Piles of green waste line the streets (forcing many cyclists into traffic to dodge them)

In addition to the curbside pickup of garbage and recyclables in the CityRecology also picks-up green waste.

Curbside pick-up of yard waste piles:

  • Yard waste, or green waste such as landscape prunings and grass, can no longer be piled on the street during much of the year. Starting July 11, 2016, brown-topped organics collection carts have been delivered to Davis addresses.
  • Acceptable materials for yard material piles include: grass clippings, brush, leaves, prunings, weeds, discarded floral displays, indoor plants, branches (less than 8 inches in diameter),
  • Recology will collect yard material piles once a month (during the first week starting with a Monday of every month) AND every week during the leaf-drop season (beginning the third Monday in October through mid-December). Christmas trees can go into your January (or other month's) yard material piles.
    - Yard material piles may be placed in the street no sooner than 5 days before a scheduled pick-up.
    - Yard material piles are not allowed in the downtown core area (the area bounded by 5th Street, the south side of 1st Street, the west side of B Street and the Union Pacific railroad tracks).
    - Leaves and grass are not allowed in yard material piles unless the organics cart is already full.
    - Streets are swept once per month, the week after yard material pile pick-up.
  • Do not place yard waste in a plastic bag or any other container.
  • Piles should be no more than 5'x5'x5', but residents can create as many piles as needed.
    • Apartment complexes (well, their gardeners) frequently ignore this rule, leaving absolutely enormous piles.
  • Recology collects yard materials once a week, emptying brown-top bins on the same day as trash pick-up.
  • They will only pick-up yard material piles that are located directly in front of a house. Again, don't place your yard material pile in the street more than five days before pick up, or across the street or around the corner from your house—it will not be picked up!
  • Place your yard material 18” from the curb or gutter.
  • Please be sure that your pile does not block fire hydrants, driveways, or sidewalks.
  • Do not park you car on top of yard waste piles (this may seem like a silly reminder, but hey—people actually do this!)
  • Be aware that your yard material piles can create serious hazards for cyclists; bike lanes should never be blocked.
  • Please do not place sod, soil, concrete, fruit, flowerpots, florist wire, fencing, bricks, or stumps in yard material piles. Try composting your fruit yourself.
  • Please be aware that logs and wood building materials are not considered yard waste!
  • See the Yard Material Pick-Up Map to determine your yard material pick-up day.

Street sweeping occurs once a month. In order to take advantage of this service, please park your car off street on your sweeping day. Check out the Street Sweeping Map to find out what day your streets are swept.

Recology uses a combination of a loader and a rear load garbage truck to pick up the green waste.

—If you don't want to leave your yard material out in the street for pick-up, or if you have a lot of fruits and veggies (which are not allowed in piles on the street), try backyard composting. The City of Davis Public Works Department offers a free compost correspondence course for Davis residents. Davis residents in single family homes can purchase a compost bin for $10 when they complete the course. Call the Public Works Department at 530-757-5686 to sign up.


Loader and truck in action Green Waste is sometimes not so green


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A lady from the East coast who was living in town once stopped me while I was mowing a lawn and asked me why everyone was putting out piles of clippings and grass. She was rather amazed to find out that the city collected them. I've always fancied using one of the loaders in some sort of action movie sequence, they just look cut out for something like that... albiet they are a tad on the slow side —StevenDaubert

When I first arived in Davis, I was confused as hell as to why there were giant piles of green waste everywhere. Then I saw the machine that picked up the green waste. Man, that thing is terrifying. - ArlenAbraham

2008-04-30 17:32:08   These piles often block the bike lanes. This creates quite a hazard, as cyclists have to move very close to, or into, the street to dodge them. Dodging them at night is particularly dangerous, as even with a good bike light, they may not be visible in time, nor may the car behind the dodging cyclist. —IDoNotExist

2008-04-30 17:52:52   I would imagine that the new lines being painted designate a 'bike lane' and a 'green waste lane', at least as far as I've seen in North Davis. I find it hard to believe that a conscientious biker has much of problem avoiding the piles anyway, as the only time I've ever hit one was at night, while drunk, and not using a bike light. —JoePomidor

2009-01-17 21:08:25   I have lived in several cities on both the east and west coast and I have NEVER seen a more absurd system than this one for green waste. I have scrapes in the road from the loader, it leaves a bunch of stuff behind every week (and no, the street sweeper doesn't get it all), and there is this strange force called wind that blows the leaves from everyones piles down the street. How beautiful the green plastic bin I used to have now seems... —amccoy

2009-04-10 12:24:42   Does anyone know WHERE they take the yard waste, and if it is possible to go get some to use on my garden? THANKS! —ChelseaAyers

2009-11-16 10:03:27   Re: Where do they take the yard waste? I just spoke to DWR, it turns out that they currently bury the yard waste in the landfill. This is because of the agricultural quarantine on Yolo county, caused by the apple moth. —RobiPochapin

2010-1-5 Actually, this is incorrect. With the exception of a couple of days a few months ago, the material is still being composted, it's just chipped first.jgilbert

2009-11-16 16:09:35   In San Jose, the city gives you this huge yard waste container.

I actually rode through one of these piles. It was midnight on a Friday, and instead of biking drunk I was biking home after playing some Friday Night Magic. —hankim

2013-02-14 00:24:56   Ah, green waste. It's not so much fun when you slam into a huge chunk of tree during a foggy night that somebody left in the bike lane... —HarrisonM

2015-05-11 22:04:42   It cracks me up how the whining bicycle riders complain about green waste piles. These are the same people that do not stop at stop signs. Do not stop at stop lights. Do not put their foot down when they stop. Do not use lights at dusk, dawn or night. Do not ride on the right side of the road and ride on the side walks. —Calswm

2018-10-11 09:58:45   Today is the first day of the Green Waste piles. From now until Mid-December Green Waste piles can be on the street 24/7. —ToddGlenn