I'm a pretty straight-forward yard worker as well. I like long-handled short-bladed clippers of the non-electric variety, and I like to cut things back. I suppose if you wanted to be grandiose you could call it "pruning" but really it's just a matter of "that's it, blackberry vines, you've overstepped the boundary into my sidewalk space, so off you go."
My current domicile also has some ambitious bamboo with designs on the thoroughfare as well. I seem to remember being told at one point that all bamboo is ambitious, and I'd be hard pressed to identify the variety since I only realized it was bamboo at all when I chopped the first piece of it down.
Either way, I have cleared the sidewalk of verdure, with the exception of the ivy runners. One, because by the time I got to their layer I was done with my excursion into the world of ill-tamed nature, and two because you can't chop ivy runners on a cement sidewalk with the kind of clippers I was using unless you want to bang the clippers up more than I am comfortable doing to someone else's equipment. Oh, and three, the ivy fails to impede use of the sidewalk the way the sticker-bushes and bamboo tend to do.
So our fancy new city-provided yard waste container is now down in the alley full of clippings. Actually, I was kind of impressed by the list of things you can put in the "yard waste" container - essentially anything you can put on a compost heap, and maybe some things you can't. Food scraps, plant clippings, and even greasy pizza boxes. This is a boon to myself and cjot, for whom pizza boxes are the bane of the recycling impulse. All that cardboard - did it get too saturated to recycle? How much is too much? Will they notice? Will it contaminate the entire load of paper? Argh! Now all is well, and the pizza boxes can be safely consigned to their own proper bin.