Brush, Leaf & Log Collection

The Department of Public Works provides a collection of brush, logs, and leaves. For collection purposes, Princeton has been divided into 5 Sections. To know which section your street is in, see "What Section Am I In" (PDF).

The collection calendar for January-June 2023 is available here. To sign up for alerts and access the municipal waste calendar download the Recycle Coach app or visit the webpage. 

Curbside Waste Tips

Please remember these tips when putting your curbside waste out for pickup:

  • Do:
    • Check and follow your section's collection schedule.  
    • All yard waste must be placed by the curb prior to 7 am on the Monday morning of the scheduled collection, but not more than seven (7) days prior to its start
    • Consider mulching leaves to help return nutrients to the soil
    • Keep branches/logs no longer 3 feet and no greater than 6 inches in diameter; we will not collect logs larger than this size
    • Keep piles small and limit to 3 by 3 feet
    • Keep sidewalks and roadways clear of fallen debris
    • Make piles of one material type only
  • Don't:
    • Assume it is your section's collection when you see neighbors' yard waste. Please check your section schedule.
    • Make giant piles of brush, leaves, or logs
    • Mix materials types (brush, leaves, logs)
    • Put anything other than leaves in the leaf bags. Your bags will not be collected if there is mixed material in them.
    • Put grass clippings out for pick-up

The leaf and brush pickup does not include grass clippings. It is recommended they be mulched back into your yard. Do not leave them out for pickup.

Emergency Information

Occasionally severe storms result in a disruption of collections for many municipal services including; brush, leaf, trash, curbside organics, and recycling. When this happens we will post an alert on the home page for information. You can sign up for these alerts and other website updates through our Notify Me page.

Joseph Maher Joint Ecological Facility

The Joseph H. Maher, Jr. Ecological Center is located at:
3701 Princeton Pike
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

Yard waste accumulated after the scheduled collections can be taken by either you or a landscaper to the Joseph Maher Joint Ecological Facility located at 3701 Princeton Pike, just past the intersection of Province Line Road. Branches and logs taken to the facility must be no longer than 3 feet in length and no larger than 6 inches in diameter. Compost and double ground wood chips are available free of charge to all Princeton residents and are available at the Ecological Facility.

Residents should bring their own containers or light trucks for the material. Residents also may dispose of leaves and brush during the listed hours. Absolutely no commercial vehicles on Saturdays!‍


The facility is open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday (Saturday hours - April through November). The center is closed Saturdays from December through March.  

The Joseph H. Maher, Jr. Ecological Center is closed Sundays and on Municipal Holidays:

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King's Birthday
  • Washington's Birthday
  • Memorial Day
  • July 4th
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Election Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • The day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

Leave Leaves in Your Yard

The Princeton Environmental Commission reminds you that the easiest and most environmentally efficient way to manage your leaves is to leave your leaves in your yard. Compost them, mulch them, or rake them into an unobtrusive area of your property. Broken-down leaves will nourish your grass, plants, and trees. For a more detailed description of how and why to leave your leaves, visit the Environmental Commission's Guide to Fall Leaf Management (PDF).

Environmental Commission Guide

Princeton's Environmental Commission offers a guide to the benefits of composting and mulching leaves (PDF).

Leaf bags are for loose leaves only. Do not put any other material in them or they will not be collected. Hedge trimmings, garden clippings, branches, etc. all go out with brush pick up, not in the leaf bags. 

Leaf Bag Distribution

Residents receive 40 free leaf bags for the collection of spring and/or fall leaves. The bags are a 32-gallon biodegradable paper bags and are collected more frequently than leaves blown to the street for curbside collection. Proof of residency is required.  

Leaf bags are available at Ace Hardware in the Princeton Shopping Center during business hours.  The leaf bag program will resume in the fall of 2023.  

Helpful Information for Landscapers