placed on lawn extensions.

Single-family residential properties can get one 64-or 96-gallon compost cart for free from the city by calling customer service at 734-994-7336 or through email at Cart pickup is free but delivery can be arranged for $59. More compost carts are available for an extra cost.

Those with compostable materials that exceed the limit can use the city’s free leaf drop-off program at the city compost facility between Oct. 2 through Dec. 15.

These materials can be put in compost carts in Ann Arbor:

  • food waste, meat, bones and plate scrapings
  • bamboo dinnerware, BPI-certified compostable bags, containers, and silverware (only until Dec. 31)
  • grass clippings, weeds, leaves and brush 
  • branches less than 6 inches in diameter that fit in the cart with the lid closed
  • unpainted and untreated lumber that fit in the cart with the lid closed
  • undecorated Christmas trees that have been cut up
  • garden pruning, garden surplus, crab apples
  • cooled wood ashes

Learn about curbside composting in Ann Arbor here.

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.