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Yard Waste: Trees, Grass and Other Organics

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Yard waste includes all plant material collected in our green yard waste carts, by our Parks and Recreation personnel, or by private companies operating in the City of Fort Lauderdale.  Place tree trimmings, leaves and clippings in you green container. Help us to avoid contamination, do not place any fruits or vegetables in you green cart, instead place these items inside your black garbage cart.  Your green carts should  only be used for Yard waste, it does not replace your garbage and recycling carts. Our objective  is to recycle these natural materials into products that can be used to promote plant growth in our community. 

Yard Waste CartGeneral Yard Waste

In our region we have a long history of re-using plant waste and creating from it products such as mulch or soil enrichers. Plant waste is collected by Republic Services from our residents who have green yard waste carts. It is also gathered from public areas by our Parks and Recreation Department. Less frequently is it picked up with bulk trash. All plant matter collected by Republic Services is taken to the Sun Bergeron facility in Deerfield Beach where it is screened and processed for multiple re-uses. Plant matter that is collected by our Parks and Recreation department may be sent to the same facility or is composted locally to become a soil additive in our parks. Commercial and multi-family properties serviced by private landscapers generally provide for clippings to be hauled away, with most landscapers participating in some sort of mulch production or composting program.

Seaweed Composting

Seaweed Collected on the Beaches

Seaweed is an abundant natural source of plant material. However, it is a cost to our City. Keeping our beaches comfortable for visitors requires raking up the seaweed which often washes in by the ton. We have found a novel way to cut costs and put the seaweed to use. Learn how...



Manure at the Mounted Police Horse Barn

Compost Pile at FLPD Barn

An initiative to compost hay, straw and other organic materials has always existed in small quantity, but began at larger scale in recent years. The Mounted Unit produces on average each day 400 to 600 pounds of manure and waste urine-soaked wood shavings, which has bits of uneaten alfalfa and timothy grass remnants. For many years, this was disposed of via dumpster services, accumulating a cost to the City.  At the same time, our Parks and Recreation Department would complete routine tree and grass trimming in Holiday Park (nearby the Police Barn) accumulating ground up branches, leaves and grasses which they would use as a mulch.

Now, the plant matter and manure are processed together in a shared compost “pile.” Organic material is removed from the stalls, and from the park, placed in a Mounted Unit practice field that is near both facilities, and then composted in the sun. There are no odors to disturb the surrounding activity. This saves the City money by reducing or eliminating the cost of organics removal at both facilities, enriches the mulch that Parks produces, and reduces the need for chemical-based fertilizer. 


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