There's no free lunch. As part of your utility bill, the monthly rate for regular residential service includes $6.51 to Solid Waste to pick up a limited amount of yard waste each week.
In other words, you've already paid for the city to collect your labors of a fruitful weekend — a half-dozen yard bags filled with grass clippings, pulled weeds and shrub trimmings, for example — on your regular curbside pickup day. (Hint: City crews will pick up yard waste packed in plastic trash bags, but it takes more time and the bags are not recyclable like paper lawn bags.)
Do the math before putting out all the branches and trunk of that dead ash tree a landscaper cut down — because that costs extra. (Another hint: You can expect most professional tree services to mulch on site or haul the cuttings to the landfill as part of the job.)
Currently, the city charges $7 per cubic yard to collect excess yard waste. A cubic yard is about the size of a clothes washer. Delivered to the landfill, a whole tree costs $50 per ton to dispose of. Mature hardwood trees typically weigh between 1 and 3 tons.