Find the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions by selecting a category below.
If you’re unable to locate an answer, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
Tips & Guidelines
Food scraps & yard debris service costs less than garbage service and creates a valuable product to use in parks and gardens. Approximately 30% of all material that ends up in the landfill could be composted instead. When you keep food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard debris separate from your garbage, you extend the life of our landfills and conserve resources.
Your food scraps & yard debris cart is collected every-other-week on your garbage collection day. Food scraps & yard debris collection weeks coincide with recycling collection weeks. Login to your account to determine your collection week.
To sign up for service call Recology CleanScapes at 206.762.4900.
Put these types of materials in your food scraps and yard debris cart:
|DO NOT place these items in your food scraps and yard debris cart:
Download the Food Scraps and Yard Debris Cart Poster:
Watch the Kitchen Composting 101 video below for tips.
If you can’t reduce, recycle!
If you have more materials to recycle than will fit in your cart, put them in a cardboard box (3′ x 3′ x 3′ or smaller) next to your cart.
The following materials are accepted in your recycling cart. All containers must be clean and empty.
For items that are recyclable but require special handling, please see the Specialty Items page.
Download the Small Business Hazardous Waste Disposal flyer.
Putting loose sharps into the garbage is a health risk for solid waste workers. The best ways to dispose of sharps generated in the home is through a local pharmacy, a mail-in program, at your doctor’s office, or at a designated drop-off location.
If the options above are not available, syringes may be disposed of in the garbage if placed in puncture resistant container such as a number two (2) PET pop bottle, with a tight fitting or taped lid and labeled “SHARPS, DO NOT RECYCLE.” King County information is available at King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program website or by calling the King County Household Hazards line at 206-296-4692; or by emailing email@example.com.
Contact your local pharmacy and ask about their “sharps” collection services. Many Bartell Drugs stores offer sharps disposal containers and will dispose of sharps/needles for a fee. Contact your local Bartell Drugs store for more information.
Purchase a postage paid, mail-in container. For more information on where to purchase, search for “sharps mail in programs” on your computer, ask your doctor, or contact the following companies:
BioMedical Waste Solutions
GRP & Associates, Inc
Unused medicines are not prohibited from the garbage; however there are better ways to dispose of them.
Medicines flushed down the toilet add unwanted contaminants to surface water bodies and marine habitats. Medicines put in your garbage could be found and accidentally consumed by children or pets, or resold illegally.
Visit the Take Back Your Meds for locations of drop-off centers.
Please follow these instructions when disposing of latex paint cans:
Metal cans or plastic buckets containing latex paint must be dried out and then put in the garbage. Cans or buckets containing wet paint are NOT allowed in the garbage.
Please follow these instructions when disposing of oil-based paint cans:
Recology CleanScapes will collect empty, small, disposable, camping-style propane cylinders or cans when pick up is requested. Please schedule a Special Recycling Item Collection or call 206.762.4900 to request collection.
Residential customers may also drop off empty camping-style cylinders at The Recology Store Highline.
We do not accept large propane tanks. If you have refillable propane tanks for your barbeque, make sure to reuse them or drop them off at a certified take-back facility. You can find local facilities by searching online.
Please fill out a Special Item Recycling Collection Form by selecting your city below to let us know you’d like a pick-up:
Motor oil must be:
For businesses and apartment customers, or to dispose of quantities greater than 3 gallons, please see Hazardous Waste Drop-off Centers.
Hazardous waste items are NOT allowed in the garbage. For information on disposing hazardous wastes from your business, please visit the King County Hazardous Waste website. Find out if your small business is eligible to receive free hazardous waste disposal. Find additional information on the flyer below.
Download the Small Business Hazardous Waste Disposal flyer.
Recology CleanScapes offers free curbside collection of button, alkaline, and rechargeable batteries for Des Moines garbage service customers.
Commercial, apartment and condominium customers must call to arrange collection. Service must be requested by the bill payer on record. Please DO NOT set batteries next to carts/containers.
Single-family residential customers, please follow these instructions to recycle batteries:
Recology CleanScapes provides free on-call collection of fluorescent tubes and bulbs (CFLs) for residential customers. Call our customer service team to arrange a pick-up of these materials. For commercial, apartment and condominium customers, service must be requested by the bill payer on record.
Fluorescent lights contain small amounts of hazardous substances and must be recycled separately from all other recyclables. Please DO NOT put them inside your recycling cart.
Please follow these instructions to recycle fluorescent tubes and bulbs:
Customers may also drop off tubes and bulbs at the nearest Recology Store:
Additionally, LightRecycle Washington is a program that allows individuals and businesses in Washington to recycle up to 10 mercury-containing lights per day for FREE. You can recycle straight and curved fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and High Intensity Discharge Lights (HIDs) at authorized LightRecycle collection sites. Visit LightRecycle.org to find a collection site near you.
Recology CleanScapes offers Des Moines residents Styrofoam™ collection at the curb.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What type of Styrofoam™ will you collect?
A: Block Styrofoam™ is accepted for recycling. Styrofoam™ packing peanuts will not be collected.
Q: How do I package the Styrofoam™?
A: Place Styrofoam™ blocks in a clear plastic bag clearly marked “Styrofoam™” and set out on the curb by 7 am. Clear bags are also available for free at Des Moines City Hall, 21630 11th Avenue S, Suite D. Please do not set out Styrofoam™ packing “peanuts”. These will not be collected.
Note: Because Styrofoam™ is light, it is best to set it out in the morning, rather than the night before. On windy days, it is advisable to secure it with a brick, rock, or stake, or by tying multiple bags of Styrofoam™ together.
Q: Will I be charged for this service?
A: No, there is no charge. Recology CleanScapes is offering this service free of charge to single family residences with a Recology CleanScapes account.
Q: Can I place packing peanuts in the collection bag?
A: No, only larger pieces of block Styrofoam™ are accepted at this time.
Customers can also drop off block Styrofoam™ at The Recology Store in Highline.
Call Customer Service to request collection of clean wood at 206.762.4900.
As of 2020, plastic bags and wrap are no longer accepted in curbside recycling bins. Please check with your local grocery store to see if they offer a take-back program. Many stores have such programs and offer easy drop off near the check-out counter. You can also visit https://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/ to view a list of drop-off locations.
Recology CleanScapes provides curbside collection of small appliances for customers in Des Moines at no additional charge.
Single-family Residential Customers:
Please follow the instructions below to recycle small appliances:
Apartment and Condominium Customers:
Commercial, apartment, and condominium customers must call to arrange collection. Service must be requested by the bill payer on record. Please DO NOT set appliances next to carts or containers.
Large Appliances: For larger items, call customer service to schedule a pick-up. Fees may apply.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, including computers, monitors, and televisions, are not allowed in the garbage because they contain toxic materials that can be hazardous to human health and the environment. There are several options for safe disposal of these items.
Computers, laptops and televisions can be taken to E-Cycle Washington drop-off locations where they are collected for reuse or recycling at no charge. Call 1.800.RECYCLE or visit the E-Cycle Washington website for e-waste disposal locations and information.
The Take It Back Network also provides information on how to dispose of all unwanted electronics.
Small electronics and cell phones are also accepted at The Recology Store in Issaquah. Items dropped off at the store are collected by Electronic Recyclers International. ERI is both R2 and e-Steward certified and responsibly recycles or refurbishes all e-waste received. ERI also performs data destruction in accordance with Department of Defense and National Institute of Standard and Technology protocol to ensure 100 percent data destruction.
You don’t. You take them back next time you go to the dry cleaners. That’s reuse which is even better than recycling. Please do not put wire or plastic hangers in your blue recycling bin; hangers jam equipment at the recycling plant. Recycling bins are for bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, and hard plastics, such as plastic cups and molded plastic packaging.
Bulky Item Collection
Recology CleanScapes offers on-call removal of large items, such as furniture or appliances, for a fee. Service must be requested by the bill payer on record.
For a pick-up, please submit a Bulky Item Request Form, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 206.762.4900.
To locate a drop-off location visit King County’s “What Do I Do With?” page.
Recology CleanScapes will collect unflocked, undecorated, natural trees in lengths up to 4 feet. Customers that already subscribe to food scraps & yard debris collection can put the tree out on your weekly collection day. We will also collect properly prepared trees for composting from all households in our Des Moines service area during the first two full weeks of the new year for no charge. Contact customer service at 206.762.4900 or at DesMoines@recology.com to schedule a tree collection on the day when our food scraps & yard debris truck is in your area.
Flocked trees are not accepted in food scraps & yard debris collection because the flocking can often contain non-compostable materials including adhesives, flame retardant, or additives to make the flocking glitter and shine. Flocked trees have to be dumped as garbage, and are not accepted at tree recycling facilities.
Unflocked, undecorated, natural trees can also be dropped off for recycling at the following locations for a fee:
Pacific Topsoils – Tukwila
5900 S 129th St, Seattle
Bow Lake Transfer Station
1880 Orillia Rd. S, Tukwila
Service Alerts and Weather Delays
If extreme weather conditions make it unsafe for our trucks to pick up your garbage, recycling, or food scraps and yard debris, Recology CleanScapes will try to collect materials on the first day that regular service resumes.
At that time, Recology CleanScapes will pick up extra materials equal to what would have been collected on the missed collection day(s) at no charge. Please check the homepage for current collection information during storms.
To temporarily stop service, call Customer Service at 206.762.4900 or submit a Vacation Hold Form. You will not be billed for stopped collections if the request is made at least one week prior to the affected collection day.
To report a missed collection, please call 206.762.4900, send us an email, or use the Missed Collection Form. Please notify Recology CleanScapes within 24 hours of the missed collection. Recology operates during normal business days in the City of Des Moines, so if your collection is missed and reported on a Friday, collection will occur the following Monday.
Please keep in mind:
Set Out Time
Residential materials must be set out by 7am on collection day. Apartments, Condos and Commercial materials must be set out by 5am on collection day.
If you find a tag on your materials titled “we’re sorry,” please correct the problem indicated. If you are a residential customer and would like us to return and collect the materials before your next collection day, there is a $7.11 return trip charge.
If you are uncertain of your collection day, login to your account to view your collection calendar, send us an email, or call 206.762.4900.
Holiday Collection Schedule
Recology CleanScapes operates regularly on all holidays except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. If your collection day falls on or after one of these three holidays, your collection will be one day later that week.
For example, if your regularly scheduled collection day falls on Thanksgiving Day, Recology CleanScapes will collect your material on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. If your regularly scheduled collection day is Friday, your materials will be collected on Saturday.
View the Debris Boxes and Construction Services page to find container sizes, FAQs, and service brochures.
The maximum allowed weight is 14,000 lbs due to safety concerns. If the debris box weighs more than 14,000 lbs, the container will be off-loaded at the customer’s expense. Materials such as dirt, concrete, bricks or other heavy materials add tremendous bulk and weight to the container.
Residents who generate minimal garbage, or landfill bound materials be able to save money by reducing their garbage service level. Call your Recology company to see how they can “right size” your service based on material type and volume.
Des Moines residents are billed are on a quarterly basis in March, June, September, and December. Commercial bills are issued monthly.
Call 206.254.9947 or visit our online payment center to pay with a check or with a credit/debit card. You will be asked to provide the following account information: Recology CleanScapes customer number, invoice number, method of payment and payment amount. Your transaction will be securely processed.
Automatic payment makes paying your bill easy. By enrolling in this service, your bill will be paid automatically from your checking account. Each billing period you will receive your bill via regular mail or, if you receive e-Billing, you will receive an email notification that your bill is ready to be viewed (see Billing Options, below). Ten days after your invoice or email notification is sent, your bill will be paid by automatic deduction from your bank account.
To sign up for this service, download and submit the request for automatic payment form and fax or mail the completed form as indicated on the form. Requests received by the 20th of the month will take effect on your next bill.
Mail your check and invoice payment stub to:
P.O. Box 34260
Seattle, WA 98124-1260
Processing of payments mailed to any other address will be delayed. By sending a check as payment, you authorize CleanScapes to use information on your check to make a one-time electronic debit from your account at the financial institution on your check. This electronic debit for the amount of your check may be withdrawn from your account as early as the same day we receive your check. For further information about this check conversion process, please visit electronicpayments.org or call Customer Service at 206.762.4900.
Past Due Accounts: An account is past due if payment is not posted by the due date on the invoice. Payments received on weekends and holidays will be posted on the next business day. A 1% finance charge per month will be applied to any past due amount. Failure to pay invoices by the specified due date can result in the suspension or cancellation of services and the submission of your account to an external collection agency. Recology CleanScapes reserves the right to remove containers if service is suspended for non-payment and you may be required to pay a cart/container redelivery fee to resume service. In order to restart ended services on a delinquent account, all charges must be paid in full, and you may be required to make a prepayment in order to resume service.
Returned Payments: If a payment is rejected due to incorrect information or insufficient funds, you will be charged a returned payment fee of $20.00.
Property Owners: Property owners and tenants are both equally responsible for timely notification of changes in occupancy and/or property ownership. The property owner is ultimately responsible for these charges unless he or she notifies Recology CleanScapes of a change in occupancy within ten (10) days of a tenant’s move-out date.
Billing Disputes: If you have questions and/or disputes about your bill or service, please call Customer Service at 206.762.4900 to speak with a representative.
Billing, Taxes, and Surcharges: Your bill includes all required taxes and surcharges.
Other Questions: For questions or comments about your service, please email us at email@example.com or call our Customer Service center at 206.762.4900.
Taxes on your garbage bill consist of:
Washington State Refuse Tax – 3.6%
These funds are used to provide financial assistance to local governments for repair and maintenance of public works projects.
Des Moines City Utility Tax – 18%
Utility tax revenue provides basic City services such as police protection, parks and street maintenance, human services, jail and environmental services.
King County Hazardous Waste Fee
This monthly fee is collected by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County to fund the Hazardous Wastemobile and the Hazardous Waste Collection facilities at transfer stations throughout the county. You can learn more at hazwastehelp.org.
If you are a residential customer looking to open a new account, please submit an Open New Account Form to start service. Existing residential customers wishing to change service levels, please submit a Modify Service Form. You may also sign up for service or change your service level by calling customer service at 206.762.4900.
Small businesses that would like to sign up for cart service or modify cart service levels may use the Open New Account Form or Modify Service Form. To sign up for dumpster/container service or change your container service level, please call customer service at 206.762.4900. Recycling service is included with your garbage service at no additional cost. If you are a commercial customer who is still paying for recycling service from your previous hauler and would like to make the switch to Recology CleanScapes’ recycling service, please call us at 206.762.4900.
View Bills Online
You will need your account number and the phone number on your account to register. This information is provided in the service guide you receive in December, or you can call customer service.
Click the login button at the top of any page. You can use your Recology CleanScapes account to:
If you do not already have an online account, you’ll need to create an account first by using the New Account Form:
You can create a Recology CleanScapes online account to view electronic invoices, make electronic payments and view your account information and pickup schedule. In order to create an online account, you will need to have your Recology CleanScapes customer account number and the phone number we have on file for your account. For this information, please call customer service at 206.762.4900.
Once you have this information, follow these simple steps to set up your online account:
1. Click “Login” at the top of this page.
2. Select “Login: All other Recology CleanScapes customers.”
3. Register your account:
If you have not registered for a username and password, click on “sign up now if you have not registered before.” Fill in your information and at the bottom of the registration form, enter the phone number we have on file for your account. If you need to update the phone number, call 206.762.4900. When you have completed the form, click “submit.”
4. Check your email:
A confirmation email containing a link to confirm registration will be sent to your email address. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your registration.
You can now return to the login page and use your newly registered username and password to login to your account.