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Yard Waste Management

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Kid taking out garbage

Yard Waste Collection Program

Medicine Hat residents have the option of subscribing for seasonal yard waste collection using a convenient 95-gallon (360-litre) Automated Yard Waste Cart that is specifically designed and vented for yard waste material. 

Dates of Seasonal Collection

Yard Waste Collection begins on the Monday of the third full week in April and will end each fall on the Friday of the second full week in November. Please note that start and end dates may be adjusted as weather conditions warrant.

Subscribe for Automated Yard Waste Service

Residents without a yard waste cart may request one through the Environmental Utilities Department or at Customer Service in City Hall.  A one-time service level change fee of $50.00 will be applied to the utility account

The utility account holder can authorize the service change fee through a request for a yard waste cart email. Please include a contact name, the service address and contact phone number. 

Additional Information:

Automated Yard Waste Collection Video

Participating in the program is easy, here's what you need to know:

  • The green yard waste cart is ONLY for yard waste. Contaminated carts WILL NOT be collected!
  • DO NOT USE plastic bags. Place yard waste loosely into the yard waste cart. All waste must fit into the carts provided and the lids must close completely; no material placed on top or outside of the carts will be collected.
  • Roll your yard waste cart out to the proper set out location by 7 a.m. on your designated collection day. Place your yard waste cart next to your waste cart, leaving a minimum of 3 feet (1m) distance between them and 3 feet (1m) clearance around the carts.
  • Solid Waste Bylaw #1805 requires carts be returned to private property within 24 hours of collection.
  • Acceptable yard waste material includes grass clippings, leaves, prunings, plant trimmings and cut flowers. Twigs, branches and limbs up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and 3 feet (1m) in length will be accepted inside the cart.

Yard Waste Drop-off 

Medicine Hat residents and lawn care companies can also bring their grass clippings to the City’s composting facility, located at the Waste Management Facility, year round. Residents do not incur disposal fees for clean, loose yard waste material; however disposal fees do apply for companies hauling yard waste loads. 

Refer to the Waste Management Facility page for further information regarding disposal fees.

Managing Yard Waste On-Site

Effective yard waste management reduces waste and recycles organic materials. Although yard waste is biodegradable, landfills do not get the oxygen and water needed for breakdown. Landfills are constructed to prevent movement of air and moisture in order to protect the surrounding environment. These materials can be better put to use enhancing our gardens and landscapes. 

A good rule is to practice the three Rs: reduce yard waste generation, reuse trimmings and prunings on site, and recycle organic products (compost and mulch) back into the landscape. By following the suggestions below, you can cut the waste generated through your landscaping practices and save time and money.

Tips for working half as hard in the yard:

  • Grasscycling – Mow without a bag and leave grass clippings on the lawn, saving time, energy and valuable landfill space. Plus, your lawn will love the nutrients! Grasscycling is a combination of common-sense watering, mowing and fertilizing practices. The frequency of watering and mowing will depend on the type of grass in your yard. Remove no more than one-third of the grass blade surface at any time. Learn more about the myths and facts on grasscycling.
  • Mulching – Mulch is any organic material such as wood chips, grass clippings, leaves and compost, that is spread over the surface of the soil, locking in moisture and reducing soil temperatures and plants’ need for water while restricting weeds by blocking sunlight, and serving as a blanket for plants in winter by helping maintain constant soil temperature. Mulching is one of the cheapest water conservation techniques, for additional information see More on Mulching.
  • Composting provides an almost constant source of free fertilizer and soil conditioner. Benefits include improving the structure of the soil, maintaining healthy plant growth, helping conserve water and removing organics from garbage and putting them to good use in the environment. The Compost Guide contains more detailed information to get started. 
  • Leaf Management - During the fall and early winter, when lawns stop growing and the leaf rake replaces the lawnmower, tree leaves become a major component of lawn wastes. Mowing, mulching and composting are several ideas for keeping these wonderfully beneficial by-products of our beautiful Medicine Hat landscapes out of the curbside collection system.
 The following publications are available for download.
These publications are provided courtesy of
Paul van der Werf, M.Sc. President, 2cg Inc. Waste Management Consulting Services
 Easy Steps to Creating a Green Lawn  How-To Backyard Composting Guide                                

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