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Public Works Week May 19-25, 2019

Posted: May 21, 2019

May 19 - 25, 2019

Yard Waste in the RM
The East St. Paul Yard Waste Pickup Program will run from Tuesday April 30th 2019 until Friday November 1st, 2019.  The Yard Waste program allows the RM to divert a portion of the organic waste stream from the landfill and produce a useful product.

The Yard Waste Program is only successful if we take the steps to ensure collected yard waste is free from materials that don’t compost or contaminate the finished product. (i.e. plastics)

What happens when garbage is mixed in with your yard waste?
Placing garbage or other unacceptable items into your yard waste results in it being contaminated, and prevents the yard waste from breaking down successfully into useful compost. 

Once materials that cannot compost get mixed with yard waste they are very difficult to remove.  Plastics, oversized branches or lumber can get caught in equipment used to process compost and manual removal is time consuming, costly, and possibly a health hazard for workers.   For this reason, yard waste containing visible contaminants is not composted, but is sent straight to the landfill.  Where unacceptable materials are missed, such as painted or pressure treated lumber, they can ruin the finished compost product. Including materials such as animal waste in yard waste intended for compost can also introduce harmful bacteria and pathogens in the end product that is ultimately used by individuals in the neighborhood for gardening and top dressing (composting animal manure has different standards than yard waste).

Plastics pose a particular problem.  Equipment used to turn and sort compost cannot sift out materials such as plastics successfully.  Plastic bags can get loose and blow across the neighborhood, clogging our drains and eventually ending up in our water bodies.  Plastics that remain are broken up into micro plastics. These small plastic particles can then be incorporated in our gardens, and possibly be ingested by wildlife.  If they end up in our waterways they will be ingested by organisms that are eaten by fish, and ultimately end up in our bodies.

The RM will gladly collect yard waste that is free from contaminants and enclosed in an acceptable container.  And after all your hard work collecting yard waste, remember do not place them in plastic bags – we cannot collect them! 

What isn't accepted in the yard waste program?
  • Garbage of any kind (including animal waste)
  • Logs, stumps or branches more than 10 cm in diameter
  • Rocks, dirt or sod
  • Painted or treated wood or lumber
  • Flower pots

What is accepted in the yard waste program?
  • Grass clippings, flowers, leaves, plants
  • Bush and shrub clippings
  • Small tree branches (no more than 10 cm or four inches in diameter)

Image source: CBC news. (2012)


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