Common Questions

My trash collection was missed, can you help me?

If your neighbors' trash has already been collected, we may have encountered one of the following situations: a wheeled container was placed out for collection after we already collected the area, your container contained prohibitive materials, a parked car may have been in the way (we will not collect refuse where there is a possibility of damage to the residents' personal property), or your wheeled container was set out at the wrong place. Please call the City’s 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111, and we will make every effort to have your refuse collected and prevent future problems. Please provide us with your name, address and telephone number.

Can I purchase an additional container?

Customers with 90-gallon wheeled container service may contact the City's 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111 if they are interested in purchasing a second container. Taking advantage of our recycling programs is another way to help keep your container from overflowing.

I am elderly or have a physical limitation; do you provide a special service for people like me?

If you do not have anyone nearby that would be available to help you (a friend, relative or neighbor,) you can apply for our Exemption Service. Contact the City’s 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111, and we will send you a questionnaire and a doctor's statement to fill out and return. Download the Exemption Service Application Packet(PDF, 661KB). We may have a smaller container that you may be able to handle on your own. We can make arrangements for you to see it, if you would like. Another agency you may wish to contact is Franklin County Senior Options at (614) 462-6200. They provide various services to residents 60 years of age and up.

I just moved in, how do I establish service?

Contact the City’s 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111. We will verify that your address is in the city. If needed, a container will be ordered and delivered to your residence.

My 300-gallon container in the alley is overflowing, can you help?

If the nearest available container is full, use one of the others within the block. We service every alley once each week. If the containers in your area have not been serviced within the past week, please contact the City’s 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111 and we will have a supervisor investigate the situation. Taking advantage of our recycling programs can also help keep your container from overflowing.

How do I arrange for a bulk collection (items too large for my container)?

Bulk collection must be scheduled by contacting 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111 or go to the 311 page to schedule a collection.

Where can I get information regarding disposal of hazardous materials?

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) administers the collection of hazardous materials. You can call (614) 871-5100 for more information. You can also visit their website at

What do I do with yard waste?

Columbus partners with Rumpke to provide biweekly collection of yard waste for Columbus households that currently receive trash collection from 90 gallon or 300 gallon containers.

Leaves, grass clippings and small branches cannot be placed with household trash. Columbus provides collection of these items from the curb through a private hauler. Yard waste must be placed in paper lawn and leaf bags or in reusable containers marked "Yard Waste." Yard waste will not be collected if it is placed in plastic bags or if it is placed in your City-provided trash container.

Small branches should be tied with twine into bundles no larger than 4 feet long and 2 feet around. Holiday trees are collected, but trees must be completely free of all decorations and, if taller than 8 feet, must be cut in half.

Fruit and vegetables should be bagged and placed with regular trash. Dirt, rocks and sod should be be taken to a site seeking fill dirt.

Yard waste should be placed curbside at least 3 feet from refuse containers, fire hydrants, mailboxes or trees. Contact the City’s 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111 or visit the 311 website to determine your yard-waste collection day.

Returning grass clippings to the yard keeps your grass healthy and saves space in the landfill. In fact, grass clippings contain valuable nutrients that can generate up to 25 percent of your lawn's total fertilizer needs. Grass clippings do not contribute to thatch since grass clippings are 75 percent to 85 percent water and decompose readily.

What do the COLORS signify?

Many of our customers are assigned a Color, which corresponds to the day the trash is collected in their neighborhood. The collection day moves forward one day after each holiday. Color-collection customers, please refer to the monthly color calendar or find your current collection day.

Whom do I call if I have a question concerning my regular collection day?

Call the 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111. Customers assigned a color can call (614) 645-your color (i.e. (614) 645-NAVY), The collection color is also published daily in the Columbus Dispatch Metro Section.

How do holidays affect the collection schedule?

There are no collections on holidays observed by the City of Columbus.

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Note: Collection days are not affected by Good Friday or Veteran's Day holidays.

Collection Color Schedule
The refuse collection day moves forward after City observed holidays for residents assigned a collection color. For example, after a holiday, a color-collection day that was Tuesday, moves to Wednesday until the next holiday, when it will then move to Thursday. Customers assigned a collection color can call their collection-color hotline, (614) 645-[COLOR]. Example: 645-NAVY (6289), to determine their current collection day.

Two-Day Collection Schedule

  • Residents not assigned a trash collection color have a two-day collection window
  • If your normal collection day falls before the holiday, your trash will be collected on the first day of the collection window
  • If your collection day falls on or after the holiday, your trash will be serviced on the second day of the collection window

Recycling and Yard Waste Collection
Bi-weekly recycling and yard waste and subscription recycling collection with a collection day that falls on or after the holiday will be delayed by one day during the week of the holiday, with Friday’s collection occurring on Saturday

What can I do about somebody who is dumping illegally?

Report a violation or e-mail us a description of the vehicle and/or the dumper and possibly a license number, and we will refer it to a solid waste inspector for investigation. You can also contact the Franklin County Environmental Justice Program at (614) 871-5322.

How do I arrange for a dead animal pickup in the City?

Call (614) 645-3111 for collection of a dead animal from the roadway or city right of way. A dead animal cannot be collected from within your house, basement or garage, or anywhere on your property. Please check Google local or your yellow pages under animal control for a private company. Veterinarians and some local funeral homes will accept dead animals. You may arrange to drop-off a dead animal by calling the Capital Area humane Society at (614) 777-7387, extension 208.

My wheeled container is damaged, how can I get it repaired or replaced?

Write down the serial number of the container and contact the 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111. Provide the 311 Service Center the container serial number and the type of damage to the container. It will be repaired or replaced on your collection day. In most cases it is repaired or replaced on their next collection day.

The 300-gallon container in the alley is damaged, how can I get it repaired or replaced?

Contact the 311 Service Center at (614) 645-3111. Be sure to write down the serial number of the container and specify the type of damage to the container. The container will be repaired or replaced within 10 working days.

Can't find what you are looking for?

Call (614) 645-3111 to talk to a 311 Service Center Representative or check the 311 website.

How do I contact the Divison of Refuse Collection?

Questions about Refuse Collection or other City Services? Call (614) 645-3111

Division Office
2100 Alum Creek Drive
Columbus, OH 43207

(614) 645-7296 Fax