Permanent containers or compostable bags recommended for yard waste

UPDATE, 6/10/24: As supplies last, permanent containers for yard waste are now available for purchase for City of Norman utility customers. The cost is $30 per 33-gallon bin. Individuals should order by telephone, by calling 405-329-1023; the price of their order will be added onto their monthly utility bill. The bins will be delivered to their service address. Further details will be given when the order is placed. The City of Norman is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged containers. View your yard waste collection day here.


POSTED 5/22/23: Permanent containers or paper compostable bags are recommended for Norman Sanitation customers that set out waste for yard collection, as such transitions will increase efficiencies and better serve the environment.

“This type of change helps keep rates low for customers through savings in temporary employment expenses during the grow season,” said Bret Scovill, Solid Waste Manager. “The results of transitioning to containers or paper compostable bags save time, create safer working conditions for staff, and decrease the chance of incompatible materials entering compost machinery.”

Currently, yard waste contained in plastic bags (grass clippings, most commonly) are sliced open and dumped in order to be transported to the compost facility. The plastic bags, unable to be reused or recycled, are then set aside to be taken to a landfill. More than 35,000 tons of compost were processed at the Norman facility last year, with many materials having to be removed from plastic bags.

“We have developed a robust compost and recycling program in our community because of the support and collaboration of residents who truly care about taking care of our environment,” Scovill said. “We hope to continue finding ways to improve in order to optimize services for them.”

Yard waste collection is carried out manually, by hands of Sanitation workers, Scovill said, so yard waste containers should hold no more than 35 gallons of waste to be picked up. Permanent containers would be emptied and set back at the curb of a residence; paper compostable bags would be taken in full (bag and waste within it) to the compost station to be composted. Such containers and paper compostable bags should be available in most hardware or home improvement stores. 

Backyard composting can also make a positive difference in our operations and for our environment," Scovill said. Food waste, such as vegetable scraps or coffee grounds, cannot currently be accepted at the City of Norman compost station; only yard waste is permitted. However, appropriate food scraps could be mixed into a backyard compost bin along with yard waste to eventually feed gardens and reduce waste per household.

Questions may be directed to 405-329-1023.