MUSCATINE, Iowa – Didn’t get all the fallen leaves raked up and disposed of before winter set in? Getting the itch to clean up the yard for the outdoor season but not sure what to do with the yard waste? The City of Muscatine is here to help
The City will again be offering a “Call for Leaf Pickup” program this spring starting Monday, April 9, and continuing on weekdays through Friday, April 20. Residents have the opportunity during this three week period to call the Department of Public Works (DPW) at 563-263-8933 and schedule a time for the city leaf truck to come by and pickup leaves racked to the curb.
“We have done this is the past and it has worked out quite well,” Brian Stineman, Public Works Director said.
Leaves need to be placed next to the curb by 7 a.m. on the day of the pickup 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.
Unlike the fall leaf pickup program, city crews will not be driving specific routes and looking for piles of leaves to pick up.
“This is strictly a program where you need to call our office and schedule a time for the pickup of leaves,” Stineman said.
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 other than burning including the resident creating an area on their property for composting the landscape waste or transporting the landscape waste to the Compost Site at the Recycle Center and Transfer Station, 1000 S. Houser St. The Compost Site reopens for the season on Saturday, March 17 (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 don’ts 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. Free firewood is also available for the cutting but residents wanting the firewood must sign a waiver at the transfer station 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.