Paper yard waste bag mandate begins March 14

Monday, January 10, 2022 - 2:31pm

Beginning in March, the Town of Wake Forest will no longer collect yard waste in plastic bags. Starting Monday, March 14, solid waste customers will be required to use compostable paper yard waste bags (paper only, no plastic) or reusable containers weighing no more than 50 pounds for yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, small limbs, and brush) collection. 

This change will allow Wake Forest to continue its commitment to protecting the environment, improve operational efficiency, and help ensure the safety of our yard waste collection crews. 

It can take up to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break down at the landfill, and the effects of plastic bags last 10 times as long. Comparatively, it takes paper bags around a month to decompose.

In addition, the yard waste disposal facility does not accept yard waste in plastic bags. This requires crews to debag leaves and yard waste at the curb, which increases collection times and can make it difficult to complete routes on the scheduled collection day. Eliminating single-use, plastic yard waste bags will allow crews to decrease the amount of time required to provide service at each home and reduce their exposure to potentially harmful materials during debagging.

Paper yard bags and reusable personal containers can be purchased at local discount, hardware, and home improvement stores. Again, only compostable, paper yard waste bags will be accepted.

For more information, visit or contact Sustainability Coordinator Jeanette Johnson at 919-435-9585 or