Yard Waste

If you have a home, yard or garden, you probably generate yard waste (PDF). Leaves, grass clippings, shrubs, weeds and brush, and twigs and small branches are all considered yard waste and are not accepted at the landfill. 

Diversion Opportunities

Keeping yard waste out of the landfill is easy to do. SWACO provides opportunities for all Franklin County residents to divert organic waste from the waste stream and turn it into compost. 

Residents can manage yard waste materials through Franklin County’s curbside yard waste pickup program, which is available in most communities. Yard waste can also be dropped off at a participating local business or easily composted at home.

Properly disposing of yard waste offers several benefits: 

  • It saves space in the landfill. 
  • It reduces the amount of greenhouse gases being generated. 
  • It promotes the use of natural, renewable resources. 

Curbside Pick-Up 

Most local communities provide curbside collection of yard waste to their residents.  To participate in one of these programs, residents should put yard waste in biodegradable paper bags, available at most grocery and hardware stores, or place it in a container clearly marked “yard waste” and set it on the curb. 

Contact your local community to find out the collection day and other details of your local program.

Compost Facilities

To keep yard waste out of the landfill and provide residents with a convenient way to manage their yard waste, SWACO partners with various compost facilities to accept these materials, free of charge, from Franklin County residents. These companies turn the yard waste into mulch and composting material for resale.

As a result, SWACO helps Franklin County residents and businesses divert nearly 200,000 tons of organic lawn and yard waste from the landfill each year. 


  • Leaves
  • Grass Clippings
  • Shrubs
  • Weeds and Brush
  • Shrubbery
  • Twigs and small branches (less than 1/4 inch in diameter)

Not Accepted

  • No Food/Pet Waste
  • No Dirt or Rocks
  • No Plastic Bags or Bottles 
  • No Sod 
  • No Soil 
  • No Plastic Plant Pots
  • Don't Use Plastic Bags to collect yard waste. Keep it loose or use compostable bags. 

Kurtz Brothers

  • Offers free yard waste drop-off for Franklin County residents at all Kurtz Brothers participating locations.
  • Kurtz Brothers Website

Ohio Mulch

  • Offers free yard waste drop-off for Franklin County residents for materials less than 1/4 inch in diameter
  • For participating locations, please visit the Ohio Mulch website

Com-Til Retail Office

  • Recycles woody debris only to produce Com-Til
  • Offers free yard waste drop-off for Franklin County residents
  • Hours of operation and items accepted are limited. Visit City of Columbus for more information. 

Backyard Composting

Backyard composting is also an option for residents who want an easy and inexpensive way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich compost for their lawns and gardens. 


  • Gather grass clippings, leaves and brush to create a home compost system.
  • The rich hummus produced can be used for the lawn and garden.
  • Compost adds nutrients to plants, retains soil moisture and offers a natural alternative to chemicals.
  • Download our easy-to-use Compost at Home Guide
  • Watch a pre-record webinar on how to start composting at home.

Live Christmas Tree Recycling

The Christmas trees you set out for pick-up go to one of SWACO's sponsored compost facilities. Please be sure to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations.