Due to renovations some offices have moved, please check the City Hall Move page for more information.
Garbage & Yard Waste

The City of Des Moines Department of Public Works, Sanitation Collection Division provides yard waste service to Des Moines residents.  You can find information about our yard waste service below or feel free to contact our 24-hour Customer Service Center at (515) 283-4950.  You may also contact us using the Online Garbage and Yard Waste Request Form.

 

Starting Yard Waste Collection

 

What time should I put my Yard Waste out?
  • Yard waste and all collection carts should be placed curbside by 7:00 am and no earlier than 5:00 pm the day before scheduled collection
Before Collection
  • Place yard waste at the designated location no later than 7:00 am on the scheduled collection day and no earlier than 5:00 pm the day before the scheduled collection.
  • Do not over fill bags. Weight must not exceed 40 pounds.
  • Bundled brush and limbs require a "Compost It" Sticker.
  • Do not over fill yard waste cart.  Lid must be closed to assure collection.
  • Cart placement should be no more than 18' from the curb.
  • Cart placement should be at least 3 feet from all permanent structures.  This includes other collection carts, yard bags or bundles, mailboxes, fences, wall, utility poles and other stationary items on the curb.
  • Cart should be placed on level survace.
  • DO NOT place cart under low hanging tree branches.
  • DO NOT put yard waste in your garbage collection cart.

 

Premium Yard Waste Cart Program Description
  • Program utilizes a wheeled collection cart for year round disposal of leaf and yard debris.
  • Premium Yard Waste Cart Program requires a 12 month commitment. Monthly fee will be billed to your water bill. If you cancel prior to 12 months, a $50 retrieval fee will be billed to your water bill.
  • Request to exchange for a different size within first 12 months will be billed a $50 exchange fee. 
  • Subscription rates:
    • 64 Gallon Cart - $8.34 per month for each cart
    • 96 Gallon Cart - $10.42 per month for each cart
  • Lost or stolen carts require a replacement fee.  All fees will be billed to the monthly water bill.
    • Replacement fees are:
      • 64 Gallon Cart is $37
      • 96 Gallon Cart is $40
    • Report damaged cart or lid  to the Public Works 24-Hour Customer Service Center at (515) 283-4950 or Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Request.
  • Moving
    • The cart is the property of the City of Des Moines. 
    • If you move out of your current residence, do not take the cart with you. 
    • Contact us at (515) 283-4950 and ask us to pick up the Yard Waste collection cart. 
  • Subscribe to Premium Yard Waste Cart Program by calling the Department of Public Works, 24-Hour Customer Service Center at 283-4950 or Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Request Form.
     
Moving?
  • The cart is the property of the City of Des Moines
  • If you move out of your current residence, do NOT take the Yard Waste Collection Cart with you.
  • Contact us at (515) 283-4950 to schedule retrieval of the Yard Waste Collection Cart.
Yard Waste Bags and Other Containers
  • “Compost It!” bags, do NOT require a sticker. Bags must not exceed 40 lbs.
  • Store brand / generic paper yard waste bags. Each bag requires a “Compost It!” sticker. Bags must not exceed 40lbs.
  • Cardboard box 2’x2’x3’ or smaller. Each box requires a “Compost It!” sticker. Box must not exceed 40 lbs.
  • Yard waste in plastic bags will NOT be collected.
  • Do NOT place yard waste in the blue recycle or brown garbage carts. Garbage and Recycle carts containing yard waste will NOT be collected.
Requirements for Brush and Branches
  • Branches must be cut to 4 foot lengths or less and tied in bundles
  • Bundles cannot exceed 1.5 feet in diameter
  • Limbs must be 2 ½ “ in diameter or less (limbs, stumps, or logs larger than this will not be collected)
  • Weight limit for each bundle is 40 lbs.
  • Attach a “Compost It!” sticker to each bundle.  

 

Purchase Compost It! Stickers and Bags
  • Stickers and bags can be purchased at Hy-Vee and Dahl’s stores located inside the City of Des Moines. 
  • If you use a generic / Non “Compost It!” bag you must attach a green “Compost It!” Sticker to the bag. 
  • Where to buy and pricing:  http://www.mwatoday.com/residents/yard-waste/bags-stickers.aspx
     

 

What is Collected?
  • Grass Clippings
  • Leaves
  • Hedge Trimmings
  • Flower and Garden Plantings
  • Brush and Branches
  • Twigs
  • Christmas Trees (attach 1 “Compost It!” Sticker and make sure all tinsel is removed and not in a plastic bag)

 

What is NOT Collected?
  • Pet Waste
  • Landscaping rocks
  • Plastic
  • Tree Stumps

 

Placement for Yard Waste Carts, Bags, Boxes, or Bundles
  • Within 18 inches of the curb
  • So the short metal bar faces the street
  • At least 3 feet away from permanent structures (mailboxes, walls, utility poles, trees, or low hanging branches, etc.)
  • At least 3 feet away from Yard waste bags, carts, bundles or other large items.
  • On a level surface
  • Away from parked vehicles (You may need to use your drive approach)
  • Do NOT place Yard Waste Collection Cart under long hanging tree branches.
     
 Missed Yard Waste Collection
  • You can report a missed yard waste collection by calling the Public Works 24-Hour Customer Service Center at 283-4950 or by Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Collection Request Form.
  • What you should know before you report a missed collection:
    • Collection carts must be curbside at 7 AM on collection day.
    • Missed collections must be reported  before 5 PM the day after collection.
    • Yard waste put out after 7 AM on collection day will be subject to a $25 collection fee.
    • Collections reported later than 5 pm the following day will be subject to a $25 collection fee (added to your monthly water bill).

 

Holiday Collection

When the holiday listed below falls on a weekday, the garbage and yard waste collections will be delayed one day the remainder of that week.

  • New Years Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
     
Christmas Tree Collection
  • Holiday trees will be collected curbside on your regular garbage collection day
  • Trees must be free of ornaments and tinsel must not be in bags
  • Trees must have a Green $1.20 Compost It! Sticker attached
  • The Compost It! Stickers are available at metro HyVee and Dahl's stores - complete list of locations
 After Collection
  • Remove all collection carts from the designated collection point after collection.

 

 "Compost It!" Program Fines
  • Leaves blown or raked into the street reduce traction for vehicles and clog storm sewers, preventing rain runoff from flowing into street drains.
  • Report this type of activity by calling the Department of Public Works 24-Hour Customer Service Center at 283-4950 or Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Request Form.
  • A city ordinance states residents as well as landscape companies may be fined for placing leaves or grass clippings in city streets. 
  • The fines for violations are:
    • $50 for the first offense
    • $75 for the second offense with the same year
    • $100 for the third offense
       
Yard Waste Questions