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Garbage Pickup

What is the definition of garbage?
Garbage is the bagged household waste that is generated from normal everyday living (i.e.: food waste, kitchen scraps, etc.). Can I mix garbage and curbside trash? No, Even though both are considered solid waste, they are independently regulated by the State of Georgia's Environmental Protection Division and must go to a landfill designed for each particular type of waste.

To best prepare your garbage for pick up, please follow these simple guidelines:

  • Location: Garbage cans must be located either (1) at curbside, or (2) at the end of the driveway (3) within 10 feet of the house visible from the primary driveway and not inside in-ground containers. The collection crews will not enter any residential structure to collect garbage. This includes any fenced area. Garbage cans must be set outside fences, garages, carports and other enclosed areas except containment areas that were designed only for the storage of garbage cans and are placed in the location listed above.
  • Preparation and Storage: Household garbage must be placed in suitable bags, securely tied at the top with no tears or leaks. The amount put into the bag must not exceed the bags’ capacity to be handled without ripping or tearing open (use more bags instead of over-filling). These securely tied bags should be put into a clean, dry, sanitary can with a tight fitting lid. ANY BAGS LEFT OUTSIDE THE CONTAINER SUCH AS ON TOP OF THE LID OR ON THE GROUND OR IF THE LID IS HELD OPEN BY A BAG WILL SHOW THAT YOU HAVE EXCEEDED THE CANS’ CAPACITY AND THESE BAGS WILL NOT BE COLLECTED.
  • Amount: The maximum amount per pick up is 96 gallons. You can store that amount in one 96 gallon cart, two 48 gallon carts, or three 33 gallon carts. If your volume exceeds a combined total of 96 gallons per pick up we encourage you to recycle more or be prepared to pay an additional pick up fee.
  • Collection: Containers must be ready for collection no later than 7:00am on your collection day.

How do holidays affect the pickup schedule?
Holidays which fall on Monday and Tuesday delay garbage pickup one day. Holidays that fall on Thursday or Friday delay pickup until the following Monday or Tuesday. The weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas pickup will be once weekly.

Please see the City of Gainesville's Solid Waste Ordinance Title 4, Chapter 4-3-1 for any further information.

Trash Pickup

What is the definition of trash?
Trash is the occasional items that are too large and bulky to go into the household garbage bag (i.e.: outdoor waste generated from cleaning up around the house, boxes, etc.). Leaves, grass clippings, any kind of packing material, and any other similar loose items that will blow out of a truck must be bagged or will not be picked-up. Garbage and trash are not picked up by the same trucks and do not go to the same location. Household garbage and trash cannot be mixed. Household garbage is required to be discarded in a state approved Solid Waste Landfill while curbside trash is required to go to a state approved Construction and Demolition Landfill.

Will the City take everything that is put out for pick-up?
No, The City must follow the rules of Solid Waste Management by the State of Georgia's Environmental Protection Division. Hazardous materials, biomedical waste, liquids, wet paint, flammables, explosives, construction and demolition debris, rocks, dirt, bricks, blocks, stumps, tires, car parts, and many other items are not allowed to be handled by the City's Solid Waste Division.

Is there a maximum amount the City will pick-up per customer?
Yes, each customer is limited to one (1) cubic yard (about ½ the size of a standard refrigerator or six (6) kitchen-sized garbage bags) per week with a maximum of four (4) cubic yards per month without being charged additional fees. It is the responsibility of the resident and/or property owner to handle the disposal of major items resulting from the cleaning out of a basement, attic, storage building, evictions, cleaning up between tenants, and estate cleanups. Picking-up the items from these types of cleanups fall outside of the regular solid waste service the City provides.

Can special arrangements be made for the City to pick-up large bulky items?
Yes, see White Goods and Special Pickups below.

Recycling

The City of Gainesville will assume the responsibility for recycling services and will provide city customers who need one with a new recycling bin. The City will continue to collect single stream recycling as is currently being collected.

Recycling bins must be placed curside.

Items that can be recycled:
  • Glass - All clear and color beverage and food containers. Rinse and remove lids.
  • Cans - Aluminum and tin cans. Rinse out, flatten (optional). Scrap metal (less than 5 lbs. and less than 18" in length).
  • Paper- Clean and dry newspaper, magazines, catalogs, mail, writing paper, phone books, cereal and other paperboard boxes, paper frozen food boxes, paper bags.
  • Plastic - Bottles #1-#7, such as milk, soda, detergent or shampoo bottles.  Rinse out and remove lids.
  • Cardboard - Flattened boxes (no pizza boxes), place in cart.

Why should I recycle?
Everyone benefits from recycling. The recycling programs provide jobs, extends the life of our landfills, which in turn saves us as taxpayers the monies involved in landfill needs and the negative connotations surrounding landfill usage and placement.

How do I get the blue recycling box?
Call the Solid Waste Department at 770-532-0493 to arrange for one to be delivered to the house.

White Goods And Special Pickups

What are White Goods?
White goods are appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers, refrigerators, water heaters, stoves, microwaves, air conditioners, dishwashers, trash compactors, electronic waste (ie: computers, monitors, televisions, stereo).

Why do the white goods and special pickups have to be scheduled in advance? This is part of the regulated waste that has to be handled separately from the normal waste stream. There is an additional fee for this service. This per occurrence fee will be reflected on the next water bill. The fee will be based on what is being picked-up. This must be scheduled in advance by calling Solid Waste at 770-532-0493. This type of pick-up will only be done when there is available equipment and personnel. It is a violation of City regulations if this is put at the curbside prior to making the necessary arrangements to get it removed.

Fees

What are the fees for garbage pickup that will appear on my water bill from Public Utilities?

A fee of $32.10 pays for twice a week (except holidays) garbage removal, a landfill fee (for garbage and once a week curbside trash removal) and a recycling fee (for once a week recycling service).

Why is the fee for recycling included?
Recycling is mandated by the State of Georgia division of Consumer Affairs.

Can a resident opt out of paying these fees even if they dispose of their own garbage?
No, these fees support the overall program that keeps the residential areas of the City clean and sanitary and they help offset the rising cost of maintaining a clean and healthy environment within the City of Gainesville.

For answers to questions about your bill from Public Utilities please call customer service at 770-535-6878.

Danny Owen
Solid Waste Superintendent
P. O. Box 2496
Gainesville, Georgia 30503
Phone: 770-532-0493
Fax: 770-535-6884
solidwaste@gainesville.org