Yard Waste Service Updates Fall 2020

We apologize! Durham Solid Waste Management acknowledges that our yard waste service has not lived up to your, or our, standards. At this time, due to COVID-19 restrictions, and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Solid Waste employees, we’ve had to adjust yard waste collections for everyone’s protection. That includes using more collection trucks with smaller collection crews to incorporate social distancing.

We hear you! We understand that shifting from weekly to a bi-weekly collection schedule, and sometimes missing collections, is frustrating. We humbly ask your patience as we explore ways to collect your yard waste as scheduled, or within a predictable time frame.  While we don’t have an immediate answer for when we expect to return to a regular schedule, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions.

A. Because the City’s yard waste program is completely subscriber based, it must cover all costs. As you might guess, additional costs due to COVID-19, were not built into the initial subscription cost, which has remained the same since 2014. In addition to COVID-19 related costs, there are other costs that are not affected by collection frequency. For example, the City also pays for each ton of yard waste to be composted, and despite only collecting every other week, subscribers have disposed of more tons of yard waste from July through November than the same period in the previous year.

A. We have a webpage showing the daily status of all collections services including yard waste . We will also continue to send out alerts through the Durham Rollout app and collection reminder system. Sign up for these alerts and find information about the app..

A. COVID-19 social distancing requirements create the need for more drivers and more trucks to complete a set number of collections. Yard waste, garbage and recycling crews are all working together each week to complete collections, and working overtime to do so. Unfortunately, though more people and vehicles are required, fewer are often available due to unpredictable quarantine of employees, and vehicle overuse leading to more maintenance issues and down time.

A. Check this web page for any service alerts that affect your neighborhood. If you see your area listed, we know we missed you and will be coming on Saturday or the next Wednesday or Thursday to collect you. If you do not see your area listed, we missed you by accident and apologize. You should submit a missed collection service request online or by calling 919-560-1200. Please submit the request no later than Monday at 4:30 pm to get collected on Wednesday or Thursday.

A. At this time, due to COVID-19 safety precautions causing us to need more staff for garbage, recycling and yard waste collection purposes, we are forced to keep these adjustments in place to continue to ensure garbage collection and recycling collections.

A. Continue to collect them, we will be able to get them all eventually. (To prevent storm drain problems, please do not blow, sweep or rake them into the street.) There are free options such as:

  • Setting out 5 biodegradable bags (not plastic) for each collection
  • Mulching / composting them in your yard.
  • Rent an extra cart for $1.50 per month
  • Take yard waste to the Waste Disposal and Recycling Center at 2115 E. Club Blvd. between 7:30 am – 4 pm Monday – Friday or 7:30 am – noon on Saturday. Charges do apply – view rate details

A. We are currently reviewing the program in its entirety for sustainable recommendations post COVID-19. As always, we will seek your input as we seek to continue the yard waste program as a valuable program for residents. Thank you for your continued patience during this time.