Leaf season is here! With the chilly weather, the leaves are falling. With increased debris at the curb, there is a potential for a delay in service. The Solid Waste Division will work through the week to keep up with collection. We appreciate your patience during this busy time. 

The Division would like to give a few tips on managing this increased volume: 

  • Separate bulk trash from leaves and grass clippings. 
    • Bulk trash is sent to the landfill, while leaves and grass clippings are sent to the City’s compost facility. 
  • Place your bags or piles at the curb by 7:30 a.m. Collection delays are subject to happen, but please make sure everything is at the curb on your scheduled pickup day. 
  • 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!
  • Don’t use plastic bags. Clean 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 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.


Yard trash, otherwise known as "yard trimmings", can be a combination of grass clippings, leaves, sticks, bulk items (i.e. furniture, clothing, rigid plastics) and building material (subject to a charge). 

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. Please call Solid Waste at 803-545-3800 to schedule a pickup. Map & directions.