Solid Waste Management Department

City of Houston Yard Waste Collection Guidelines and Requirements

Looking for where to buy City approved compostable bags for your yard waste? See the searchable map below. For information on backyard composting or grass-cycling instead of using compostable bags for collection click here.

compostable bag logoThe City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department requires the use of approved compostable bags for weekly yard waste collection of grass trimming and leaves. The compostable bags enable the City to divert the valuable organic material away from the landfill and into a composting operation. Composting reduces the amount of waste landfilled, reduces green house gas emissions and produces valuable organic matter and nutrients for gardens, landscapes and yards. Residents help the City divert between 10,000 and 15,000 tons of yard waste each year. To participate in the yard waste collection program place your grass clippings and leaves in a City approved compostable bag on your curb on your regular garbage day. The City utilizes compostable bags that are translucent to ensure the material collected is clean yard waste and not regular trash.

The City of Houston has contracted two approved bags for use in the yard waste program, BioBag USA and WasteZero. See images of the product packaging below.

Don't put plastic and “biodegradable” bags in your compost:

  • Plastic bags don't break down and will ruin the compost.
  • Bags labeled “biodegradable” usually break down into small pieces, but aren't compostable.

Acceptable Bags
Only the following bag brands are acceptable to put in your food and yard waste bin. These logos also identify compostable bags accepted in Seattle's food and yard waste bins.

Buy these bags at most retail stores or online. Most compostable bags won't break down into compost in backyard compost or in your collection bins.

ASTM D6400 - 04 Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics
Don't Bag It - Compost Management Plan