Yard Trim Recycling
Memorial Day Schedule
There will be no collection on Monday, May 27. All trash, recycling and yard trim collection will slide and be made one day later that week. For your specific schedule, visit the holiday slide schedule webpage.
The Alpha Ridge Landfill will be closed.
"Green" your yard trim
Howard County encourages residents to use paper bags or reusable containers for yard trim. Plastic bags do not break down and actually reduce the quality of the composted material.
Free paper yard trim bags:
Visit the Recycling Division at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 514 or the Alpha Ridge Landfill at 2350 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville for free paper yard trim bags. (Limit 2 free bags per family).
Click here for an information sheet, including retail locations that sell paper yard trim bags.
Printable Yard Trim Brochure
How can I get rid of my yard trimmings?
Once a week curbside collection of UNLIMITED amounts of grass, leaves and light brush is provided to residents living in most single family homes, townhomes and trailer parks in eastern and central Howard County.
This area includes...
- Ellicott City
- Other locations
In these areas, Howard County will be collecting grass, leaves and small brush ONLY on your scheduled recycling day from the first week in March 18, 2013 through January 17, 2014. These items will not be picked up on your TRASH collection day. To see if you are in the service area, call 410-313-6444.
There is a separate truck that picks up yard trim. Don't worry if your household single-stream recyclables were picked up and your yard trim wasn't, it's a separate truck and can come anywhere from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
YES we accept...
- hedge clippings/light brush
- small limbs or branches less than 4" in diameter and 4' in length
- dry seed pods (pine cones, sour gum balls, etc.)
NO we can't accept...
- bushes with root bases attached
- yard trim placed in recycling carts or cardboard boxes
- yard trim mixed with trash or miscellaneous materials, such as:
- plastic/clay pots
- fruits, vegetables or nuts
- dirt, rocks, sod or sand (see the ARL Fee Schedule for dirt disposal)
- metal wire or fencing
- glass, pottery or stone
HOW TO prepare yard trim for curbside collection...
- Place in paper bags or reusable containers (we encourage you to avoid plastic bags, which do not break down with the material)
- You no longer have to leave bags open, you may tie them shut
- Tie or bundle light brush with string (bundles may not exceed 18" in diameter and 4' in length)
- Please no cardboard boxes as containers
PLEASE remember your 4's
when placing items out for collection...
- UNLIMITED RECYCLABLES
(however, 4 item per week limit for TRASH.)
- Each item under 40 pounds.
- Each item less than 4 feet long.
- Limbs under 4 inches in diameter (must be tied or bundled - not to exceed 18" in diameter).
- Put out beFORE 6 a.m.
Why use paper bags for yard trim?
- Paper bags decompose naturally with yard trim
- Paper bags do not require the extra steps to remove plastic pieces from compost
- Paper bags hold the same as plastic bags, but won't puncture as easily
- Paper bags stay open for easier filling
- Paper bags contain a component that resists water absorption
Leave grass clippings on your lawn to return nutrients to the soil and improve lawn quality. Grasscycling will not cause thatch, damage your lawn or spread disease; in fact, lawn care professionals recommend grasscycling for a greener, healthier lawn! Grasscycling also helps our streams and even the Chesapeake Bay!
See GrassCycling for more information.
Mix leaves, grass clippings and vegetable refuse together and watch the natural decomposition process turn waste into black gold. Call 410-313-6444 for a free composting instruction kit (compost bins available while supplies last). Compost demonstrations are offered April - October.
See Composting for more information.
RAKERS (residents who will rake and bag their leaves/grass) are matched with TAKERS (people who want leaves/grass for compost piles). Leaves provide a wonderful carbon amendment to your compost piles, acts as a great soil mulch and temperature stabilizer in your gardens and if left on your gardens, will break down to give you a rich, healthy soil. For more, see the Rake and Take Flier or visit http://mastergardener.umd.edu.
You can also recycle GRASS, LEAVES and LIGHT BRUSH at the wood waste drop-off area at the Alpha Ridge Landfill, Monday through Saturday from 8 am - 4 pm. Proof of Howard County residency required.
NO plastic bags are accepted at the wood waste drop-off area.
Compost can be purchased at the following locations:
Alpha Ridge Landfill - Bulk
2350 Marriottsville Rd.
Marriottsville, MD 21104
Grandfather’s Nursery - Bulk & Bags
5320 Phelps Luck Drive
Columbia, MD 21045
Kendalls Hardware - Bags
12260 Route 108
Clarksville, MD 21029
Maryland Ground Covers – Bulk
3810 Ten Oaks Road
Glenelg, MD 21737
Visit www.menv.com for additional compost retailers in Howard County. Please note that Howard County does not endorse vendors or products.
During inclement weather, every effort will be made to continue to provide for scheduled collections. If collections are cancelled due to snow, ice, or other severe weather, pick-up will be made the following week on your scheduled recycling day, if possible, or when road conditions permit. Call 410-313-6444 for cancellation and makeup information.
For the holiday schedule, click here.