So what is the best way to handle your yard waste?

The City of Reading’s Public Works Department recommends residents use the following methods for handling yard waste, in order of preference.

For a healthier, greener lawn utilize leaf mulch and grass clippings.

Leaf mulch. As an alternative to raking leaves to the curb or bagging leaves, residents are encouraged to try chopping up moderate amounts of leaves with a lawnmower. This can be done during normal lawn mowing. Be sure you don’t allow the leaves to mat and that ample grass shows through them. This will save you work and time, add nutrients to your lawn, reduce windblown leaves in your neighborhood and reduce the amount of labor and fuel the City needs to use for leaf collection. Composting your leaves in a backyard garden is another alternative which will provide you with useful organic material next year.


Grass clippings. When left on the lawn, they decompose and act as a natural organic fertilizer. This lets you reduce the amount of commercial fertilizer you need to apply. Your lawn will remain healthy and green because each time you mow, you will be returning valuable nutrients to the soil.



Learn how you can use yard waste and certain food scraps to compost at home and produce a rich soil amendment for your garden by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for a variety of composting resources.

Also, visit Bokashi Boss, a fermentation-focused composting company that makes easy and effective solutions for diverting and recycling food and other organic waste.


Prepare yard waste for City of Reading’s yard waste collection.

The Department of Public Works' Yard Waste Collection Program is in operation all year round..

Yard waste is limited to organic biodegradable materials such as leaves, hedge trimmings, leafy plants, small sticks and twigs. Yard waste must be placed at the curb in brown biodegradable lawn and leaf bags and tree branches must be bundled.  Yard waste bagged in plastic bags is prohibited and will not be collected.


Holiday Trees

Holiday trees are to be completely undecorated before being dropped off. They may be taken to our drop off sites in City Park and Schlegel Park between December 28th and January 29th.


Tree branches

Text Box: 2ftOur service is intended to collect material generated from minor tree pruning and maintenance. If you are removing a tree or performing major landscaping, please make arrangements with you contractor to remove the material for you.

Alternatively, branches less than 3 inches in diameter may be tied in bundles and secured with biodegradable twine.

All branch bundles must have butt ends placed in the same direction and placed where it’s convenient for Public Works crews to pick them up. Brush piles that are badly tangled or inaccessible will not be picked up., willow whips, small twigs and vines must be placed in brown biodegradable leaf and lawn waste bags.


The following waste will not be collected:

Stumps, roots balls, limbs larger than 3” in diameter, grass clippings, sod, stone, human-made materials, and lumber.

Yard waste bagged in plastic bags or with normal waste will not be picked up.


Holiday Exceptions

Whenever a holiday from the list below falls on a scheduled collection day, there will be NO collection for that zone that week. If any of the holidays fall on a Sunday, The City of Reading will observe it on Monday and there will be NO collection for the Monday zone that week.


Holidays include

New Year’s Day Labor Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Veteran’s Day     
President’s Day  Thanksgiving Day
Memorial Day   Day after Thanksgiving
Independence Day Christmas Day


To schedule a yard waste pick up please review the schedule below and visit iRequest (24 hours a day, seven days a week) on the front page of our website, call the Citizens Service Center at 877.727.3234 or call the Streets Division at 610-655-6285 between 8am-4pm Monday through Friday.                 






North Side of River at Bingaman Street Bridge South along River to Canal Street at S. 6th Street. North on 6th Street to Penn Street, Penn Street east to N. 11th Street, 11th Street north to Walnut Street. Go north on Douglas Street, west to N. 12th Street. Then south on N. 12th Street to Oley Street. West to Railroad Tracks at N. 7th Street. Then follow Railroad Tracks south to Walnut Street. Then west on Walnut Street to River Oak Drive. River Oak Drive south along the river between Robeson Street and the Bingaman Street Bridge.





Starting at 7th Street & Oley Street (Railroad Tracks). North to Spring Street, east to N. 9th Street, north on 9th Street to Kutztown Road north to City Line Easterly to City Line at Oak Lane south to Douglas Street. Douglas Street west to N. 11th Street, south to Oley Street west to Railroad Track at 7th & Oley Street.


North Side of Schuylkill River at Canal & S. 6th Streets going north on S. 6th Street to Penn Street, Penn Street east to S. 11th Street, north on 11th Street to Walnut Street. East to Glen Road following Glen Road along City Line, east to Glen Road. North to City Line at Hill Road, follow City Line north past Spuhler Drive past Angora Road going west to City Line, south to Mineral Spring Road, Mineral Spring Road west to City Line at Heine Street on Heine Street to City Line. South Fairview Street, Fairview Street west to S. 13th Street. North on 13th Street to South Street. South Street west to S. 6th Street at Canal Street.

18TH WARD          

West of Bingaman Street Bridge (Schuylkill River) to intersection of Lancaster Avenue, Morgantown Road, South on Morgantown Road to City Line. Morgantown Road to Angelica Park, through Angelica Park to St. Bernardine Street. North on Greenway Terrace to Jackson Street (City Line). North following Jackson Street to Upland Avenue, across Upload following City Line north to Lancaster Avenue. West on Lancaster Avenue to Funston Avenue (City Line). North on Funston Avenue to Hancock Boulevard (City Line). North across Hancock Boulevard, pass by Parkside Drive South then go east to the Schuylkill River.


Starting at 7th & Walnut (Railroad Track) north, following Railroad Tracks (N. 7th Street) to Green Street. West on Green Street to North 6th Street. North on N. 6th Street to Robeson Street. West on Green Street to North 6th Street, west on Robeson Street to River Road south following River Oak Drive, north on River Oak Drive to Schuylkill Avenue, then east to 7th & Walnut Streets.


N. 6th Street at Robeson Street, west on Robeson Street to Schuylkill River. West side of Schuylkill River, Schuylkill River Avenue, North of Schuylkill Avenue Bridge to City Line. West on Mercer Street to Schuylkill River, follow river south through Car-Tech Property west to Schuylkill Avenue. Also, Schuylkill Avenue, North Schuylkill Avenue Bridge, West on Blair Avenue to Montgomery Street. North on Montgomery to Mercer Street (City Line). East on Mercer to Schuylkill Avenue. South on Schuylkill Avenue to Schuylkill Avenue Bridge.







    18th WARD