biodegradable bags full of leaves

Yard Waste Collection: Frequently Asked Questions

Enhanced yard waste service coming in 2022, including 95-gallon City-issued yard waste carts

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Will there be a fee increase associated with the new yard waste carts?

The Solid Waste Services garbage fee increased by $1.00 for residential customers in July 2021. Residents are not charged a fee for yard waste collection as this is included in the garbage fee. The increased fee supports various enhancements and changes to our services, including yard waste collection.

How will I receive a 95-gallon cart for yard waste?

The City of Raleigh Solid Waste Services Department will deliver 95-gallon carts to all households who pay the garbage fee and receive curbside residential collection during the Summer of 2022. 

What if I don’t want a 95-gallon yard waste cart?

Residents may opt out receiving a 95-gallon yard waste cart. 

There are 2 ways to opt out:

  • Submit a request using the on-line Opt Out Form 
  • Look for the information card from SWS in your mailbox. Return the opt out card that is attached to the mailer. (Mailers were sent to all residents in December 2021.)

How soon do I need to decide? 

The opt-out deadline is February 1, 2022.

If I opt out will I still receive curbside yard waste collection? 

Residents can still participate in curbside yard waste service using biodegradable paper bags and properly prepared bundles.

NOTE: Beginning July 5, 2022, customer owned containers and yard waste prepared in plastic bags will no longer be collected.

Will yard waste be collected on the same day as my garbage and recycling?

Currently, yard waste collection is on a bi-weekly collection schedule on the same day as your recycling. Beginning July 5, 2022, yard waste collection will continue a bi-weekly schedule – on the opposite week of recycling collection. You will set out your yard waste on the same day as your garbage. 

How should I prepare my yard waste for curbside pickup?

There are three options for yard waste preparation. All three are accepted: 

  • Placed in the city-issued yard waste carts
  • Placed in biodegradable bags; and/or 
  • Placed in tied bundles. 

Will there be bag and bundle limits in place with the 95-gallon carts?

Currently, there is a 20-bag limit for yard waste. Beginning July 5, 2021, the limits will be as follows: 

  • 15 biodegradable bags (year-round)
  • 5 bundles (no change in size restrictions)

What should I do if I have more than 15 bags?

  • Residents may place 15 biodegradable bags at the curb for collection. Additional bags may be collected through a scheduled Special Load collection ($50 fee will apply). 
  • Residents may take excess yard waste to the Yard Waste Center located at 900 N. New Hope Road, Raleigh, NC 27610. 
  • The Yard Waste Center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. till 3 p.m., and Saturday from 7 a.m. till 1 p.m.
  • There is a tipping fee for all customers at the Yard Waste Center.

I am enrolled in the Needs Assistance Program. How will my yard waste be collected? 

Our Needs Assistance Program customers are eligible to receive a yard waste cart and will receive a cart unless they opt-out. Needs Assistance Program customer carts will be collected in the same location as garbage and recycling. 

I live in a townhome and would love to receive a 95-gallon yard waste cart; my question is where can I store a third cart? (I have no additional room) 

Unfortunately, carts must be stored in accordance with the City code, and we are unable to make exceptions. Residents can still participate in the yard waste program by using biodegradable paper bags and properly prepared bundles. 

I really want a yard waste cart, but my Home Owners Association (HOA) won’t allow it. What can I do?

Unless you opt-out of yard waste cart delivery, Solid Waste Services will deliver a cart to all residents who pay the garbage fee. Please contact your HOA if you have questions about cart restrictions or storage. You may still participate in yard waste collection using biodegradable paper bags and properly prepared bundles.

If I opt-out of the yard waste cart, how many bags and bundles can I have at the curb? 

Residents are limited to 15 biodegradable bags and 5 properly prepared bundles of branches per pick-up day.  

NOTE: Beginning July 5, 2022, plastic bags and customer owned contains will no longer be accepted. 

Can I purchase additional yard waste carts?

No, there will not be an option to purchase additional yard waste carts.  

Can I get a smaller cart? 

The only size available is a 95-gallon cart.  

Should I bag my yard waste before placing it into my city issued yard waste cart? 

Yard waste should be placed loosely inside of the cart. This assists with collection and processing. 

NOTE: Beginning July 5, 2022, customer owned containers and yard waste prepared in plastic bags will no longer be collected.

Where can I purchase biodegradable bags? 

Biodegradable bags are available for sale at hardware stores, grocery stores, big-box stores, and other similar retailers.

Will the City be supplying the biodegradable bags? 

No, the City will not be supplying bags. Biodegradable paper bags can be purchased at your local hardware store, grocery store, or big-box store. 

Will the carts be labeled so that I know which cart is used for which items? 

Yes, the carts will have the words YARD WASTE will be stamped on the cart. The yard waste carts will be bright green. 

When will all these changes take effect? 

Carts will be delivered this summer. Beginning on July 5, 2022, the City will no longer accept plastic bags or customer-owned containers. All items must be placed in the City-issued cart, biodegradable paper bags, or properly prepared bundles. 

When and how will I be notified of my collection day and week? 

The City will attach a collection calendar to each yard waste cart at delivery. The calendar will have yard waste, recycling, and garbage service days highlighted. 

More information is on our yard waste cart page.

You can email us with your questions at





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Yard Waste