Refuse and Recycling

The Winchester Public Services Department provides curbside collection of recycling, yard waste, and refuse.

For all collections, place materials curbside no later than 7:30 am on the day of collection, but not before 6:00 pm the night before collection. Please be sure to remove containers from curbside the same day.

America Recycles Day


To receive a blue recycling bin call 667-1815 ext. 1452 or email  

Recycle day- For curbside collection please place bottles and cans commingled: glass bottles of all colors, cans of aluminum, steel, and tin, as well as all plastics items 1-7 (excluding Styrofoam). All of these items should be rinsed of excess contents and mixed together either in the recycling bin, or another reusable container under 45 gallons (such as a laundry basket, or trash can).

In another container (as described above) or paper bags or cardboard box please place all of your papers to be recycled: newspapers, magazines, phone books, hard backed books, soft backed books, junk mail, office paper, shredded paper, cereal boxes, cardboard boxes, etc. Please do not mix the paper items with the bottles, cans, and plastics. There is no limit on how many containers you can place curbside.

Yard Waste

Wednesday collections City-wide / March 11, 2015 to January 13, 2016 (excluding holiday weeks)

Grass clippings, bush/plant trimmings and leaves must be placed into open containers (i.e. small trash cans) or biodegradable PAPER lawn bags. Yard waste cannot be accepted in plastic bags. Brush and small limbs (3” max. diameter) must be cut and tied into tight bundles no longer than four feet and no larger than 18 inches in diameter. We are not able to collect loose trimmings.

Yard Waste is only accepted during specified yard waste collections and cannot be accepted with regular refuse. Yard Waste collection is cancelled during holiday weeks. The City does not provide for the collection of yard waste during the suspended period from mid-January to mid-March.


Grasscycling is mowing your lawn without bagging the clippings. There are a few simple tips to follow. Keep mower blades sharp and clean, only mow about 1/3 the height of the grass each time. Typically, that means mowing weekly in the spring and bi-weekly in the summer.

Why do it? It's better for your lawn than bagging because it returns nutrients to the lawn, and reduces the need for fertilizers.

More information about Grasscycling:


A maximum of THREE (3) containers of household refuse (trash) will be collected by the City per residence. Those that exceed this limitation must arrange privately for other means of collection and disposal.

A container is a sealed bag OR a can that meets City Code specifications (42 gallon capacity or less, usable handles, no more than 75 lbs when loaded, otherwise able to be safely emptied). Oversized, overweight, or overloaded containers will not be collected. Please do not use cardboard boxes as containers for refuse.

Bulky Items

Bulky items (furniture, appliances, lumber, etc.) are not accepted with the regular refuse. Please check the unwanted items list or contact the Refuse & Recycling Division for information on our Large-Item Collection Service.

Other Items

Hazardous Wastes (such as paints, chemicals, etc), Tires, Televisions & Computer monitors, commercial construction debris, and certain other items can not be disposed of with household refuse. Contact us for information on special collections and proper disposal of these items. Please check the unwanted items list or contact the Refuse & Recycling Division for information on our Large-Item Collection Service.


If a City-observed holiday falls on a recycling day (Monday/Tuesday) or refuse day (Thursday/Friday), that collection will be held on the Wednesday of that same week. Yard Waste collection is cancelled during holiday weeks.

Reduce / Reuse

When you no longer have a use for an item it doesn’t mean it is trash. Consider donating it to charity, selling the item, or giving it away. Also consider using reusable items instead of disposable ones. Consider using cloth rags instead of paper towels, or canvas bags instead of plastic (or at least paper bags for recycling).


Composting is the controlled decay of vegetative matter with the intent of producing nutrient rich humus. Before you begin composting there are several considerations one should bear in mind. First, what will you do with the humus? Options include using it for flower beds and pots, gardening soil, spreading it around trees, and giving it to neighbors whom have use for it. Second, know the materials you can and cannot put in your compost. You can safely add yard trimmings and leaves. Vegetable trimmings from your kitchen and garden work as well, but you should avoid any animal material (meat, fats, grease, milk, eggs, ect.) as they can attract pests. Third, decide whether you want to compost in a pile or container.


Vermiposting is the act of composting, indoors, with the use of worms. The bins are easy to assemble and can be purchased online. The worms (eisenia foetida) are non-native and will not survive outdoors. This means if the worms are released outside (such as during the transferring of castings to gardening use) they will in turn die and be part of the composting process.

Storm Water Recycling

We need to be more conservative in our use of water. For in house ideas and some simple how-to's, please see the links below.

Storm water recycling is commonly known as rainwater recycling, storm water diversion, roof runoff collection, and rain barrel collection. A long time ago it was called a cistern and used for drinking water, now we encourage its use only for water of lawns and gardens as well as washing cars, and other nonpotable outdoor uses.

To capture your rain water from your roof, via your gutters, and contain it for use in barrels, be aware of the volume of water that will be produced. 1 inch of rain on a 1000 sq ft roof yields 623 gallons of water. As we have extended amounts of time below freezing, the system should be removable to avoid ice damage to it. Second, the system should be fully contained and treated in a manner that will prevent the growth of mosquito’s and fungus/mold.


This section is for parents and educators. Below are links for games and information to teach your children about waste reduction and recycling.

Below are links to curriculums for various grades that cover SOL criteria specifically in science and recycling.


Q: How often will you collect at my house/business? 
A: Refuse, recycling, and yard waste are each collected once a week.

Q: Is there a limit on how much recycling/yard waste I can put out? 
A: There is no limit to how much recycling/yard waste you can put curbside. There is a container size and weight limit though; containers should be no larger than 45 gallons, no heavier than 75 pounds. No plastic bags with yard waste.

Q: Do I have to use a bin/what if I need more than one bin? 
A: Containers must be either reusable or recyclable; this means papers in paper bags/cardboard boxes or a trash can, no plastic bags for paper. Bottles, cans, and plastics in a reusable container such as a trash can.

Q: What do you collect for recycling/what materials need to be separated? 
A: We collect 2 commingled streams of material. These streams need to be kept separate. One stream is paper, all grades, colors, styles, and shapes; meaning junk mail, cereal boxes, magazines, books, newspapers, and shredded materials can go together in the paper bag or reusable container, NO PLASTIC BAGS. The other stream is called bottles, cans, and plastics this includes glass bottles of any color, cans of aluminum steel and tin; and all numbers of plastic except Styrofoam. Place these items in a reusable container.

Q: What about yard waste? 
A: Yard waste is composted, same container limitations as paper products (45 gallon, 75 pounds or paper bags). If it grows it can go, no dirt, rocks, or huge pieces, try to keep branches to 3 in diameter and under 4 ft long, you can bundle these materials with string or tape instead of bagging or canning. NO PLASTIC BAGS.

Q: How much does refuse collection cost?
A: A monthly fee of $5.00 is charged to all customers that receive solid waste collection service from the City. This fee is charged to each “unit” that receives this service (i.e. residence, apartment, etc.) and is included on your utility bill. If you receive a utility bill once every two months, the fee will be $10 per unit for each billing cycle.

Still have a question contact Michael Neese at 540 667-1815 ext.1452 or

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City of Winchester, Virginia
15 North Cameron Street  •  Winchester, VA 22601
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