Yard waste and composting

The City of London collects yard waste from homes during “green weeks” between late March through early December. Materials collected include plant trimmings, brush, leaves, Christmas trees and pumpkins.

See your collection calendar for green week dates.

Yard waste can also be taken to an EnviroDepot at no charge.

Report a Yard waste issue

Curbside collection

There are a number of things you can do to prepare your yard waste for collection. 

  • Set to the curb by 7 a.m. of the Monday of the green week, but no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before (or out by 7 a.m. Tuesday when Monday is a statutory holiday)​​​​
  • Pickup can take place anytime during your scheduled green week (including Saturday) and will only occur once during that week
  • Use reusable containers, paper bags, or certified compostable bags
    • Plastic bags are not accepted
  • Use twine to tie branches into bundles not more than one metre in length.  Or place branches in container
  • Branches must be less than 10 cm in diameter 
  • The maximum weight per container or bundle is 20 kilograms
  • Christmas trees of up to 3 metres (10 feet) will be collected.  Remove all decorations and do not place in a plastic bag.  If using curbside collection, place Christmas trees to side or rear of property until green week collection

Soil, sod, dirt, rocks, and stumps are not yard waste and will not be collected.

Fall leaves

The best thing you can do with all your leaves in the fall is to mulch and compost them. Some leaves can be mulched into your lawn with your lawnmower.  They will break down naturally and return nutrients and organic matter back to your soil.  Fall leaves are also great to add to your composter.  Layer leaves in your composter after each time you add kitchen scraps.

Grass clippings

There is no curbside collection for grass clippings. Bagged grass clippings can be taken to EnviroDepots for $1.50 per bag.

Leave grass clippings on your lawn to add nutrients to the soil and hold moisture.

Halloween pumpkins

Set your Halloween pumpkin out for the green week following Halloween. Remove the candle and any metal or plastic from the pumpkin and place in a container with yard waste or fall leaves. Make sure the container does not weigh more than 20 kilograms (44 lbs.). If you have missed your collection, or do not have access to curbside pickup, the EnviroDepots will accept pumpkins for composting.

Christmas trees and seasonal greenery

Remove all decorations and take your tree to an EnviroDepot or wait until spring and place it out for yard waste collection. Christmas trees of up to 3 metres (10 feet) will be collected at the curb.  Christmas trees are no longer collected with garbage collection. 

Composting at home

Composting is nature's way of recycling. Compost is a natural process and returns nutrients and organic matter to the soil, and feeds beneficial micro-organisms, insects and worms. It improves the texture, oxygen-retaining capabilities and moisture-holding capacity of the soil. You can start composting at home by purchasing a composter or digester from an EnviroDepot for $35 each (taxes included). 

Compostable materials

Greens - Nitrogen Rich Materials

  • Vegetables and fruit scraps, crushed egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds with filters and paper towels
  • Garden and yard materials
  • Grass clippings - or leave this natural fertilizer on the lawn when mowing

Browns - Carbon Rich Materials

  • Dry leaves
  • Bread, pasta and rice
  • Sawdust and shavings
  • Finely ground wood chips
  • Well shredded paper
  • Shredded egg cartons and cardboard

Do not compost the following material:

  • Any diseased plants
  • Weeds that have gone to seed
  • Ash, sawdust or shavings from chemically treated or painted wood
  • *Pet waste
  • *Dairy products
  • *Meat, fish, fowl or the bones
  • *Fats or oils: e.g., peanut butter, spreads, dressings (breakdown more slowly than plant material and may attract pests or cause odours)

*These materials can all be placed in a digester. 

Getting a composter or digester for your home

London residents can purchase composters or digesters for $35 each (taxes included) at a City of London EnviroDepot.  We offer five different models listed below.  Please note that at times some models may not be available. If the model you wish to purchase is not available at the time of your visit, please check again at a later date.

The Earth Machine™

  • 300 litre capacity (10.5 cubic feet)
  • Can compost both kitchen scraps, garden materials, and leaves

The Rotating Composter

  • 170 litre capacity (6 cubic feet)
  • As a small unit, it is excellent for composting kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps without the addition of garden trimmings and leaves
  • Requires regular rotation (it's easy) but produces compost quickly.

Enviro World FreeGarden™ 

  • 311 litre capacity (11 cubic feet)
  • Excellent on its own, or if you already have an Earth Machine, this one is great for storing and composting fall leaves.

Gracious Living™ Composter

  • Excellent option for managing fall leaves
  • 352 litre capacity (12.4 cubic feet)
  • Easily disassembles for easy turning, aerating and removal
  • Secure locking lid to prevent animal access

The Bardmatic™ Digester

  • Excellent option for dog owners
  • It must be dug into the ground
  • 'Digests' rather than 'composts'
  • Can be used for meat, bones, food scraps, and pet waste


Last modified:Saturday, September 19, 2020