Yard Waste & Food Scraps

Winter Yard Waste/Food Scraps Collection Resumes

Yard waste/food scraps is collected by appointment on your regular collection day. Customers must call (563) 589-4250 or submit an online service request no later than 3 p.m. the previous business day. A yard waste sticker or annual decal is required.

Combining Food Scraps with Yard Waste

Customers may also put their food scraps and compostable paper in their yard waste carts, cans, and bags. This allows many customers to divert their food scraps at little or no additional cost by simply adding them to their current under-filled, underweight yard waste containers.

Set Out Instructions

  • Place in a brown paper yard waste bag not to exceed 40 pounds with yellow single-use sticker; or 
  • 35-gallon rigid solid waste containers with either single-use yard waste stickers looped on the handles or a City of Dubuque 2024 annual yard waste decal displayed; or
  • City-issued 65 gallon yard waste tipper cart

Yard waste in plastic bags will not be collected. Brush and limbs may also be bundled with City of Dubuque brush ties that have a single-use sticker attached. Limbs should be no more than 3" in diameter and 5' in length.

Yard Waste Food Scraps Curbside

Yard Waste & Food Scrap Fees

Yard Waste



64-gallon City-issued cart$10/monthCall Public Works or submit an online request to subscribe
Annual decal$40Call 563-589-4144, purchase in person at City Hall, or submit an online request
Single-use yellow stickers for cans, bags, or bundles$1.50 each (sold in sheets of five for $7.50)Sold at most discount and hardware stores in Dubuque



Food Scraps

Call Public Works or submit an online request to subscribe
13-gallon tipper cart (residential)$1/month
13-gallon tipper cart (commercial)$4/month
64-gallon tipper cart (commercial)$20/month

Acceptable Items

  • Branches and tree limbs - Less than 5 feet long
  • Compostable container liners
  • Flowers and potted plants (no pots)
  • Food scraps - Fruit and vegetables, peels, pits, coffee grounds, eggshells, bread, and grain products
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves, plants, weeds, and brush
  • Natural Christmas trees (Merry Mulch)
  • Non-wax coated paper products (yard waste bags, paper bags, paper towels/napkins, pizzaboxes)

Prohibited Items

  • Artificial Christmas Trees
  • Bones
  • Cigarette butts
  • Compostable silverware
  • Compostable tableware (includes plates, cups, bowls, boats, etc.)
  • Construction Materials
  • Dairy products
  • Dead animals
  • Fireplace ash or charcoal
  • Glass
  • Grease/oil
  • Hazardous materials
  • Infected plant material (such as black knot fungus)
  • Litter
  • Magazines
  • Meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish
  • Metal
  • Painted, treated, or stained wood
  • Pet waste
  • Plant pots
  • Plastics (Silverware, bags, Styrofoam, garden netting, film, single coffee cups, k-cups)
  • Rocks
  • Waxed, coated, or soiled paper

Still unclear what can be composted?  REThink Waste Dubuque is a free tool that features a waste search tool, collection day reminders, and collection calendars. Just type in the material you’re disposing and the app will tell you whether it can be recycled or composted or if it needs to be placed in your regular garbage.

Leaf Rake-Out Appointments 

The City offers leaf rake-out collections by appointment each fall.  Watch for information in early fall regarding 2024 dates.