2019 Holiday curbside collection schedule

  • Monday, May 27. Memorial Day:  Monday’s routes will be collected on Tuesday, in addition to regular Tuesday routes. 
  • Thursday, July 4.  Independence Day:  Thursday’s routes will be collected on Friday, in addition to regular Friday routes. 
  • 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. 

The City of Iowa City is again taking online requests for 95-gallon organics carts. Learn more about new organics carts below. 

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.

Residents no longer need to purchase City of Iowa City yard waste bags or annual stickers. Similar to trash and recycling fees, there is now a $2 charge on monthly utility bills for this service.

New Organics (Yard Waste and Food Waste) Carts 

City of Iowa City organics carts are available for curbside customers. 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 curbside pickup.

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

The City has reopened online requests for 95-gallon carts. Fill out the form or call 319-356-5151. Carts will be delivered based on availability and staff time. Waits will vary. 

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 Food Waste Handout.
  • These containers are not to be put at the curb, as they are not a proper curbside container. 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 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 or placed in a yard waste container, 20-35 gallons in size (weight limit of 50 pounds). Official City of Iowa City 95-gallon carts (weight limit of 250 pounds) and 25-gallon carts (weight limit of 50 pounds) are also available for organics containers.

Food waste may be mixed with yard waste in containers. Do not place food waste in paper yard waste bags. 

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

Official City of Iowa City 95-gallon and 25-gallon organics carts are available to curbside customers.

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:
Food: Too Good To Waste Logo

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 

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 Curbside Composting Guide. 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.

Place food waste in newspaper or ASTM D6400 certified-compostable bags before placing food waste in curbside containers for pick up. 

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 now accepted.

Wintertime food waste curbside collection tips

Here are some tips to reduce organic material from freezing to your curbside container:

  • Wait to put your organics container at the curb until 7 AM on your curbside collection day (if container is regularly stored indoors).
  • Line your container with cardboard or newspaper before placing food waste in container.
  • Place food waste in paper bags or ASTM D6400 certified compostable bags before placing in container.
  • Place food waste in freezer to preserve material. You can place frozen food waste in container for your curbside collection day, or keep it frozen until temperatures warm up.

If you keep your container outdoors and regularly add food waste to it, the material may freeze to the container. This can cause the materials to not empty from the container during curbside pickup. Material will thaw and loosen from container when temperatures warm up again.

Composting at home is another method to deal with food scraps.

Are you a business interested in composting? Businesses are encouraged to check out the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge.

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