2019 Holiday curbside collection schedule

  • Monday, Nov. 11.  Veterans Day: Crews will run regular routes.
  • Thursday, Nov. 28. Thanksgiving Day: Thursday’s routes will be collected on Friday, in addition to regular Friday routes. 
  • Wednesday, Dec. 25.  Christmas Day: Wednesday’s routes will be collected on Thursday, in addition to regular Thursday routes. 

Iowa City residents that receive curbside services can place yard waste and food waste in the same container at the curb to be picked up and transported to the Iowa City Landfill's compost facility, where it is made into compost. Check out food waste reduction tips to learn how to minimize food waste. 

Set containers out by 7 a.m. on your regular curbside collection day to ensure pick up. Food and yard waste can be combined in the same plastic container.

Organics (Yard Waste and Food Waste) Carts 

Curbside customers in Iowa City can receive either a 95-gallon or 25-gallon cart for organics (food waste and yard waste) curbside collection. Yard waste and food waste can be added to the same container for pickup.

1.) 95-gallon organics cart 
an image of City of Iowa City organics carts

Please sign up for a cart here. 

Carts will be delivered based on availability and staff time. Waits will vary and delivery could take up to several months.  

2.) 25-gallon organics cart 

Smaller 25-gallon carts are available for curbside customers.  Contact Resource Management at 319-356-5151 for more information.

Kitchen Food Scraps Container (2-gallon)

Iowa City curbside customers that would like a 2-gallon kitchen food scraps container can pick one up at the City Hall Cashier office in Iowa City City Hall (410 E. Washington St.) during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Important things to note:
Kitchen Food Scraps Container
  • A full list of accepted food waste materials may be found in our Organics: Yard Waste and Food Waste handout. 
  • These containers are not to be put at the curb. This container is for kitchen collection only. Materials collected can be emptied into your organics curbside container.
  • To help keep this container clean, use newspaper, or ASTM D6400 or U.S. Composting Council certified-compostable bags to contain the food scraps.

Yard Waste Composting 

Yard waste such as grass, leaves, and garden residue can be bagged in any paper yard waste bag, placed in a personal 20-35 gallon upright container (weight limit of 50 pounds), or placed in an official City of Iowa City 95-gallon (weight limit of 250 pounds) or 25-gallon (weight limit of 50 pounds) cart.

Food waste may be mixed with yard waste in containers. Do not place food waste in paper yard waste bags. For more information, see the Organics: Yard Waste and Food Waste handout. 

Open burning of yard waste and other refuse is prohibited in Iowa City at all times.

Pumpkin Composting

Remember to toss your jack-o-lantern in your curbside composting, not in your trash.

To compost, remove any candles or lights from inside your pumpkin and place it in your organics container (City cart, or personal 20-35 gallon upright container), or in a paper yard waste bag, and then set it at the curb for collection on your normal service day. 

Residents can also take pumpkins to the Iowa City Landfill’s compost facility to be composted at no charge.  

Garlic Mustard 

Garlic Mustard is accepted at the Iowa City Landfill's Compost Facility. If you are a curbside customer, please place it in your yard waste bag or container to be picked up at the curb for composting. Johnson County residents can also drop Garlic Mustard and other yard waste at the Compost Facility at no cost.

We are able to accept Garlic Mustard in our facility because our compost reaches a high enough temperature. We do not recommend adding Garlic Mustard and other invasive species to a backyard compost pile as this does not get to a high enough temperature.

Pet Waste

Pet waste, while organic, is not accepted in curbside composting or at the Iowa City Compost Facility. Please place this in the regular trash. 

Woody Yard Waste 

Curbside customers may place fallen tree limbs, branches, brush and woody yard waste at the curb for pick-up on their normal garbage day only if it meets the following specifications:

  • Wood waste and brush must be four inches in diameter or less.
  • Must be securely tied in bundles that are no bigger around than 18 inches and no more than 48 inches in length.
  • Bundles must also weigh less than 50 pounds.
Woody Yard Waste Dimensions

Any brush not meeting the specifications listed above will be left at the curb.

Food Waste Reduction

Did you know that over 25 percent of what goes into the Iowa City Landfill is food waste? That’s approximately 34,000 tons of food each year, just in Johnson County. 

When food waste ends up in the landfill, it produces a harmful greenhouse gas called methane that is over 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide. This can impact local air quality and climate change. Composting is a better alternative to landfilling, but it is best not to waste food in the first place.

When we throw away food, we also waste all the water, energy, and natural resources used to produce, package, and transport food from farm to plate. In addition, wasted food means wasted money.

The following Food: Too Good To Waste strategies can help you reduce food waste:

For recipes, food storage and planning tips, and more, check out Save the Food

Are you a restaurant wanting to reduce food waste? Check out the ReFed Restaurant Food Waste Action Guide

Have food that could be donated?

Table to Table is a local non-profit organization that rescues edible food and delivers it to organizations in Iowa City that can use it. Learn more about the organization and how to volunteer by visiting, www.table2table.org.

Food Waste Composting 

Curbside Composting (available to single-family homes up to 4-plex buildings in Iowa City)

Food waste such as coffee grounds, egg shells, meat bones, fruit and vegetable peels, pizza boxes, and food napkins can all be composted. View the Organics: Yard Waste and Food Waste handout for more information. Food waste, and other compostable materials like yard waste, can be placed in an upright container, 20-35 gallons in size (weight limit of 50 pounds), or an official City of Iowa City organics cart:.95-gallon cart (weight limit of 250 pounds) and the 25-gallon cart (weight limit of 50 pounds). Do not place food waste in paper yard waste bags.

To reduce mess, you may place food waste in newspaper or certified-compostable bags (labeled ASTM D6400 or certified-compostable) before placing food waste in curbside containers. 

Watch the Curbside Compost 101 video to learn more about the program and how to compost effectively. The video specifies 35-gallon containers, upright containers ranging in size from 20 to 35 gallons are accepted.

Home Composting
Business Composting

Businesses are encouraged to check out the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge for information on food waste reduction and rescue. 

Organics hauling options for businesses: 

Self-Hauling Organics to the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center 

For information on self-hauling organics, yard waste and/or food waste, to the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, visit our Landfill and Recycling Centers webpage.

Questions? Contact Resource Management at 319-356-5151 or the Recycling Coordinator at 319-887-6110 or jane-wilch@iowa-city.org. Sign up for email service notices at www.icgov.org/subscribe