Refuse/Recycle/Yard Waste/Compost

Regular Yard Waste Collection

The Public Works Department weekly provides curb-side yard waste collection services to all EGR residents annually. This begins on the Monday of the first full week of April, through Friday of the first full week of December. City crews use an established route to collect yard waste from each house. Guidelines for yard waste pickup are:

  • Grass clippings and small, loose yard debris must be placed in paper yard-waste bags or reusable containers. Plastic bags are not accepted. 
  • Bags and containers placed for pickup must not exceed 40 pounds or a 32-gallon capacity.
  • Ornamental grasses must be tied, bundled and must not exceed 40 pounds.  
  • Brush must be cut into six-foot lengths and tree logs may not exceed 12 inches in diameter. 
  • All items for collection should be placed on the out-lawn (between the curb and sidewalk), not in the street. 
  • Except during the fall leaf collection program, it is preferred that yard waste not be placed out for collection earlier than one day prior to the scheduled day for collection.
  • All material collected is sent to a composter.  The city purchases back composted material and uses it for construction or other maintenance restorations.

For questions concerning collection routes, schedules, or regulations, please contact the Public Works Department at 616-940-4870.

Autumn Leaf Pickup

Residents may place loose leaves and yard debris in the street for pickup from Monday of the second full week of October through the first full week of December. In order to guarantee that your leaves will be picked up, leaves/bags must be placed in/near the street the Monday of the first full week of December.  Leaves placed out after that date are not guaranteed to be picked up.  During the fall leaf pickup, the volume of fallen leaves does not always allow crews to maintain the regular weekly collection schedule. 

Christmas Tree Pickup

Christmas trees may be placed out for collection by the Public Works Department from Monday of the first full week of January through Friday of the second full week of January. Items with metal attached (trees stands, wired garlands, and wreaths) cannot be collected and must be disposed of separately by the resident.

Trees should be placed out for collection prior to the resident’s regular yard waste collection during this two week collection service.  Thereafter, residents should store their discarded tree in a rear yard until city yard-waste collection services resume in April.

Household Trash / Refuse

Residents must hire a private waste-collection company for the collection of household trash. Companies must be licensed by the city. For a listing of currently licensed trash haulers, please contact the Finance Department at 616-949-2110.

Rear-Yard Pickup

East Grand Rapids requires "rear-yard pickup" of household trash. Trash containers should not be placed at the curb for collection. Waste containers must be kept next to the house or garage or out of sight behind the structure. This regulation is designed to keep the streets of the city from becoming cluttered with trash containers.

Recycling Program

City ordinance requires trash haulers to provide household recycling services at a unified fee as a component of trash collection. Recyclables may be collected by a separate truck or on a separate day, but must be included in the price charged to each customer. Contact your private waste hauler for specifics of their recycling programs.

Food Scraps Composting Drop-Off Site Pilot Program

The East Grand Rapids City Commission authorized a multi-year service contract for food scrap composting services with Organicycle, LLC of Grand Rapids, Michigan for servicing a food scraps drop-off facility at the Department of Public Works Complex at 2310 Reeds Lake Blvd as a pilot program from June 2022-December 31, 2025.

Program capacity will begin with 100 residential households and three businesses in the City.  If interest exceeds capacity, the City will maintain a waitlist in the order of contact. UPDATE: After monitoring volumes, the program has been extended to 160 households as of January 25, 2023.

Residents who are interested composting food scraps can participate in the pilot program or can register for home pick-up composting services with a private, licensed composting vendor that operates within the city at any time. There is no cost for residents or businesses who participate in the drop-off facility pilot program, however home pick-up service with private vendors will have an associated cost for service.

Material that is composted by Organicycle is currently supplied to local farmers to enrich soil as an alternative to synthetic fertilizer products. Organicycle may sell compost commercially to the public in the future. To learn more about composting please visit: Organicycle Curbside Composting in Grand Rapids and West Michigan

To learn more about the pilot program and how it relates to future composting opportunities with Kent County Public Works view the program memo.

Registration for the program begins at 8:00am on Monday, June 27, 2022 on a first come first serve basis.

Registration information and rules and regulations: