Pittsburgh collecting yard waste, giving away mulch from recycled Christmas trees

Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works Environmental Services Bureau will collect yard waste this weekend and begin giving away mulch from recycled Christmas trees next week.

The city is encouraging residents to leave out branches, leaves, grass and brush on Saturday for city crews to collect curbside. Yard waste must be left at residents’ usual trash collection spots by 6 a.m. Saturday, but should not be put out before Friday evening, city officials said.

Leaves, grass and brush must be contained in brown paper bags and can’t weigh more than 35 pounds to be collected. Branches should be bundled together with fiber twine or natural rope. Branches should be no wider than four inches in diameter and no more than five feet in length.

Yard waste that is left out for crews to collect cannot contain plastic bags, glass, rocks, blocks, bricks, dirt or gravel. Any yard waste that does not meet the city’s criteria will be left at the curb.

This pick-up service occurs in addition to three year-round drop-off centers that accept yard waste during regular business hours:

  • The East End drop-off center, located at 6814 Hamilton Avenue, is open 7 a.m. till 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
  • The Hazelwood drop-off site at 40 Melanchton Street is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. till 2 p.m.
  • The West End drop-off center, at 1330 Hasslet Street, is open 8 a.m. till 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

All three sites are closed on holidays, and people dropping off yard waste must show proof of residency.

In addition to the yard waste collection initiative, Pittsburgh also is offering free mulch from the city’s Christmas tree recycling program, beginning Monday.

Every year, the city recycles used Christmas trees into free, natural, environmentally-friendly mulch for city residents. This past holiday season, the city diverted more than 2,200 Christmas trees from the landfill.

Residents who want to receive free mulch can pick it up at the Pittsburgh Zoo overflow parking lot Monday through Saturday, though supply is limited and city officials said they expect it to go quickly.

Anyone picking up mulch must bring their own buckets, gloves and shovels.

Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, jfelton@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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