Leaf & yard waste collection information

Image of Kraft leaf bag with bundle of sticks and rake

On special collection days in the Spring and the Fall, you can place your leaves, bundled branches, and garden waste out for curbside collection. Look for the leaf symbol on your waste collection calendar for your leaf and yard waste collection days.

Check your recycling days with the online ReCollect tool, or refer to your waste collection calendar.  

  • Use only Kraft (paper) bags. Kraft bags are available at most hardware and grocery stores, are biodegradable and can be placed directly into the compost pile.
  • There is no bag limit on leaf and yard waste
  • Bags must weigh less than 18 kg or 40 lbs
  • Bundled branches and sticks tied with rope or twine are also accepted. Bundles must be less than 1 metre (39 inches) long and 61 cm (24 inches) in diameter, and weigh less than 18 kg (40 lbs).

The City makes compost

Leaf and yard waste materials put out for curbside collection during the Spring and Fall Leaf & Yard Waste collections are taken to the City of Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Facility and made into soil-enriching compost.

You can also deliver compostable materials such as leaves, shrubs and branches directly to the Landfill's compost area (grass clippings are not accepted).

The leaf and yard waste produces well-aged and screened compost, which is given free of charge to Thunder Bay residents when available. Watch for announcements. This compost is ideal for landscaping, lawns and flower gardens.

Missed the Leaf & Yard Waste collection?

Outside of the Spring and Fall Leaf & Yard Waste collections, bundled branches may be placed out with your curbside waste and recycling collection at any time of year.

Other yard waste (for example, grass clippings, which are not accepted in the City's composting program) placed out for collection at these times must be packaged in plastic garbage bags. We encourage residents to compost these materials themselves, rather than sending them to the landfill.

Your own outdoor composter!

You can also use your own leaf and yard waste and organic kitchen scraps to make compost at home. The City provides composters (through EcoSuperior) for a subsidized cost. Proof of address is required. Pick up yours at EcoSuperior at 562 Red River Road (call for pick-up hours). See EcoSuperior's Outdoor Composters webpage for details.

Grasscycling - leave it where it lies

Recycle grass clippings by leaving them on your lawn instead of raking and throwing them away. Grass clippings are a natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer that is good for your lawn. Grasscycling saves you time, reduces waste and promotes a healthy root system in your turf. Grass clippings are not accepted in the City's Leaf & Yard Waste program.

Leave the leaves

‘Leaving the leaves’ is a great way to support pollinators over the winter while also fertilizing your yard. Pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and fireflies seek shelter in fallen leaves and dead plant stems as these natural habitats help protect them from the harsh weather. As the leaves decompose they add valuable nutrients to the soil and the root zone of trees.

When cleaning your yard consider keeping some leaves on the ground, but be mindful of where they are stored. Keep leaves clear of wooden fences and structures susceptible to moisture and don’t rake or blow leaves into the street or near storm drains. 

For more information, contact the City's Dispatch at 807-625-2195.


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