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Garbage Collection FAQ


What day is my garbage picked up?
Enter your address into our Show Me My House app to find your pick up day.
What time should I put my garbage out?

All collection carts should be at the curb no later than 7:00 AM on collection day and be pulled in after collection. 

How do I start garbage service?
  • Garbage collection starts when you set up your water service with Des Moines Water Works at 515-283-8700 

  • Garbage Carts should be there when you move in. 

How do I request handicap/disabled non-curbside collection service?
  • The City of Des Moines provides Non Curbside Collection services for individuals who are physically unable to place their collection carts at the curb or alley for regular collection.
  • Eligibility Requirements for this program: 
    • A physicians’ statement verifying a disability that prevents moving the collection carts to the curb. 
    • No other member of the household is able to move the cart to the curb. 
  • Application Process: 
    • Contact the Department of Public Works, 24-Hour Customer Service Center at 515-283-4950 to request an appointment to fill out application ( or)  complete a request for an appointment using our online form. (Appointments are made for your next garbage collection day)
    • A City of Des Moines, Sanitation Foreman will stop at your residence to explain program details, requirements and fill-out an application for each person living there. The Foreman will give you paperwork to be filled out by your Physician.
    • You will be placed on the route for Non-Curbside collection services when we receive the Physicians paperwork. 
How do I order carts for new construction?
What if I'm moving?
  • Leave the cart behind. The cart is assigned to the property. 

Can I order additional garbage collection carts?
  • Additional carts are available upon request.

  • Contact us at 515-283-4950 to order an additional cart (or) you can Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Collection Request Form. 

  • Additional carts require a 6-month commitment. Carts returned prior to 6 months will be charged a $25 early retrieval fee.  

  • Rate for additional 96-gallon cart is $12.44 per month (or) 64-gallon cart is additional $11.42 per month billed to your water bill.  

Can I exchange my collection cart?
How do I get a replacement cart or lid?
  • 64-gallon cart - $37 

  • 96-gallon cart - $40 

What if my garbage cart lid or body is broken?
Contact us at 515-283-4950 to request a cart repair or lid replacement, or Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Collection Request Form
When and how should I place my cart for collection?
  • At curb no later than 7:00 am on garbage day (or) no earlier than 5:00 pm the day before  

  • Place at curb on a level surface (no more than 18” from the street or arm’s length) 

  • Cart should be at least 3 feet from all permanent structures. This includes other collection carts, yard bags or bundles, mailboxes, fences, wall, utility poles and other stationary items on the curb. 

  • Metal bar must face the street 

  • The lid must be closed. 

  • Do not over fill the cart. 

  • DO NOT place cart under low hanging tree branches. 

  • Remove cart from collection point after collection. 

What if I miss garbage collection?
  • Contact us at 515-283-4950 to report a missed collection, or you can Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Collection Request Form.  

  • $25 late collection fee for garbage carts put out after 7:00 AM on collection day.  

  • Missed collections must be reported before 5:00 PM the day after collection. Missed reports after this time will be subject to a $25 collection fee. 

What are the holiday collection rules?

When the holiday listed below falls on a weekday, the garbage and yard waste collections on and after the Holiday will be delayed one day for the rest of that week.  

  • New Year’s Day  

  • Memorial Day  

  • 4th of July  

  • Labor Day  

  • Thanksgiving Day  

What goes in the collection cart?
  • Garbage/trash in disposable plastic bags or boxes placed inside the cart.  

  • Styrofoam  

  • Plastic Bags  

  • Paper products – Tissues, Napkins, toilet paper and paper towels  

  • Aluminum foil  

  • Lids from jars  

  • Paper contaminated with food  

  • Empty containers that once held motor oil or antifreeze  

Can I place items outside of the collection cart?
  • Extra trash items required a Pink $1 Extra Trash Sticker attached to each bag or box  

  • Bulk Items that are too big to fit in garbage cart require a Pink $5 Bulk Item Sticker attached to each item.  

  • Assure all Stickers are facing out toward the street. Your garbage collection crew will dispatch a different crew to pick up the stickered items.  

Where do I purchase the pink, City of Des Moines Extra Trash and Large Item stickers?
What extra trash items require pink, $1 stickers?
  • Extra trash bags or similar items placed outside the garbage cart  

  • Items that fit in a 33-gallon bag or box no larger than 2’x2’x3’  

  • List of Locations to Purchase Stickers.   

  • Properly stickered items will be collected on regular garbage collection day.  

  • Items cannot exceed 40 lbs.  

  • Properly stickered items must be curbside before 7:00 am on regular collection day.  

What large bulky trash items require pink, $5 stickers?
  • Each large item requires a Pink, $5 City of Des Moines Large Item sticker. List of Stores to Purchase Stickers 

  • Items that do NOT fit in a 33-gallon bag or 2’x2’x3’ box  

  • Examples of large items include: furniture, mattresses, couches, tables and rolled carpet. (carpet must be rolled and tied in 4-foot lengths and 18 inches in diameter – 1 sticker for 5 rolls)  

  • Properly stickered item must be at the curb by 7:00 am with stickers facing towards the street for collection on garbage day.  

  • Your garbage collection crew will dispatch another crew to collect your large items on same day. Please note: collection may take longer than normal garbage collection.  

How do I dispose of appliances?
  • Collection Fee is $35 per appliance. (7) Pink, $5 City of Des Moines Large Item Stickers.  

  • Collection Day for appliances: Wednesday’s 

  • Schedule pick up at 515-283-4950 

What appliances require (7) $5 pink large items stickers ($35)?
  • Air Conditioners
  • Clothes Dryers
  • Clothes Washers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Dishwashers
  • Freezers
  • Furnaces
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Ovens/Stoves/Ranges
  • Refrigerators
  • Water Heaters 
What are SCRUB events (Alternative Disposal)?
  • MEGA SCRUB Events: Free bulk items and appliance disposal.

  • SCRUB Calendar

  • You can take appliances directly to MWA Metro Park East Landfill at 12181 NE 12th Ave (HWY 163) Mitchellville, Phone 515-967-2076

What about hazardous waste?
  • Hazardous waste can be taken to the MWA Hazardous Drop Off Site located at 1105 Prairie Dr. SW, Bondurant, IA 

  • For more information or call 515-967-5512 

What is NOT collected?
  • Tires – MWA Metro Park East Landfill Phone 515-967-2076 or 

  • Hazardous Waste (including batteries, garden chemicals, oil-based paints, and propane) – Metro Waste.  Hazardous Waste Drop-off at 515-967-5512 or 

  • Syringes and Lancets - Metro Waste, Hazardous Waste Drop-off at 515-967-5512, or 

  • Other items such as railroad ties, pianos, landscape timbers, big screen TV’s and garage doors – MWA Metro Park East Landfill Phone 515-967-2076 or