March 20: Yard waste collection begins. Sign up for the City's notification system and opt-in to receive collection change alerts via text, phone or email.
The Winchester Public Services Department provides curbside collection of recycling, yard waste and refuse on a weekly basis. If a City-observed holiday falls on a recycling day (Monday/Tuesday) or refuse day (Thursday/Friday), that collection will be rescheduled to the Wednesday of that same week. Yard Waste collection is canceled during holiday weeks (see the Holiday Collection Schedule).
Find Your Collection Day
Use the City's online Property Search Program to find your designated trash and recycling collection days. Type in your address and information about your property will populate on the left.
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.
Three ways to request a FREE blue recycling bin:
- Submit and track your request via the City's online 3-1-1 service request system.
- Email Refuse & Recycling
- Call the Refuse & Recycling Coordinator at (540) 667-1815, ext. 1452.
Bottles & Cans:
- Bottles and cans can be commingled: cans of aluminum, steel and tin, as well as all plastics #1 and #2 (excluding Styrofoam)
- All items should be rinsed of excess contents and mixed together either in a recycling bin or another reusable container under 45 gallons (such as a laundry basket or trash can)
- There is no limit on how many containers you can place curbside
- If using a bag to put items by the curb for collection, use a clear bag so crews can see that it is recycling and not trash
- NO: Unrinsed items, styrofoam, window glass, dishes/cookware, light bulbs, aerosol cans
As of January 1, 2019, the City is not recycling glass or plastics #3-7, due to new vendor restrictions, but is actively searching for a solution. Residents and businesses can continue placing all items in their bins as normal until further notice. Click here for details.
Paper & Cardboard:
- In another container (as described above) or paper bags or cardboard box, 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.
- Do not mix the paper items with the bottles, cans and plastics.
- There is no limit on how many containers you can place curbside.
- NO: Food-stained items, milk/ice cream/juice cartons, juice boxes, wax-coated boxes, used paper towels/tissues, trash
A maximum of THREE (3) containers of household trash will be collected by the City per residence. Those that exceed this limitation must arrange privately for other means of collection and disposal.
- There is a limit of THREE containers (bags or cans) per residence.
- All refuse must be contained in bags or cans that can be safely handled without coming apart. Containers must not exceed a 45-gallon capacity and 75 lbs.
- Trash cans must have handles. Cardboard boxes are not acceptable as trash containers.
- Do not place trash out for collection prior to 6:00 pm the night before collection.
- NO: Appliances, furniture, lumber, other bulky items, hazardous waste (such as paints, chemicals, etc), tires, televisions, computer monitors, commercial construction debris
- Landfill, e-cycling, household hazardous waste and recycling information (Frederick County, VA)
- Refuse ideas (Recycling Revolution)
- Source reduction and reuse (EPA)
Yard waste is collected curbside city-wide on Wednesdays during the City's Yard Waste Collection Season (begins in March and ends in January each year, excluding holiday weeks).
2019-2020 Yard Waste Season: March 20, 2019 through January 15, 2020
- Grass clippings, bush/plant trimmings and leaves must be placed into open containers (i.e. small trash cans) or biodegradable PAPER lawn 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.
- NO: Plastic bags, containers or bundles over 75 lbs in weight, dirt, clay or rocks, loose trimmings
- There is no limit to the number of appropriate containers you can place for collection on this day.
Yard Waste is only accepted during specified yard waste collection days and cannot be accepted with regular refuse. Yard Waste collection is canceled during holiday weeks (see the Holiday Collection Schedule).
Grasscycling is mowing your lawn without bagging the clippings.
There are a few simple tips to follow:
- Keep mower blades sharp and clean.
- Mow about 1/3 the height of the grass each time which may require 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.
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.
- Large Item Collection Request Form - Submit this form for assistance with disposing of large items
- Landfill, e-cycling, household hazardous waste and recycling information (Frederick County)
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).
- Unwanted items list and information
- Reuse ideas - Recycling Revolution
- Source reduction and reuse ideas - Earth 911
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.
- 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.
- 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, etc.) as they can attract pests.
- Decide whether you want to compost in a pile or container.
Did you know the City provides free compost made from the fall leaf collection season to local residents? Click here for more information.
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 all need to be more conservative in our use of water.
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 non-potable 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. Second, the system should be fully contained and treated in a manner that will prevent the growth of mosquito’s and fungus/mold.
For in-house ideas and some simple how-to information, please see the links below.
- Water resource information - USGS
- Drought watch information - USGS
- Storm water information - City of Winchester
This section is for parents and educators. Below are links for games and information to teach your children about waste reduction and recycling (for various grades and covers SOL criteria specifically in science and recycling).
- Recycling Activities Book for Kids
- Educational resources for teachers and students - Earth 911
- Educational resources for teachers and students - EPA
- Department of Environmental Quality Resources
City Yards, 301 E. Cork Street
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 667-1815, ext.1452
Refuse and Recycling Crew Supervisor
City Yards, 301 E. Cork Street
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 667-1815, ext. 1469