Through September, get help disposing of "hard" vegetation such as shrubs, brush, limbs, wood, and bushes to clear your home of potential wildfire hazards.
Prepare for wildfire season by using a free City of Berkeley program that will take away shrubs, limbs, bushes, and other “hard” vegetation you gather from your property.
Berkeleyans can sign up online for this service, known as our “Berkeley Chipping Program," which allows residents to schedule the week the City will pick up vegetation debris.
In addition, those in certain higher-risk areas of the Berkeley Hills that pay a fire district surcharge can request a vegetation debris bin, which can help move even larger amounts—and an even greater variety—of cleared vegetation from their property.
The program, funded by voter-approved Measure FF, is part of Fire Safe Berkeley, a broad effort led by the Berkeley Fire Department to create tools, resources, and partnerships with the community to reduce the risk of wildfire. Berkeley Fire has created a comprehensive wildfire protection plan, is sending inspectors to homes to help identify fire risks, increasing public education about fire prevention, and coordinating services like the chipper and vegetation debris bin programs.
“Each of us has a role to play in reducing the risk of wildfire,” said Interim Fire Chief Dave Sprague, a third-generation Berkeley resident. “As more of us clear the flammable vegetation around our homes, we not only improve our individual safety – but we also improve the wildfire resistance of entire neighborhoods.”
Berkeley CHIPPING PROGRAM
Find upcoming chipping events in your neighborhood using the chipper appointment tool. Once you do, follow the instructions to make a reservation by Friday, 5:00 pm to receive chipper service the following week.
Please be sure your pile is ready on the curb by Monday, 7:00 am for pick up no later than Thursday evening of the same week.
Your unbagged, curbside vegetation debris pile should not exceed 25 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet. 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 include metal objects, such as nails or fencing, and the following vegetation:
- Poison Oak
- Blackberry brambles
- Regular yard waste from weekly green bin
- Lawn clippings
- Bamboo roots
- Roots covered with dirt, rocks, or gravel
- Limbs and firewood larger than 8” in diameter
Friday, September 25, 5:00 pm is the last day you can request a chipper appointment.
CERTAIN HILL RESIDENTS CAN REQUEST A VEGETATION DEBRIS BIN
You are also eligible for a 20-cubic-yard bin to help remove vegetation if you live in certain higher-risk neighborhoods in the Berkeley hills.
To see if you are eligible for a vegetation debris bin, see the map of eligible higher-risk neighborhoods in the Berkeley hills.
Confirm eligibility and schedule an appointment by phone:
(510) 981-7270 or 311 Weekdays, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, not including holidays
Vacant lots and properties that do not pay the Fire Surcharge are not eligible.
Those eligible can request a vegetation debris bin until Thursday, August 31, 4:30 pm.
For smaller amounts of debris, you can also purchase pre-paid paper plant-debris bags (with a City of Berkeley logo) from Ace Hardware, 2020 Milvia Street, or the Berkeley Transfer Station at 1201 Second Street. These paper bags are picked up year-round during the regular weekly compost bin service.
In removing brush, branches and trees from around your home, you help better protect your neighborhood and our City.
- Schedule a chipper appointment
- Fire Fuel Chipper and Vegetation Debris Bin Programs
- Protect your home and neighborhood from wildfires
- Purchase pre-paid paper plant-debris bags
- Find out more about Measure FF
- Find out more about the Community Wildfire Protection Plan
- Pre-Paid Bags, Bulky Waste, and Mattress Recycling