City of College Park, Maryland

Public Works

Yard Waste & Brush

Yard Waste Carts are available for residents to purchase for $25.00.Yard Waste Cart Picture 1-c

The beige yard waste cart can be used for either “soft yard waste” or “woody yard waste.” The two products are collected on separate days and processed into different products.

What is Soft Yard Waste? ­ Leaves, grass clippings, flowers, weeds, soft hedge trimmings and similar vegetative (non-woody) organic materials are processed into SMARTLEAF® compost. Place soft yard waste in your new beige cart, and put it at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on your regular collection day.


What is Woody Yard Waste? Brush, twigs, branches and logs are shredded into wood mulch. Place these items in your new beige cart and contact the Department of Public Works to schedule a Thursday or Friday appointment (240-487-3590, or  Put the cart at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on your scheduled appointment day.

Do not put animal waste, soil, rock, lumber, pressure treated wood, trash, or plastic bags in this cart.

This sturdy 65-gallon cart has wheels and a lift-bar for easy collection. It is your responsibility to keep the cart clean. Contaminants found in the cart on collection day will prohibit it from being emptied.

Using the yard waste cart can save time and money – single use paper lawn bags become expensive over time and can tear or fall apart when wet.

Soft Yard Waste

January - October (after leaf vacuuming has ended, sometimes mid January)

The City collects soft yard waste on your regular trash and recycling day. Soft yard waste consists of any soft vegetative yard waste such as grass, leaves, vines, weeds, small trimmings (no thicker than a pencil), and clippings.

Please adhere to the following rules concerning yard waste:

  • NO plastic bags! Use paper yard waste bags or reusable containers displaying a City yard waste decal. Do not use plastic bags or City refuse or recycling carts.
  • Do not put animal waste, trash or recycling in with your yard waste. Flower pots, plastic bags/wrappers, toys, balls, animal waste and other non-vegetative materials do not belong in with your yard waste.
  • The best option is to make a one-time purchase for reusable containers:
    • Purchase a Yard Waste Cart from the City for $25.00.
    • By doing so you can stop buying paper bags, which becomes expensive over time and can tear if they get too wet.
    • You may also provide your own containers, but each must not exceed 32 gallons or 75 pounds. Reusable containers MUST have a City yard waste decal. Decals can be picked up for free at any City building. You may want to drill small holes in the bottoms of containers for water drainage.

Keep grass out of the street! Grass and leaves deposited in the street wash into storm drains and storm sewer lines, potentially clogging them and causing flooding. This debris ultimately reaches waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, threatening aquatic health. Mulch your grass clippings or start a backyard compost pile instead. Brochures on these topics are available from the Committee for a Better Environment webpage. 

November – December

(Sometimes extends into mid January)

The City provides curbside leaf vacuuming during the Fall. Please visit the Curbside Leaf Collection page for more information.

During leaf vacuuming season, soft yard waste that is in paper bags or reusable containers will only be collected when they are scheduled to come through your neighborhood with the leaf vac. For the leaf collection schedule, please visit Curbside Leaf Collection or look for posted signs in your neighborhood. Please note: once the trucks have finished your road they won't be back through until the next scheduled date (usually about 2 weeks later).

Woody Yard Waste

Woody yard waste includes brush, branches, logs, shrubs, bamboo, sticks, and twigs. These items are collected year round on Thursdays and Fridays by appointment only. Call or email Public Works to schedule a pick up (240-487-3590;

Please adhere to the following rules concerning woody yard waste:

  • Bundle and tie with rope or string (do not use wire or put in plastic bags) or use reusable containers.
  • Items must be less than 5 feet long and weigh less than 75 pounds.

Christmas Tree Recycling

Christmas trees are collected by appointment only. Please remove all decorations and place at the curb. If using a plastic bag, please remove tree from it before placing at the curb. Call 240-487-3590 or email to schedule a pick up.