Recycling Collection


  • LEAF COMPOST: Free compost is available at Jim Barnett Park (next to the glass recycling station in the gravel parking lot near the BMX track), first-come, first-served and while supplies last. Self-loading only.
  • GLASS: Drop off your glass at any of our five glass recycling stations. Click here for details

recycling materials

The Winchester Public Services Department provides residents curbside collection of recycling, yard waste and refuse on a weekly basis. 


Find your collection day  Trash collection   Yard waste collection   Composting information   Other ways to recycle


Holiday Schedule

If a City-observed holiday falls on a recycling day (Monday/Tuesday), 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). 

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Sign up for the City's notification system and opt-in to receive trash and recycling collection change alerts via text, phone or email.

Recycling Collection

Haga clic aquí para ver los requisitos de reciclaje en español.

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: 

  1. Submit and track your request via the City's online 3-1-1 service request system 
  2. Email the Refuse & Recycling Manager
  3. Call the Refuse & Recycling Manager at (540) 667-1815, ext. 1452

Bottles & Cans:

  • Rinsed plastic bottles and metal cans can be commingled: aluminum, steel and tin cans and plastic bottles and jugs (no caps).
  • 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.
  • NO: Unrinsed items, other plastic containers (i.e. food containers), styrofoam, glass, light bulbs, aerosol cans

Paper & Cardboard:

  • In another container (as described above), 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


  • Not accepted in recycling bins currently.
  • Drop off your glass at one of the five glass recycling locations. Click here for details.


  • City's Recycling Explanation Diagram - View
  • Unwanted items list and information - View

Reduce / Reuse

Here are several ways you can help reduce waste:

  • Get to know the rules of recycling
  • Ditch the plastic bags
  • Make a meal plan to reduce carryout container and food waste
  • Start relying on reusable containers 
  • Start composting
  • Learn to repair rather than discard
  • Cancel unnecessary mail
  • Subscribe to online newspapers instead of paper delivery
  • Don’t print documents unless absolutely necessary and then print two-sided
  • Stop using disposable everything
  • Stop buying plastic water bottles
  • Donate durable goods to a good cause
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Eliminate single use

Yard Waste

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).

2023-2024 Yard Waste Season: March 8, 2023-January 10, 2024

  • 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 a limit of five containers, bags, or bundles that will be collected each week (except during leaf collection season: biodegradable bags must be used, and there is no limit).
  • Christmas trees: Undecorated Christmas trees are collected curbside (weather permitting) on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 with regular yard waste.

Yard Waste is only accepted during specified yard waste collection days and will not be accepted with regular trash. Yard Waste collection is canceled during holiday weeks (see the Holiday Collection Schedule).


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Decide whether you want to compost in a pile or container.

Composting Resources:

Free Compost

Did you know the City provides free compost made from the fall leaf collection season to local residents? Click here for more information

Other Ways to Recycle


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.


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.

Step-by-step guide and ordering information - Yelm Earthworm and Casting Farm

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.

rain barrel


Michael NeeseMichael Neese
Refuse & Recycling Manager

City Yards, 301 E. Cork Street
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 667-1815, ext.1452
Fax (540) 662-5227



Brandon Lewis
Refuse & Recycling Crew Supervisor
City Yards, 301 E. Cork Street
(540) 667-1815, ext. 1469