Evanston’s yard waste collections resume on Monday, April 2, with an expanded composting program that will also accept food waste in yard waste carts along with grass clippings and leaves.

City officials sya the change will help conserve vanishing landfill space. 

Food and yard waste carts will be collected on residents’ regular refuse and recycling collection days through Friday, Dec. 7.  

Residents’ options for food and yard waste collection are:

  • Purchase and fill a 95-gallon food and yard waste cart. A cart costs $82.50 plus a $25 annual fee. Yard waste fees are assessed annually and appear on residents’ water, sewer and sanitation bills.
  • Place only yard waste (no food waste) in paper yard waste bags and affix each bag with a City of Evanston yard waste sticker. Stickers are available for purchase for $1.75 each at Jewel-Osco grocery stores, Lemoi Hardware, The Home Depot, the Levy Senior Center and the City Collector’s office. Plastic bags will not be collected. Special pick-up fees will be assessed after 48 hours for bags without stickers. Three bags will be charged $25; each additional three bags will be charged $10.
  • Sign up for year-round food scrap composting through the City’s exclusive hauler, Collective Resource.

Acceptable items to be placed in the food and yard waste carts include baked goods, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish/seafood, dairy products, food-soiled paper (such as pizza boxes), egg shells, bones and coffee grounds and filters. Placing food scraps in a paper bag will keep the cart cleaner. A list of unacceptable items, such as cat litter, animal waste, gum and cigarettes, is available online

Tree trimming bundles are picked up separately on regular refuse collection days. Bundles must be less than three feet in total diameter, with individual branches being less than four feet long and less than four inches in diameter. Each bundle must be affixed with a City of Evanston yard waste sticker.

Raking or blowing yard waste or leaves into the streets is illegal. 

Backpack-mounted or hand-held gasoline-powered leaf blowers are allowed for use between March 30 and May 15 and between Sept. 30 and the first Thursday of December, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Any person who uses a backpack-mounted or hand-held gasoline-powered leaf blower or any person who permits the private or commercial use of a leaf blower on their property during restricted days or times is subject to a fine.

Join the Conversation


  1. Plastic bag disposal
    Note that in the accompanying link to prohibited items, all four categories include plastic bags as being prohibited, including landfill & garbage. How does a concerned Evanston resident dispose of plastic bags?

    1. Plastic bag disposal
      Many grocery stores, such as Jewel/Osco, as well as other retailers collect plastic bags for recycling, usually in a container at the front entrance of the store. Some public buildings also have plastic bag collection boxes. I’ve seen one at the Levy Center, for example. You could also try calling 3-1-1.

  2. Food Waste
    Anyone concerned about rodents due to the food waste collections? I hear that rats can eat through just about any container, so wouldn’t food waste attract these rodents in particular?

    1. Food waste

      … has been going into trash cans right next to the yard waste cans for years.

      Assuming the containers have not been compromised by squirrels and other chewing critters, it’s hard to see what difference putting stuff in a different container would make.

      If they have been compromised, then it’s time to call the city for a replacement.

      — Bill

  3. food recycling
    This is great news that Evanston will now allow composting in with yard waste. Very progressive and good for the environment. i am proud of Evanston and whoever worked to make this happen. i realize there is a business that does this for a weekly fee, and i am sorry that this may compromise them, but this will make it more accessible to people of all income levels. Great news.

  4. Food and Yard Waste Carts
    Are the Food and Yard waste carts marked to indicate both food and yard waste? Is my current cart ok for just yard waste? Do I need to buy bags for yard waste even if I don’t put food in cart?

  5. This is a bad idea given the
    This is a bad idea given the significant rodent problem throughout the City of Evanston. Of course, there will be an increase in vendor cost for this progressive idea. But since when does cost matter when it makes a service ‘available to people of all income levels’.

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