Spring officially arrives on Sunday, March 20 -- which means that spring yard work will soon follow. The City of Iowa City’s Solid Waste Division, which will resume its curbside yard waste pick-up service on Monday, March 14, offers the following reminders for handling yard waste.

Leaves, grass, plant clippings, twigs, branches, and other yard waste must be separated from other household garbage, as yard waste was banned from Iowa landfills in the late 1980s. Iowa City residents with curbside garbage and recycling pick-up service may dispose of yard waste on their garbage pick-up day in one or more of the following ways. The City does not offer a leaf vacuuming pick-up program in the spring.

Yard waste stickers and bags

Beginning Monday, March 14, an annual City yard waste sticker may be purchased for $25, which will be good from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017. The sticker should be placed on a container up to 35 gallons in size that has been designated for yard waste only. It should weigh less than 50 pounds when filled and placed at the curb.

The City of Iowa City also offers imprinted paper yard waste bags that are biodegradable and suitable for inclusion in mulch and compost piles at the Landfill. Bags are $1.25 each, the cost of which helps pay for the expenses of the pick-up and the composting service. When filled, bags should weigh less than 50 pounds. Residents are reminded to use only City of Iowa City bags for curbside pick-up, as garbage bags and other generic paper yard waste bags will not be accepted.

Stickers and bags may be purchased in the Cashier’s Office at City Hall at 410 E. Washington Street during office hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or at the Transportation and Resource Management Office at 335 Iowa Avenue, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Yard waste bags are also available for sale from local participating grocery, hardware, greenhouses, nurseries, and drug stores.

To order stickers and have them mailed, call 319-356-5066 or send a written order that includes your name and the address where the stickers should be sent. Payment must be made at the time of order, and will include an additional 50-cent fee per sticker for postage and handling.


Woody yard waste, including fallen tree limbs, branches, and brush, may be bundled for curbside pick-up. Wood waste must be four inches in diameter or less and securely tied in bundles that are no larger than 18 inches around and no more than 48 inches in length. Bundles should not weigh more than 50 pounds. Any wood brush piles that do not meet these specifications will be left at the curb.


Iowa City and Johnson County residents may take yard waste to the Iowa City Landfill at 3900 Hebl Avenue for disposal at no charge. Commercial businesses will be charged $24 per ton. Landfill hours are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, although it may close on windy days.

Mulch and compost

Small quantities of mulch and compost are periodically available throughout the gardening season from both the Landfill at 3900 Hebl Avenue and the East Side Recycling Center at 2401 Scott Boulevard SE. You’ll load small quantities yourself (50 cents per five-gallon bucket), so be sure to bring your own bucket and shovel. Larger loads may be purchased at the Landfill for $20 per ton, which is prorated by weight per load. Minimum charge is $2. An endloader will load it onto your truck or trailer.  Please see www.icgov.org/landfill or call 319-356-5185 to check if compost is available. 

For other questions regarding yard waste disposal, call the Transportation and Resource Management Customer Service Desk at 319-356-5151.

Date of publication

Friday, March 11, 2016