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Garbage and Recycling

Garbage and Recycling


Metro Waste Authority (MWA) manages the garbage and recycling contract for Altoona.  MWA has contracted with Waste Management as our collection service.

Monday pick-up: Residents living south of the railroad tracks.

Tuesday pick-up: Residents living north of the railroad tracks.

Recycling is picked up every other week on your the regularly scheduled trash pick up day.

Placement Guidelines

Whether it’s your garbage, recyclables or yard waste that’s going to the curb, there are a few tips you can follow to help ensure collection.

Placement Tips

  1. Consider the three-foot rule; there should be three feet between carts, yard waste bags and structures such as mail boxes, cars and lamp posts.
  2. Cart should be within 18 inches of the curb.
  3. Face the short metal bar toward the street.
  4. Position the cart on as level of surface as possible, away from overhanging tree branches.
  5. Make sure lid is closed.

Set-Out Time

  1. Day before Collection: Do not set out before 5 p.m.
  2. Collection Day: set out by 6 a.m.

Winter Tips 

Winter months present some challenges getting carts to the curb. Consider these tips:

  • Clear out a place for your cart when you shovel snow from your driveway.
  • Leave 18 inches around it to allow room for the truck’s arm.
  • Don’t place carts on snow piles, because it’s easy for them to tip over and litter your streets and presents a difficult situation for the truck driver to set down your cart.
  • Don’t place carts in the street. This is a hazard for cars, and they could be destroyed by snow plows.

If your garbage or recycling is not picked up by 7 p.m., please contact Waste Management at 515.244.7336.


Compost It! is the yard and garden waste curbside program and is picked up from the curb weekly during Compost It! Season, on garbage collection day.

Residents have two convenient options for recycling yard and garden waste at the curb – or can mix and match:

Bag & Sticker Program

You can participate in the Bag & Sticker program when you purchase Metro Waste Authority Compost It! bags or green Compost It! stickers and attach to store-brand bags and brush bundles. Attach a sticker to each brush bundle or generic bag.  Brush bundles must be no more than 18 inches in diameter and no more than four feet long.  Bundles cannot weigh more than 40 lbs.  Each bundle must have a Compost It! sticker attached.

Cost of bundle of 5 bags: $8.00

Cost per Sticker: (for brush bundles & generic bags): $1.25

Bags and stickers can be purchased at City Hall, 900 Venbury Dr, Suite A.

Cart Service 

The Cart Service is an optional subscription service. Residents have the convenience of a 96-gallon wheeled cart for weekly collection of yard waste during the Compost It! Season.

First-time Enrollment

New customers pay a one-time fee for the cart. First-time participants also pay an annual service fee to cover the cost of collection and to process the material.

Annual Renewal

Each year, residents pay for the upcoming season and receive a new sticker for the cart, indicating the service is current. The sticker is $105 and covers the collection and processing costs. Existing customers can renew online.

Please contact City Hall at 967-5136 if you are interested in the cart service.


City of Altoona allows residents to drop off brush (no leaves, wires or construction materials) at the City brush pile.  Brush drop off dates often occur on the 1st Saturday of the months of April through November of each year.  The brush is open from 8:00am – 12:00pm on these days.  Please check the Altoona’s “Calendar” button or under the “News to Know” area on our website’s main page for the exact dates.  Please have information identifying you as a City of Altoona resident ready when you drop off brush. Please enter the city brush pile south of the Altoona Aquatics Park at 1200 Venbury Drive.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Public Works Director Scott Atzen at 515-967-5136.