Here Comes the Free Yard-Waste Pick-Up

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Gary Caldwell for ELi

After Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office has decided that yard-waste collection counts as an essential service, City of East Lansing staff announced this week that spring yard waste collection will begin Monday, April 20, and run through the following week. When your yard waste will be picked up depends on whether you live east or west of Abbot Road.

“We are restarting this service because residents have yard waste that needs to be collected and we are able to continue to perform the service with our regular, full-time essential staff at the East Lansing Department of Public Works,” Communications Coordinator Mikell Frey stated earlier this week in an email to ELi.

According to Fry, the collection is as important for the City as it is for residents.

“If not collected, leaves can blow around and end up in storm drains, which can contribute to clogged sewers,” she explained. “Additionally, by splitting the first no-fee yard waste day between two weeks, the City is saving on overtime, thus making this a less costly service.”

The curbside pickup service will be structured as follows:

  • No-fee yard waste collection will be offered on Monday, April 20, for residences east of Abbot Road.
  • No-fee yard waste collection will be offered on Monday, April 27, for residences west of Abbot Road.
  • While residents are asked to have their yard waste at the curb no later than 7:30 a.m. on the Monday of their collection week, it should be noted that collection may take several days due to limited staffing.

On no-fee collection days, the use of City-branded yard waste stickers and bags is not necessary, but all other yard waste guidelines do apply:

  • Yard waste includes leaves, plant material, grass clippings and brush/limbs.
  • Yard waste may be placed at the curb no earlier than 8 p.m. the day before collection, and are supposed to be out by 7:30 a.m.
  • Yard waste must be contained within a paper yard waste bag or rigid, 32-gallon plastic container.
  • Bags and rigid, 32-gallon plastic containers must weigh no more than 40 pounds, and bags should be stored in a dry location prior to being placed at the curb.
  • Brush and limbs can also be bundled with string or twine. Bundles may not be more than 4 feet long and 1 foot in diameter. Individual limbs must be 4 inches in diameter or less and bundles must not weigh more than 40 pounds.

The City explains that, if City Hall and the Department of Public Works reopen to the public on May 1, regular yard waste collection (requiring City bags/stickers and advanced registration) will tentatively resume on May 4.

If these City buildings do not reopen to the public on May 1, regular yard waste collection will be temporarily suspended until the buildings reopen in order to facilitate the sale of yard waste bags and stickers.

Regardless of the status of the buildings, an additional citywide no-fee yard waste collection day will be offered as regularly scheduled on Monday, May 18.

Community members with questions can call the Department of Public Works at (517) 337-9459. Staff is currently available from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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