Yard Waste

Check out the following information and our Yard Waste FAQs to learn how to properly dispose of yard waste in the City of Royal Oak. For more information please contact the Department of Public Service at (248) 246-3300. 

Printer Icon Opens in new windowDownload and print a Yard Waste Separation brochure. 

Yard waste includes:

  • Acorns
  • Apples
  • Branches, brush and other woody material up to 2 inches in diameter *
  • Chestnuts
  • Cornstalks (must be contained & less than 4 feet)
  • Flowers & garden plants
  • Fruit & Vegetable scraps, (visit SOCRRA's website for complete list of what is acceptable)
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Pine cones & needles
  • Pumpkins ~ must be contained & each container must be under 50 lbs.
  • Sawdust, woods shavings ~ must be under 50lbs per container
  • Sod ~ must be less than 50 lbs. per container
  • Soil, potting ~ must be less than 50 lbs. per container (no dirt)
  • Straw bales ~ if not wet and less than 40 lbs., does not need to be contained. Place next to yard waste.
  • Stump (small) ~ must be contained & under 50 lbs. per container
  • Tree & shrub trimmings, twigs up to 2 inches in diameter *
  • Untreated, unpainted wood boards (nails removed)
  • Vines
  • Walnuts
  • Weeds
  • Wood chips ~ must be less than 50 lbs. per container

 * put woody yard waste between 2" - 5" in diameter prepared with regular refuse (refer to brush guidelines).

Branches over 5" in diameter need to be disposed of privately. You can hire a chipping service through JH Hart at (586) 795-5581.

Yard waste exclusions:

  • "Biodegradable" plastics
  • Bread
  • Charcoal
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cooked food
  • Dairy products
  • Dirt
  • Egg shells
  • Firewood
  • Meat, fish, bones
  • Oil and fats
  • Paper products
  • Pet manure, cat litter
  • Plastic bags of any kind (fertilizer, weed & feed, mulch, topsoil, stone, etc.)
  • Stones
  • Trash of any kind cannot be mixed with yard waste
wood fence
socrra decal
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Wrong way to put out for refuse day!
spring clean up
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Acceptable Containers:

  • 20 to 32-gallon trash cans with a "yard waste" bumper sticker decal facing the street. Decals are available at the Department of Public Service, 1600 N Campbell Rd, M - F 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and the Clerk's Office, 211 Williams, M - Thu 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • 30 gallon paper landscape bags (decals do not need to be on bags).
  • Plastic bags are not allowed and can no longer be used at any time for any yard waste.

Yard Waste Will Not Be Picked Up If:

  • It is in an unacceptable container (oversized containers, plastic bags, boxes, etc.).
  • It has trash mixed in or woody material larger than 2 inches in diameter.
  •  Any container that weighs more than 50 pounds.
  • The container is larger than 32 gallons.
  • There is no yard waste decal and/or it is not facing the street.
  • Yard waste is not picked up after the third week of December thru March 31 as either yard waste or trash.
  • If containers were set out after 7:00 a.m. of your refuse day (per ordinance).
  • Material is sticking out of the container or stuffed in (the waste hauler cannot reach into any container to dislodge contents).
Once the problem is corrected, set yard waste at the curb for collection on your next pick-up/collection day.

Collection Periods:

Yard waste pick-up begins April 1st each year and ends the third week of December.  Per state law yard waste cannot be taken with trash at any time.

Spring Clean Up:

  • A yard waste decal is needed for each container and the decal must face the street.  Free decals are available at the Department of Public Service, 1600 N Campbell, M - F 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 pm. and the City Hall Clerks Office M - Thu 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. & Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Do not mix trash with yard waste or it will be left at the curb until corrected.
  • Do not use plastic bags for yard waste.
  • Put yard waste in acceptable containers: either 30-gallon brown paper bag or 32 gallon container with yard waste decal facing the street.
  • Per Ordinance, yard waste must be out by 7:00 a.m.
  • Each containers must weigh less than 50 pounds.
  • Woody material less than 2" in diameter goes with yard waste, material between 2" - 5" goes with trash and must meet the requirements for disposal.

Fall Clean Up:

  • Continue to put yard waste in acceptable containers with yard waste decals facing the street.
  • Each container must weigh less than 50 pounds.
  • Per ordinance, have all containers out by 7:00 a.m. of your refuse day.
  • Do not use plastic bags for yard waste.
  • Yard waste pick-up ends the third week of December.  Residents (no contractors or landscapers) may take a limited amount (10 paper bags per day, no plastic bags accepted) to SOCRRA, 995 Coolidge, at no charge after collection ends curbside through March 31st.
  • For leaves, use the City's Curbside Leaf Collection Program. Call (248) 246-3300 for more information. You can also check the city's website, WROK, or the Insight Newsletter.  Please do not put anything other than leaves in the street as this could damage the equipment. Thank you.
yw bag at curb
yw bag at curb
yw bag at curb