About Refuse Collection

Yellow Garbage Truck

City of Columbus trash collection is managed by the Department of Public Service, Division of Refuse Collection. Each week, the division collects trash at approximately 343,000 city households while also providing biweekly recycling and yard waste pickup and scheduled bulk service pickup. It also services more than 645 public litter receptacles in the Downtown business district and in neighborhood commercial corridors.


The Division of Refuse Collection, recognized as a regional and national leader, strives to provide a clean and safe environment for all in our community. With efficient use of taxpayer dollars and other resources, the division is focused on keeping city neighborhoods cleaner, cracking down on illegal dumping and litter, and quickly responding to residents' refuse-related concerns.

Refuse Collection City Code Title 13

In 2020, the City rewrote Columbus City Code Title 13 that defines, clarifies and codifies the city's refuse collection rules and regulations for residential trash, recycling, yard waste and bulk pickup service.

Title 13 also creates civil violations for illegal dumping in city alleys and right of way that are enforceable by the division's Solid Waste Investigators and law enforcement officers. It provides the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $1,000 for dumping and abandoned property violations.

Civil enforcement is in addition to enforcement of criminal laws the city uses to file charges and prosecute illegal dumping offenders through investigations by our Solid Waste Investigators.

Illegal Dumping

The division leads Mayor Andrew J. Ginther's Clean Neighborhoods initiative to end illegal dumping in city neighborhoods through prevention, enforcement and education.

In addition to using cameras and data collection to target enforcement of hot spots, Clean Neighborhoods has focused resources to address illegal dumping:

  • Refuse Collection has new equipment and 3 city refuse crews dedicated to daily alley sweeps of illegal dumping sites; they have cleaned up approximately 10,000 tons of dumped trash in neighborhood alleys, including about 8,000 tires
  • The number of Refuse Collection Solid Waste Investigators has grown from 1 to 5
  • Their efforts in working with the City Attorney's Office is resulting in dozens of convictions and arraignments in illegal dumping cases in Franklin County Municipal Court
  • Nearly 2,200 residential 300-gallon trash receptacles in city alleys — magnets for illegal dumping — have been replaced by more than 7,000 90-gallon containers

Report Illegal Dumping to 311

Residents should contact the 311 Service Center if they see incidents of tires, furniture, construction material or other items being illegally dumped in an alley or vacant lot. If possible, provide this information:

  • License number and description of the vehicle
  • Description of the dumper
  • Description of type of material dumped
  • The dumping location
  • Photos or video of the dumping while it is occurring

Illegal dumping negatively impacts our neighborhoods' quality of life, public health and safety, roads, waterways, wildlife and the environment.

Learn about the progress of our Clean Neighborhoods Initiative(PDF, 308KB).

Division History

The Division of Refuse Collection has served Columbus for more than 100 years. Visit the Refuse Collection History(PDF, 2MB) page to learn more about our Division's interesting past.