Weekly Yard Waste Collection

Yard waste pick-up occurs only during the spring, summer and fall growing seasons along with a special collection for Christmas trees in early January. A press release and social media post occur in the spring, fall, and shortly after the winter holidays, advising residents when these collections will resume and end. Residential yard waste collection occurs the same day as your regularly scheduled garbage collection. Yard waste material must be placed in compostable paper bags or in 32 gallon or smaller refuse cans that have been marked with a large "X" that is plainly visible from the street. Twigs, branches and other types of large brush that cannot fit into either of these containers must be placed in bundles, no more than 4 feet long by 2 feet in diameter. Branches and limbs exceeding 4 inches in diameter will not be accepted. Bundles should be tied with string or twine, not metal. Additional restrictions to yard waste collection include mulch, tree stumps, roots balls or other vegetation mixed with excessive amounts of soil. No bag, can or bundle can weigh more than 50 pounds when loaded. Yard waste cannot be mixed with regular garbage nor placed in plastic bags for pickup. A printable Yard Waste Guidelines brochure is available here. Residents and businesses may also elect to transport yard waste direct to Rock River Valley Compost for a fee. Please call to verify operational hours and current disposal rates. The 2023 yard waste collection dates are listed below. Residents missing the final collection date for yard waste will have one additional chance for collection during the annual Christmas tree pick-up. 

  • Yard Waste Start: March 20, 2023
  • Yard Waste End: December 7, 2023

Residential Christmas Tree Collection 

Each January, Rock River Disposal will collect Christmas trees from residents on their normally scheduled garbage collection day. These pick-ups typically occur in the second or third full week. A press release is sent out prior to the collection advising when the collection will occur. Non-bagged trees should be cut into 4 foot sections and placed alongside resident's regular garbage. Trees must be free of all ornaments, stands, lights, and other decorative materials. Residents may also dispose of any remaining yard waste if properly containerized. It is requested that yard waste only be placed in 2-ply biodegradable paper bags and not in garbage cans for this pick-up, as yard waste may freeze in cans preventing complete collection. Christmas trees may also be dropped off for recycling at one of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful's recycling sites in Winnebago County. Please visit Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful's website for a comprehensive list of dates the drop off sites. 

Leaf Burning

Leaf burning in the City of Rockford limits and unincorporated areas of Winnebago County within, and immediately surrounding the City limits, is illegal. Please call the Police and Fire non-emergency number at 815-966-2900 to report illegal burning. Leaves can be collected at the same time as other yard waste put out for collection in the City limits. It is a violation to dispose of leaves and grass clippings into the streets as they create a road hazards for bicycles and motorcycles and clog street sweepers and storm sewer drains, which can cause flooding. Please report violations related to the disposal of leaves and grass clipping in City streets via the City's Service Request Portal.