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Food scraps now allowed in yard waste containers

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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.

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