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Bulk Trash and Yard Waste—there is a difference

The City of Detroit Department of Public Works has contracted Waste Management to collect garbage, bulk items, yard waste and recycling for houses in our area. You may have noticed, traveling through the neighborhood, that there has been some confusion on collection of bulk trash and yard waste.

What is the difference between bulk trash and yard waste?

Bulk trash includes items that are too large to fit within the Courville refuse container. Examples of bulk items include furniture, appliances, air conditioners, hot water tanks, carpeting, mattresses, large toys, etc.

Yard waste includes leaves, grass clippings, shrubs, twigs, and branches. Find more specific information in this article on yard waste.

When is bulk trash and yard waste collected?

Bulk trash is collected year-round. Bulk trash is collected every other Wednesday throughout the Boston-Edison neighborhood, beginning Wednesday, June 12, 2019. On weeks containing holidays (New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), collection is delayed until Thursday.

Yard waste is collected from April through mid-December (exact dates vary). There is no curb-side yard waste collection from January through March, and residents can be fined by the city for leaving yard waste on the curb. During collection season, yard waste is collected every other Wednesday, on the same dates as bulk trash collection.

How should bulk trash be prepared for curbside pickup?

Bulk items should be no more than 1,000 pounds or exceed two cubic yards in volume. Before placing items on the curb, remove doors from appliances, and remove all liquids, food, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Smaller items, such as toys or clothing, should be placed in plastic bags or boxes.

Remodeling and construction debris are not considered bulk items, and will not be picked up. Household hazardous waste, such as flammables, explosives, paint, batteries, hazardous or medical wastes, fuel, oil, needles, radioactive materials, and chemicals, are also not considered bulk items.

For what to do with waste that cannot be set out for bulk trash, such as hazardous substances or large heavy items, see the article, Some Trash isn't "Trash".

How should yard waste be prepared for curbside pickup?

Place grass clippings, leaves, and small twigs (less than two inches in diameter) in biodegradable paper lawn/yard bags. Yard waste in plastic bags will not be collected.

Place larger branches and twigs (up to 4 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length) in securely tied bundles. Bundles should not weigh more than 60 pounds.

Large stumps, dirt, gravel, sod, dead animals and animal waste are not considered yard waste and will not be collected. For what to do with items that cannot be set out for yard waste, see the article, Some Trash isn't "Trash".

When and where should bulk trash or yard waste be put out?

Both bulk trash and yard waste should be at the curb by 7 a.m. on the day of collection, but no more than 24 hours beforehand. Bulk trash and yard waste should be placed at least 3 feet away from other objects, and if both are put out at the same time, they should be separated from each other.

What can be done with yard waste in the winter, when curbside pickup is unavailable?

Individual bags of yard waste may be placed inside the Courville container for weekly pickup. Do not overfill the Courville.

Residents can take yard waste (and bulk trash) to any of the five DPW drop-off locations. The closest drop-off location to Boston-Edison is the Davison Yard, located at 8221 W. Davison. The Davidson Yard is open during the winter from Tuesday—Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (but closed from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Spring/summer hours start in April, and are 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (closed from 2:30 to 3:30). Residents need proper ID, and may only drop off one load per household per day, not to exceed one cubic yard or 1,000 pounds.

What if waste is put out on the curb at the wrong time?

According to the City of Detroit, leaving waste on the curb at inappropriate times is a blight violation. The city can levy a fine of $100 to $1,000 per day, as well as charging for the cost of collection.

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