Garbage Collection

yellow bag set out curbside next to black garbage cart

Curbside Garbage Collection

The Solid Waste Division provides weekly garbage collection service for homes with four or fewer units within the limits of the City of Gainesville. Each resident’s monthly refuse charge is based on their garbage cart size and service type (curbside or backyard). Be sure to Right Size Your Garbage Cart to fit your household’s needs.

Garbage Cart Collection Guidelines

  • Place your garbage cart curbside for collection by 7 AM on your scheduled collection day. Remove your garbage cart from the curb between collection days (remove by 9 PM on the day collection has occurred). Repeat offenders not removing carts, bins or containers from the curb on non-collection days can be issued a $35 service charge per occurrence.

Find Out Your Collection Day

  • Be sure to leave at least 2 feet of clearance on all sides of your cart. Obstructions such as recycling bins, yard waste, official yellow bags, bulk items, mailboxes, cars, poles, or other obstacles may prevent the automated truck from emptying your cart.

 black garbage cart with the words

  • Set your garbage carts within four (4) feet from the curb or the traveled edge of the road, with the front of the cart facing the street. Carts set back more than four (4) feet cannot be collected. Garbage carts should never be placed in the street, block the driveway of your neighbors, or interfere with the path of vehicles.
  • Your garbage cart lid should be completely closed when setting it out for collection. 

Maximum Fill Line_black trash cart_cropped.jpg

Do not overfill or overload your garbage cart. Garbage volumes should not exceed the height of the Maximum Fill Line (top rim) of your cart. Carts filled beyond the cart’s manufacturer’s weight limits as specified on the garbage cart cannot be serviced. Weight limits are approximately 332 lbs. for a 96-gal. cart, 227 lbs. for a 64-gal. cart, 122 lbs. for a 35-gal. cart. and 60 lbs. for a 20-gal. cart.

❌ Do not pile bags of garbage on top of or around the cart.

  • Excess garbage must be set out in Official Yellow Bags and placed curbside for collection at least 2 feet from your garbage cart.

yellow bag set out curbside next to black garbage cart

❌ Do not place unacceptable items in your garbage cart, such as yard waste, recyclables, bulk items, electronics, appliances, hazardous waste, dead animals, hot ashes, or flammable liquids.

  • Bag your garbage before placing it in your cart. All household waste should be securely tied in bags when placed inside your garbage cart.
  • Your garbage cart is for regular household garbage only.
  • dog holding sign saying double bag pet waste Pet waste and cat litter should be double-bagged.


Right Size Your Garbage Cart

Residents are encouraged to make less waste and save money by selecting the garbage cart size that best fits their needs. New residents should wait until after moving in to determine their garbage volume needs and the garbage cart size they will need before requesting a cart service level change.

There is no charge for the first garbage cart size change for new residents requesting a cart size change within 30 days of activating services. A $14.25 service fee will be charged for each additional cart service level change made within 30 days of activating services and cart service level changes made after 30 days from when services are activated. Please contact the Solid Waste Division to request a garbage cart size change.

largest garbage cart size (96 gallons) to smallest cart size (20 gallons)

Monthly cart rate based on cart size and service type:

Cart Size
Garbage Capacity Curbside Monthly Rate

(new rate starting 10/1/23)
Backyard Monthly Rate

(new rate starting 10/1/23)

20 gal.

1 kitchen-sized bag per week





35 gal.

2 to 3 kitchen-sized bags per week





64 gal.

4 to 5 kitchen-sized bags per week





96 gal.

6 to 7 kitchen-sized bags per week





Refuse service includes the weekly collection of garbage, recycling, yard waste, and bulk items. Large appliance and electronics collection by appointment at no additional charge.

Make Your Cart Service Level Change Request

  • A “mini-cart” is a 20-gallon garbage cart and is the smallest sized garbage cart offered by the City for residential collection service. The mini-cart holds approximately one kitchen-sized bag of garbage a week. Generally, households that opt for the mini-cart generate very little garbage on a weekly basis as they only have one occupant in the home or the occupants are dedicated recyclers. Some of the older mini-cart models in use are green in color. Newer models are black.
  • Each garbage cart has a unique serial number. You can identify your garbage cart size by looking at the first number of the cart serial number on the front of the cart. If the first number is a "2" then you have a 20-gal., a "3" then you have a 35-gal. cart, a "6" then you have a 64-gal. cart, or a "9" then you have a 96-gal. cart.
  • Garbage cart service level changes may be delayed when the current cart is not made available curbside for a cart exchange to occur. Repeated occurrences in which a cart is not made available curbside for a cart exchange will result in the cancellation of the service level change request.
  • Garbage cart service level change may be delayed or canceled when the current cart is overfilled or overloaded. Garbage volumes should not exceed the height of the top rim of your cart.

Damaged or Missing Carts

Damaged garbage carts:

  • Please report damaged garbage carts so they can repaired or replaced. Damaged carts can be reported online or by calling 352-334-2330.

Missing garbage carts:

  • Please report missing garbage carts so they can be replaced. Missing garbage cart can be reported online or by calling 352-334-2330.

Official Yellow Garbage Bags

  • full yellow bag Official Yellow Bags are available for residents to set out excess garbage that will not fit in their garbage cart. Excess garbage must be placed in Official Yellow Bags and set out for collection curbside near your trash cart by 7 AM on your scheduled collection day.
  • Each Official Yellow Bag holds approximately 30 gallons of garbage and has a weight limit of 40 pounds per bag. Excess waste set out in personal containers, boxes or non-official yellow bags will not be collected.
  • You can purchase Official Yellow Bags at all local Publix and Gainesville Ace Hardware stores. Look for the yellow bags in the trash bag aisle or ask for them at the customer service counter. Official Yellow Bags sell for $11.25 per pack and each pack includes 5 bags. 

Cart Care Tips

black garbage cart turned at an angle Customers are responsible for the proper care and security of their assigned carts. Carts are provided for solid waste collection purposes only for customers for as long as they reside at an address. Solid waste carts are the property of the City of Gainesville and/or the City’s contracted hauling company. Keeping your assigned cart in good working condition will help ensure you receive regular services without interruption.

  • Bag all your garbage before placing it in your cart.
  • Periodically wash your cart out with soap and water, or bleach when needed for bug-infested carts.
  • Report damage to your assigned cart, such as broken wheels and missing lids. In most cases, carts can be repaired or replaced within two weeks.
  • Report the loss of your assigned cart. Be sure to check with your neighbors first to see if there was a cart mix-up. Each trash cart has a unique serial number printed on the front of the cart, and each cart is assigned to a specific address.
  • Keep your cart lid closed when not in use, and empty out any rainwater from your cart.
  • If moving, leave your assigned cart behind for use by the next resident.

Cart Don’ts:

❌ Do not stand in or stand on top of carts.

❌ Do not use carts as a riding toy, wheelbarrow, dolly, workbench, or sawhorse.

❌ Do not place flammable items in carts, such as hot ashes or hot coals.

❌ Do not paint carts, put decals on carts, or cover up the cart serial number.

❌ Do not write on carts. Delivery crews and City officials use specialty pens to write house address numbers on carts.

❌ Do not exceed the weight limit of carts.

  • Please note, customers may be charged the replacement cost of carts removed from properties or for carts damaged by uses other than normal service and/or wear and tear.

What Day is Garbage Picked Up in My Area?

Residential garbage is collected within the City of Gainesville on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. To find out the collection day for your address, click on the map below.


Tuesday (Blue), Wednesday (Green), Thursday (Pink)