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 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.
Our 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.
Leaves, 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.
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.
|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 www.readingpa.gov, call the Citizens Service Center at 877.727.3234 or call the Streets Division at 610-655-6285 between 8am-4pm Monday through Friday.
2022 Winter Yard Waste
Due to the low volume of yard waste during the winter months, (January, February, March) all the areas below will be picked up on Wednesday’s only. Please have the residents call the streets division 610-655-6285 or the call center 1-877-727-3234 to schedule yard waste collection.
Northeast Reading, Hampden Heights,
South of Penn St., E. Reading, Hessian Camp, 18th Ward,
Northwest Reading, Northmont, Riverdale, Glenside