Welcome to the

Yard Trimmings



Loose or bagged leaves, branches (less than 6 ft in length)

Grass clippings

Subject to a Charge:

Bricks, concrete and other building materials (must be separated from yard waste)


The City of Columbia composting operation receives nearly 25 percent of the City's total trash tonnage.

This is a low-tech composting operation that requires a slow biodegradation of vegetation.

When the compost becomes completely broken down, it is a valuable gardening material. The compost is available to citizens and can be picked up at our facility located in Columbia across from the Animal Shelter on Humane Lane off Shop Road. Map & directions.


Leaf season is here! With the chilly weather, Columbia can expect an increased volume in leaves and other yard debris. Please expect yard waste services to be 1-2 days behind schedule. The crews work Monday through Friday and Saturdays, if necessary, during this time. The Solid Waste Division would like to give a few tips on managing this increased volume:


  • Remove dirt, stones, litter and other debris from your leaves. This helps prevent equipment damage and worker injuries.
  • Place only leaves and grass clippings in the biodegradable paper leaf bags. Bagging is not required, but helpful!
  • Place your bags or piles at the curb by 7:30 a.m.
  • Don’t use plastic bags. Collected yard debris is taken to the City’s compost facility.
  • Pile your leaves away from storm drains, water meter covers, low wires and parked cars.
  • Never park your car on leaf piles — it’s a fire hazard.


Try composting or mulching! Leaves are a precious free resource that can be used to improve garden soil. As leaves fall on the ground, they create a layer of mulch that helps retain moisture and slowly, over a long period of time, decompose and feed the soil. Composting at home is an easy way to take advantage of the environment's natural recycling process, which creates valuable organic supplements, and can be done right in your own backyard.


The City is selling backyard compost bins for $55. Please call Solid Waste at 803-545-3800 for more information.


Backyard Organics Composting

The U.S. EPA defines compost as organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

All composting requires three basic ingredients:

  • Browns - dead leaves, branches, and twigs
  • Greens - grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds
  • Water - Having the right amount of water, greens, and browns is important for compost development


Your compost pile should have an equal amount of browns to greens. You should also alternate layers of organic materials of different-sized particles. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen, and the water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter.

To find out more about backyard composting, visit the EPA's website.


2910 Colonial Drive, Columbia, South Carolina 29203
(803) 545-3800

[email protected]

Separating Debris

City Ordinance requires homeowners to separate yard trimmings from other debris, such as broken lawn equipment, old furniture or other bulk items.


All yard waste should be loose or bagged in brown bags. Solid Waste only collects waste from containers that are furnished by the City. Solid Waste does NOT collect from personal containers. 


Clean green waste is diverted to our composting operation.

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