Yard and tree waste disposal

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

Yard and tree waste includes brush, garden debris, grass clippings, leaves, sod, logs, trees and stumps, both indoor and outdoor plants, mulch and wood chips. 

Four ways to manage yard waste: 

  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn: This practice will add valuable nutrients and can reduce the need for fertilizers.
  • Backyard composting: Use a compost bin for your garden, yard and food waste. More information about backyard composting can be found here:  www.hennepin.us/composting.
  • Curbside pick-up: Contact your waste hauler or city for information on options and material preparations.
    Find your city recycling contact.
  • Compost sites: See compost locations below. Call first for hours, special conditions and fees. Also check with your city or waste hauler for options in your community. Some cities cities have small municipal drop-off sites and/or special collection days.
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Sites open to residents of certain cities only

Please call before visiting for hours, requirements and fees.

City of Hopkins Yard Waste Site

3100 Hopkins Crossroads, Hopkins

  • Hopkins refuse customers only
  • Identification checked - proof of residency required.
  • Accepts brush, leaves, garden waste, grass, straw, diseased trees, Christmas trees, wood chips
  • Open late spring through November

City of Minnetonka Public Works

11522 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka

  • Residents of Minnetonka only
  • Identification checked - proof of residency required.
  • Accepts brush, Christmas trees, logs, leaves in the spring and fall. With leaves: garden waste, straw, wood chips
  • Diseased trees - call first
  • Cover or secure your load before coming to the facility
  • Open April to November

City of Plymouth Yard Waste Site

14900 23rd Avenue North, Plymouth

  • Residents of Plymouth only
  • Identification checked - proof of residency required
  • Accepts brush, leaves, garden waste, straw, logs, wood chips (also available for taking)
  • Diseased trees must be marked

Compostable bag requirements

Residents in Hennepin County who bag their yard and organic waste are required to put their waste out for pickup in compostable bags. Acceptable bags include either paper (Kraft) bags or compostable plastic bags. Residents who use yard waste carts or who deliver and dump out their yard waste at compost sites are not affected.

Plastic bags at composting facilities are problematic because the plastic must be separated from the waste, which is expensive, and some plastic may still end up in the compost, which decreases the quality of the compost. Using compostable bags reduces processing costs and enhance the quality of the finished compost.

Compostable plastic bags are distinct from regular plastic bags because they are usually clear or a translucent shade of green or white. Most home improvement, grocery, and hardware stores now carry them.

Learn more about compostable bag requirements and get answers to frequently asked questions on RethinkRecycling.com.

Disposing of ash tree waste

The emerald ash borer is a destructive tree pest that attacks and kills ash trees. To prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer, a quarantine is in place for Hennepin County that prohibits hauling ash tree waste out of the county.

How do I dispose of ash tree waste?

Ash tree waste should be taken to the closest disposal site to minimize the spread of the emerald ash borer. Some yard waste haulers and sites cannot accept ash tree waste. See the list of ash tree waste disposal sites.

What can I do to prevent emerald ash borer from spreading?

Take these steps to keep emerald ash borer from spreading:

  • Don't transport firewood.
  • Don't bring firewood along on a camping trip.
  • Buy the wood you need locally from an approved vendor.
  • Don't bring extra wood home with you.
  • Do not dig up any ash tree within Hennepin and Ramsey counties and replant it outside of those two counties.
  • Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. The earlier that emerald ash borer is found, the sooner it can be addressed.

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