Fire Fuel Chipper and Vegetation Debris Bin
The City of Berkeley will chip and pick up vegetation debris for residents to support wildfire preparedness efforts.
Clearing flammable plant material from your property helps prevent fires from spreading and damaging your home. Make use of City services to dispose of your excess plant material. Any resident in Berkeley can reserve chipping services online to dispose of plant debris. Residents in areas of the Berkeley Hills who pay a fire district surcharge can request a debris bin by calling (510) 981-7270 or dialing 311 within city limits. Small amounts of plant material can go in your green compost bin or purchase pre-paid paper plant debris bags for curbside pickup.
Fire Fuel Chipper Program
September 2023 Program Update: Due to the popularity and high demand for this program, Berkeley Fire Department has scheduled additional chipper days through the end of the year. In 2023, you may use the online chipper appointment tool to schedule an appointment through December.
Get help disposing of vegetation such as shrubs, brush, limbs, wood, and bushes. Clearing this kind of flammable debris reduces fire hazards and protects your home and neighborhood from wildfires.
The City provides the Fire Fuel Chipper Program through funding from Measure FF.
Make an online reservation
From April to September, use our online chipper appointment tool to schedule, re-schedule, or cancel a reservation.
Enter your address to find upcoming chipping events in your neighborhood. Once you find an event, follow the instructions to make a reservation.
Book a reservation by Friday to receive chipper service the following week. Please be sure your pile is ready on the curb by 7:00 am Monday for pick up by Thursday evening of the same week.
If you no longer need a pickup, please cancel your reservation using the instructions in the email you received or on the chipper appointment site.
Create and set piles on your curbside for pickup
Your vegetation debris pile should not exceed 25 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet. Place your unbagged debris pile curbside, where it is easily accessible. Please be sure it does not block a roadway or driveway and is at least 10 feet away from a utility pole or fire hydrant. Your pile must be in an accessible area not blocked off by fences, closed gates, or other similar objects.
Hard vegetation you can put in your pile includes:
- Tree limbs
Debris you cannot put in your pile includes some vegetation:
- Metal objects such as nails or fencing
- Poison oak
- Blackberry brambles
- Regular yard waste
- Lawn clippings
- Bamboo roots
- Roots covered with dirt, rocks, or gravel
- Limbs and firewood larger than 8” in diameter
VEGETATION DEBRIS BIN Program
Certain higher-risk neighborhoods in the Berkeley hills pay an additional surcharge on their property tax bill to cover the cost of removing large volumes of vegetation debris with a vegetation debris bin.
These residents can request a vegetation debris bin from June through September.
Check your property tax bill to see if you are eligible
You are eligible for a vegetation debris bin if you paid the fire district surcharge on your property tax bill. Vacant lots and properties that do not pay the Fire Surcharge are not eligible.
Use the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector property tax look-up tool to see or download your bill. Look at the Fixed Charges and/or Special Assessments heading. Those who pay the surcharge will see "Zero Waste Services" listed.
Call to reserve a vegetation debris bin
Request a vegetation debris bin from June through September if you have a large volume of vegetation to remove. These bins may not be used for lumber, plastic, dirt, rocks, concrete, or household trash. All delivered bins are placed in the public right-of-way and are available for everyone in the neighborhood.
To reserve a vegetation debris bin:
- Call Customer Service between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm weekdays, not including holidays, at (510) 981-7270 or dial 311 from any cell phone or landline inside City limits. Please be prepared with alternative dates, to permit effective scheduling.
- Vegetation debris bins can hold up to 20 cubic yards and will be available for drop-off on Tuesday and Friday. Bins left by 5:00 pm on Tuesday will be picked up by noon on Friday. Bins left by 5:00 pm on Friday will be picked up by noon on Tuesday.
Compost bin and pre-paid bags
For smaller amounts of debris, you can place vegetation in your regular weekly compost bin. You can also purchase pre-paid paper plant-debris bags (with a City of Berkeley logo) from Ace Hardware at 2020 Milvia Street, or the Berkeley Transfer Station at 1201 Second Street. These paper bags will be picked up year-round during the regular weekly service with a maximum of 10 bags per week.