Solid Waste

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The City of Ithaca provides curbside trash and yard waste collection for the residents of the city.  This division also maintains public trash and recycling cans on city streets, makes special collections from neighborhood clean-up activities, and issues violations for improperly placed or tagged trash, yard waste and recycling.
Trash Collection
Trash Tags
Yard Waste Collection



Trash Collection

Rules & Criteria for Trash Pick-up are as follows:

  1. Trash and recycling should be placed at the curb the night before the scheduled collection day (crews begin at 4:00 a.m.).
  2. Trash cans or plastic bags may be used.  According to City Code §193-3.B.(1), "No such container shall exceed 32 gallons in capacity, and when filled, no such container shall weigh more than 70 pounds."

  3. Holiday Collection -  trash is not collected on any major holiday in which administrative offices are closed:
  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Presidents' Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Trash collection will be one day late for the remainder of the week. Example: If a major holiday falls on a Monday and Monday is your normally scheduled day for trash collection, put your trash out on Monday night for Tuesday pickup.  However, if one of the above holidays lands on a weekend day, trash will be collected on the regularly scheduled collection day.  On all other holidays, trash collection will be on a normal schedule.

Trash Collection Map for the City (beginning April 1, 2013) 
Listing of Trash Collection Days (beginning April 1, 2013)

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Trash Tags

Trash tags are required to pay for the collection of the trash.  Residents can purchase tags at City Hall or at the local grocery stores. See the Chamberlain's Office website for more information on purchasing trash tags.

Tag Requirements:

  1. One (1) tag is required for each trash can or plastic bag that is placed at the curb.  If more than one (1) bag of trash is put in a trash can, be sure the weight of the can does not exceed the weight on the tag.
  2. The Tag must be placed around the neck of the bag or on the bag itself.  Trash cans must have the tag wrapped around the handle for easy access. 
  3. The weight of trash cans containing multiple bags cannot exceed 70 pounds.

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  1. Recycling within the City of Ithaca is performed by the Tompkins County Solid Waste Management Division and is conducted every other week.
  2. Recycling bins or free "R" Decals may be obtained through Tompkins County Solid Waste Management located at 122 Commercial Avenue, Ithaca, NY.

For more information, call Tompkins County Solid Waste Management at (607) 273-6632 or visit their website at

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Yard Waste Collection

Collection of yard waste occurs within the city between April 1st and November 30th, or until snow falls, on the weeks opposite recycling collection.  Yard Waste collection days are the same days as trash collection; however, yard waste is collected later in the day.  Yard Waste tags are required for each can, bag or bundle of yard waste to cover collection costs. The fees for yard waste collection are currently $1.50 per can, bag or bundle.  Please see the Chamberlain's Office for information on purchasing yard waste tags.


  1. All yard waste must be placed at the curb the night before the scheduled collection day.  Collection begins at 4:00 a.m.

  2. Only natural materials, such as grass, leaves, branches, and brush from the resident's property are considered yard waste.  Material brought in from outside the City limits is considered illegal dumping.

  3. Bio-degradable, recyclable paper leaf or lawn bags are preferred, but yard waste may be placed in open trash cans without the lids.  Plastic bags will not be accepted as a container for yard waste collection.  Any plastic bags rejected and left at the curb will be subject to a special trash collection fee ($20 + weight of the bags).

  4. All brush must be tied in bundles no longer than four (4) feet in length.

  5. Branches must not exceed two (2) inches in diameter.

  6. No bundle, container, or bag may exceed fifty (50) pounds in weight.

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