A pilot program being tested in four neighborhoods in Tempe, Ariz., allows residents to leave out tree branches, leaves, clippings and other green materials that could be used for compost. The green waste can be left in places typically reserved for bulk-trash items that are picked up once a month. Under the program, the city will pay $20 per ton of green waste and then buy back the prepared compost for $20 a cubic yard, which amounts to less than the $30 to $35 the city had been paying, one official says.

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