Managing yard waste

Yard waste — such as grass clippings, leaves and branches — is a valuable resource that can add nutrients into your yard or be recycled into compost. It is illegal to put this kind of waste in your household garbage.

Options for managing yard waste:

  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn — this practice will add valuable nutrients and can reduce the need for fertilizers.
  • Compost in your backyard. Use a compost bin for your garden, yard and food waste. More information about backyard composting can be found here:
  • Curbside pick-up. Contact your waste hauler. City recycling contact info can be found at:
  • Yard waste drop-off sites. Drop your yard waste off for composting.

To find more information about drop-off sites nearest you, go to

  • Compostable bag law.

If you bag yard and garden waste for curbside collection in Hennepin County, use either paper or certified compostable plastic bags (identified with the BPI compostable logo). Check with your local retailer. Contact your hauler for specific requirements for your service.

Protect Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams

  • Proper disposal of yard waste impacts the health of local waterways. After a rainfall, the runoff on your street washes through the storm sewers and into your local lakes and rivers — carrying an overload of nutrients from yard waste, dirt, debris, and other pollutants.
  • You can make significant impact on pollution coming from your streets and improve the health of your local waterways by taking these steps.
  • Don’t blow or rake grass clipping and leaves into the street or waterways. Leave them on your lawn, compost them or bag them up.
  • Pick up pet waste and put it in the garbage. Don’t put pet waste in your compost.

Use phosphorus-free fertilizer to help prevent rapid algae growth in our rivers and lakes. Sweep up fertilizer spills from hard surfaces.

Direct gutter downspouts into your lawns, gardens or rain barrels.

Keep a healthy and low maintenance lawn. Mow at a higher setting or plant no-mow grass.

Plant native flowers and plants and consider installing a rain garden. They require less maintenance than turf grass and have deep roots to absorb excess water.


Courtesy Hennepin County Public Works