Frequently Asked Questions

How is Spokane's solid waste disposal system managed?

As of November 17, 2014, Spokane County became the lead agency for the community's solid waste disposal system. The county is responsible for maintaining the comprehensive solid waste management plan for Spokane County. An update to the plan is under way, but the current plan is found here.

Spokane County also owns and operates the Spokane Valley and North Spokane Recycling " Transfer Stations. And, the county is responsible for providing consumer education about recycling and waste reduction.

Meanwhile, the City of Spokane owns and operates the Waste to Energy Facility and the recycling and solid waste disposal center located at the plant. The facility is operated by the City's Solid Waste Disposal Department. The City took over operations of the plant also in November 2014 to reduce costs and ensure ongoing efficient operations. Previously the plant was operated by a private company under contract with the City.

This new model of managing Spokane's solid waste disposal replaces management by the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System. The System was created through interlocal agreement more than 25 years ago. That agreement expired in November 2014.

Most cities within the County have joined the new County-run system, and all residents within the County can use the three disposal facilities operated by Spokane County and the City of Spokane.

The cities of Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake have made other choices on how to dispose of their solid waste. Please contact those jurisdictions directly for additional information.

Who handles solid waste collection in the City of Spokane?

Solid waste garbage and curbside recycling collection is managed by the City of Spokane Solid Waste Collection Department. We use a fleet of automated trucks to serve our customers every week. We serve about 13,000 residential customers daily. We have provided garbage collection services in our community since 1940.

What are the Solid Waste rates and how can I pay my bill?
Can you tell me about Solid Waste's new facility?

Construction is complete on the new Spokane Central Service Center, a combined Solid Waste Collection and Fleet maintenance facility designed to create operational efficiencies and long-term savings. The new building is open for business as of September 8, 2015.

The Spokane Central Service Center is located on the southeast corner of a 32-acre, City-owned site in the Chief Garry Neighborhood at 915 N. Nelson St. This facility:

  • Consolidates repair and maintenance of the City's large vehicle fleet in one location, from three previously.
  • Consolidates Solid Waste and Street operations with Fleet operations, including fueling stations, vehicle washing, and repair facilities, resulting in reduced travel time and fuel costs.
  • Replaces aging facilities that are not appropriate for current use and are exceedingly inefficient with new adequate, safe, and secure facilities for employees and improved operations.
  • Allows for the conversion to compressed natural gas from diesel fuel for Solid Waste vehicles, providing significant environmental and financial benefits.
  • Frees up the sites of current facilities for redevelopment.
Will other changes come with the new facility?

As part of the addition of the Spokane Central Service Center, the City will convert its Solid Waste fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas. The conversion will take place over about 10 years, leading to significant savings in fuel costs and solid environmental benefit. These savings and savings from increased efficiencies will pay for the cost of the new facility.

Does the City support neighborhood cleanups?

The Neighborhood Cleanup Program, offered every year, allows Neighborhood Council to designate funds to help neighbors get rid of excess garbage and debris. To get involved or get more information, see information on the Neighborhood Services website.

How can I report illegal dumping or solid waste accumulations?

The City's Code Enforcement Office can assist with these problems. Visit the Code Enforcement page for more information.

What if I'm physically unable to take my carts to the curb?

If you are unable to put your cart at the collection site due to a medical condition or disability, the Solid Waste department offers a free “pack out” service. This service requires a physician to fill out a medical pack-out assistance request form (PDF 109 KB). To get one faxed or mailed to your home or physician, please call 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489).

Can I leave my cart in the alley or at the curb on non-collection days?

No. Your cart needs to kept in a secure area when not out for collection. Carts that sit out unattended are often stolen or filled up with other people's garbage. If the cart is left accessible, the customer is responsible for what happens to it.

My carts weren't emptied or weren't emptied all the way. Why?

There are several possible reasons your cart(s) weren't emptied. To guarantee that your refuse is picked up every week, it is important to make sure that your containers are in the designated area before 7 a.m. on the collection day. Please make sure that the cart is within two feet of the street or alley and that there are not any obstacles or vehicles parked within three feet of the cart. Make sure to have the arrows on the cart pointing towards the street or alley. If your missed collection was our error, we will come back and pick it up at no charge. A return trip fee may apply if the driver is sent back to pick up your garbage that was passed by for any reason other than the City's fault.

Likewise, there are several possible reasons why your cart wasn't completely emptied. Sometimes your trash may be packed down too tight; other times there may be an awkward shaped item getting stuck inside. When the refuse truck picks the container up, the automated arms grip the container real tight in the middle so the whole cart does not fall in. This can narrow the opening, causing items not to pass through properly.

If this happens, just reposition or loosen the garbage, call 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489) and we will send the driver back to re-empty it. If this is a reoccurring problem you may need a larger cart.

What do I do with that?

Our customers routinely ask us questions on how to get rid of a variety of items that they have accumulated. The Spokane EnviroStars program has developed a comprehensive waste disposal and recycling directory that is continually being updated.


Contact Information

Solid Waste Collection
Spokane Central Service Center
915 N. Nelson St.
Spokane, WA 99202

Open Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Call 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489)
Fax: 509.343.9652
spokanesolidwaste@spokanecity.org

Recycling Information

509.625.6580