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DES MOINES, Iowa — Spring is here and that means many of us will go outside and start that dreaded yard work. Metro Waste Authority wants you to compost those yard clippings. The weekly yard waste collection program began the week of March 28th.

Knowing what to do with those yard clippings can be tricky. Do you need a bin? Do you need to buy bags? How many stickers do you need?

“With such an early spring we were getting calls in February about compost,” said Leslie Irlbeck, Metro Waste Authority. “We take dozens of calls a week on what should be composted.”

Let’s start with what should go out to the curb when you compost. Those things include grass clippings, leaves, garden waste, brush, and branches. You should avoid putting any garbage, food, ceramic pots, dirt, stumps, rocks, and any plastics.

Residents can use the program two easy ways:

Bag & Sticker Program: Purchase Compost It! bags (no sticker required), or purchase green Compost It! stickers to adhere to store-brand bags. Compost It! stickers are required for each brush bundle. Bags and stickers are sold at many local grocery, home improvement and convenience stores. A complete list of vendors is available at

Cart service: Participants who enroll in the Compost It! cart service receive a 96-gallon cart on wheels, which makes it even more convenient to transport yard and garden waste to the curb. First-time participants must enroll with their city hall or public works to purchase a container, and pay $105 for the annual sticker fee. Online service renewal is available at or visit your city hall.