MUSCATINE, Iowa – Spring has arrived in Muscatine and residents are venturing out to begin cleanup of their yards following one of the snowiest winters on record. Part of that cleanup may include raking up leaves left over from last fall.
The City of Muscatine Department of Public Works (DPW) will be work through Zones 1-8 (see map of zones) during a two week period starting Monday, April 1, picking up leaves left by residents at the curbside. City crews will make one pass through each zone but residents have the opportunity to call DPW at 563-263-8933 to be put on a list for the city leaf truck to come by and pick up leaves.
The last day to call to be placed on the list for leaf pickup will be Wednesday, April 10. The last day for leaf pickup will be Friday, April 12.
Leaves need to be placed next to the curb and residents need to avoid placing the piles near parked vehicles which could hinder or postpone collection efforts. Residents are also asked not to mix trash, branches, or other yard waste with their leaf piles.
What about other landscape waste?
The burning of landscape waste on properties of one acre or less is prohibited by Muscatine City Code. The Fire Department may inspect properties of an acre or more before granting a permit to burn landscape waste. There is a fee for these permits. (Review Open Burning).
There are other options for the disposal of landscape waste including creating an area for composting the landscape waste on the residents property or transporting the landscape waste to the Compost Site at the Recycle Center and Transfer Station, 1000 S. Houser St. The Compost Site reopened for the season on March 23. (Compost Site Opens).
Composting at Home
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach website (https://www.extension.iastate.edu/) is a good source of information and offers the dos and do nots for creating a composting area along with other yard and garden tips. Another resource comes from the Environmental Protection Agency highlighting composting basics, benefits of composting, and how to compost (https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home).
If you are an avid gardener, home composting may be right for you. However, many properties are not large enough for the creation of a composting area or the homeowner does not have the time to properly maintain a compost site.
City of Muscatine Compost Site
The Muscatine Compost Site receives material from Muscatine residents, composts the material, and then offers the screened compost and wood chips to residents for their use free of charge. Compost staff is available Tuesday through Saturday to load compost and mulch but please call in advance at (563) 263-9689. Firewood is available free for the cutting but residents wanting the firewood must sign a waiver in the Transfer Station office prior to cutting firewood.
The Compost Site is open Sunday through Friday 12-6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
Transporting to the Compost Site
Residents have several options to transport landscape waste to the Compost Site.
Perhaps the quickest method is to place the yard waste, grass clippings, and leaves into paper bags, load them into a personal vehicle, and transport the material to the Compost Site. Material in plastic bags is not accepted. Brush and branches less than 10 inches in diameter and 10 feet in length are accepted but tree stumps and roots are not.
A second method is to place the landscape waste (grass clippings, leaves, and yard waste) into City of Muscatine Yard Waste Bags and place them near the refuse collection container on the residents scheduled day for garbage collection. Tree limbs and other trimmings from trees and shrubs will also be picked up as long as they are bundled with string or cord in four-foot lengths.
A DPW staff member will pick up the City of Muscatine bag(s) and haul the bag(s) to the Compost Site.
These paper bags are available for purchase at the Muscatine Recycling Center and Transfer Station, and local retailers including both Hy-Vee stores and Fareway.
Yard waste bags that have store brand names on them will not be picked up but can be delivered by the resident to the Compost Site on Houser Street.
For more information, contact the Department of Public Works at 563-263-8933.