Garbage and Recycling

About Vancouver Solid Waste and Recycling

Vancouver’s Solid Waste Services, part of the Public Works Department, oversees garbage, recycling and organics collection services.

Contact staff at 360-487-7160 or solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us for more information.

Residential

Set Up New Service

The City of Vancouver contracts with Waste Connections for garbage, recycling and organics services. Please contact Waste Connections by telephone at 360-892-5370 or through their website at www.wcnorthwest.com. Garbage service is required at all residences in Vancouver, per VMC 6.12. Customers must subscribe to and pay for curbside collection services with Waste Connections. A wide range of service and recycling options are available for all residents, whether you’ve been here a long time or have only recently arrived in our city.

Learn more about garbage and recycling services and programs in your neighborhood.

cart placement on curb

Cart Size and Rates

The most commonly selected service levels

  • Weekly, every-other-week or monthly garbage service – Carts are available in sizes of 20, 32, 64 or 95 gallons. Disposal service costs increase as the size increases.
  • Every-other-week recycling service – The standard size is a 95-gallon cart. Carts in sizes of 64, 48 and 32 gallons are also available upon request.
  • Every-other-week organics collection – include food along with yard debris in you curbside organics cart. On-call yard debris service has transitioned to the new every-other-week organics service. Visit Waste Connections/Organics or call 360-892-5370 to learn more.

The standard blue recycling cart is 95 gallons. For most households, this cart size will fit the capacity needs of the every-other-week collection schedule. You only need to set out your cart on your regularly scheduled recycling collection day when it is full.
Questions about size? We encourage you to try the standard cart for a sure understanding and experience of how it will work for you. If you have questions or significant challenges impacting your ability to use the standard cart, the City of Vancouver and Waste Connections will be happy to work with you to help find a solution to your specific situation.

Cart Size95 Gallon (standard size)65 Gallon48 Gallon35 Gallon
Depth34 inches282922
Width29 inches272420
Hight w/lid45 inches413739

The Big Blue cart is the standard, but other sizes are available upon request. Keep in mind that you’ll want to be sure to get a big enough cart to handle all your recycling needs – including nursery pots, plastic tubs and buckets of 5 gallons or less – for two weeks.

Cart SizeCollection Frequency2024 Monthly Cost*2023 Monthly Cost
20 GallonEvery other week$19.98$17.57
20 GallonWeekly$23.65$21.01
32 GallonOnce Monthly**$16.31$14.14
32 GallonEvery other week$23.65$21.01
32 GallonWeekly$29.76$26.73
64 GallonEvery other week$29.76$26.73
64 GallonWeekly$54.22$49.62
96 GallonWeekly$78.68$72.51

*As of January 1, 2024: All rates above include a cart provided by the contracted collector for garbage and recycling services. Recycling services are $5.30/month, which includes the recycling surcharge of $1.41 per month, as noted below.

**Minimum level of service is required.

More information for residential customers

  • As of January 1, 2024, your bill includes a $1.41 surcharge to cover costs to sort and clean recyclables to strict market standards. This surcharge will be evaluated annually to ensure the charge reflects current market conditions. Your efforts to recycle right will help to increase the quality of recyclable materials, which in turn helps to control costs.
  • Additional Garbage: Extra can or bag, or overweight (65 pounds/32 gallons) container will result in a fee of $9.64 per set-out (per 32-gallon equivalent).
  • Return trip fee of $13.85 will apply if you miss setting out your cart and request special pick-up later.
  • Other service options, including carry-out are available; call Waste Connections for information.
  • Carry-out collection (HELICO) service provided at curbside rate to Vancouver residents who are physically unable to move a receptacle to the curb and whose income is at or below 125% of Federal Poverty Guidelines; call Waste Connections for information.
  • One time per year, residents with active garbage service may schedule one free pickup for up to five bulky items; to schedule, contact Waste Connections or use the RecycleRight app or webtool.
  • Bulky item pick-up is available throughout the year. Costs range from $14.66 for a chair to $36.67 for a refrigerator. To schedule, contact Waste Connections or use the RecycleRight app or webtool.
  • One time per year, residents with active garbage service may schedule one free pickup of a major appliance. To schedule, contact Waste Connections.
  • A 3-cubic-yard rent-a-bin is available for short-term use for a fee of $212.91
  • A state refuse tax of 3.6 percent is applied to the garbage portion of your bill.
  • Residential customers are billed every other month. Two months of service appear on each bill.
  • Vacation stops are available with pre-notification, based on a minimum two-week period and maximum frequency of three times per year.
  • The above service levels and rates listed are those used most often. The full set of residential and commercial options can be found here: VMC 6.12 – subsections 208-213.

Organics

Curbside Organics

City of Vancouver residents can add food scraps, along with yard debris, in their existing teal/green organics cart for every-other-week curbside collection. This organics collection is available to you as an optional service. Please call your service provider, below, for details on rates and options.

Customers in the City of Vancouver who do not currently subscribe to this optional service may sign up for organics service by contacting Waste Connections. Call 360-892-5370 or email customerservice2010@wcnx.org to learn more.

Allowed: food scraps/materials include: all compostable pre- and post-consumer food waste, such as whole or partial pieces of produce, meats, bones, cheese, bread, cereals, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Approved compostable plastic or paper bags, used to contain the above materials, are also allowed (VMC 6.12.10)

Not Allowed: materials include: dead animals, all other plastics, diapers, cat litter, free-flowing liquid waste, ashes, pet waste, garbage, glass, foam, compostable service ware, soiled paper, or other materials prohibited by the organics processor.

Rates96-gallon cart EOW*64-gallon cart EOW32-gallon cart EOW20-gallon cart EOW
2024$9.28$8.03$6.78$5.53
2023$8.81$7.62$6.44$5.25

*EOW = Every Other Week

Contact your collection service provider

Residential garbage, general recycling and organics recycling within the City are provided through a contracted operator.

Customer Service Waste Connections, Inc.
12115 NE 99th St., Suite 1830, Vancouver, WA 98682, 360-892-5370
Web: www.wcnorthwest.com | Email: customerhelp@wasteconnections.com

Green Neighbors Program

Welcome to your green neighborhood! The Clark County Green Neighbors program is an exciting way for you to learn about green events in your area and discover how you can live a more sustainable life. Click this link to sign up for the Green Neighbors Newsletter.

Sign Up for Alerts

Don’t let severe weather or unforeseen service changes catch you by surprise! Sign up to receive service alerts and reminders through your smart phone or tablet, by email or by phone, all using the RecycleRight app.

To get alerts through the RecycleRight app on your smartphone or tablet you must first have the RecycleRight app. If you haven’t yet, take a moment to download the RecycleRight app from Apple App Store (works with iPhones and iPads) or Google Play (works with android devices). Alerts in Español, Русский and Tiếng Việt are also available. Email the Solid Waste team at solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us for assistance. Now you’re ready to get started.

Service Changes, Holidays and Weather Issues

Holiday Schedules

With the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, customers in the City of Vancouver can expect garbage, recycling and organics to be picked up on their regularly scheduled collection day, even on official holidays.

On Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays that occur Monday through Friday, the collection of your garbage, recycling and organics will be delayed one day. Additional information will be posted on social media on the days leading up to those holidays.

For all other holidays, please remember to have your carts/bins out no later than 6:30 a.m. for collection.

Prepare for Possible Extreme Weather

Winter can bring snow, ice and/or freezing rain and summer can bring extreme heat and possible poor air quality. While Vancouver has a relatively moderate climate and those more hazardous conditions don’t typically last long here, severe weather interruptions to garbage, recycling and organics services are a real possibility.

City of Vancouver, in coordination with Clark County and Waste Connections, strive to keep disruptions to a minimum. If unsafe weather conditions persist, the City/County and garbage hauler will determine if a cancellation is necessary. Our first priority in determining if a cancellation is needed is the safety of our drivers and of our community members. 

Be ready for winter weather before it arrives
  1. Sign up for alerts/notices that you can receive by RecycleRight app, email or phone call if/when services are canceled or significantly delayed due to hazardous road conditions. See the Recycle Right tab.
  2. Keep a spare container handy as backup. If service is canceled, you may be asked to keep that cart and set it out at the next regularly scheduled pickup. Having an extra container can help make it less disruptive for you. Please remember to NOT use plastic bags for extra recyclable materials. Extra recycling can be placed in cardboard boxes or brown kraft bags if needed.
  3. Follow Vancouver Public Works on Facebook or Twitter for updates during winter weather or other severe weather conditions.
One-Day Cancellation

In the case of a one day cancellation due to inclement weather, the City/County and service provider will determine whether follow-up collection will take place the next day or whether collections should be held and twice the amount be picked up on the next week’s regular collection day. For example, if delayed a day and your collection is on Wednesday, your pickup could be moved to Thursday. Thursday collection moved to Friday and Friday collection will move to Saturday, weather permitting.

More Than One Day Cancellation

If more than one day of garbage service is canceled in a week, customers of the days canceled should expect to take their waste off the curb and set out double the amount of waste on the following week on your regularly scheduled collection day at no additional charge. Learn how to set out extra material. Holiday schedules may also impact changes in collection dates caused by inclement weather.

Stay Informed

For cancellation updates and related follow-up collection information, please watch the website alerts and/or listen to your local radio and news stations.

To receive phone alerts, be sure to provide Waste Connections of Washington with your most current phone number. Contact Waste Connections by telephone at 360-892-5370 or through their website at wcnorthwest.com.

Holiday Recycling

Broken, Tangled or Old Holiday Lights

Please do not place unwanted lights your recycle cart or container; they will tangle on sorting machinery at the recycling facility and create a hazard for workers. Instead, recycle them at Earth Friendly RecyclingE H Metal Recycling and at the Lacamas Lake Lowes.

Spread cheer. Many local thrift stores will accept lights that are in good working condition. See the Recycle Right tab for more information.

Holiday Trees

Many options exist for recycling. In all cases, please remove tinsel, lights, ornaments, wire, stands and other materials that are not part of the tree. 

  • Scout Troops often offer a curbside tree collection in early January. Watch for a door-hanger notice with event details.
  • Curbside organics subscribers can cut their Christmas tree to a maximum of 5 feet tall or wide. Please cut down the tree into sections of 5 feet or less and place sections in the cart. If the organics cart is already full, subscribers can place their Christmas tree alongside their cart and have it collected as extra for an additional fee of $4.24.
  • Garbage collectors will pick up flocked or artificial trees, up to 5 feet tall, for a fee of $9.64.
  • Unflocked Christmas trees can also be recycled for a fee at the transfer stations, H & H Wood Recyclers, City Bark, McFarlane’s Bark and Triangle Resources. Prices vary, but they are generally in the $1 to $5 range. 

Catalogs

Dismayed by a mailbox full of unwanted catalogs? Sign on to www.CatalogChoice.org  and opt out of the ones you don’t want to receive. Basic opt out service is free – additional features are available for a fee.

Household Batteries

Vancouver residents have a convenient recycling option for old alkaline, nickel cadmium (NiCad) and lithium household batteries; flashlight, hearing aid and rechargeable batteries. Just tape over the ends, place them in a sealable clear plastic bag, and place the bag on top of your recycling roll cart. Consider buying rechargeable batteries and a charger to accompany your electronic gifts to reduce the number of batteries that have to be discarded.

Cooking Oil

Sure, that deep-fried turkey was moist and tasty. But what do you do with the oil now? Recycle it! Columbia Resource Company will accept up to five gallons of cooking oil per day per customer at their West Vancouver Material Recovery CenterCentral Transfer and Recycling Center and Washougal Transfer Station during regular hours of operation. The used cooking oil is recycled.​

Holiday Foods

Your turkey, ham and other meats can easily be placed into your teal/green organics cart. Every-other-week curbside organics collection is available to City of Vancouver residents as an optional service. Food scraps, along with yard debris, can be put into the organics cart for handy curbside collection. You can dispose of produce, meats, bones, carcasses, cheese, bread, cereals, coffee grounds, eggshells and gourds. Email Waste Connections, customerservice2010@wcnx.org, and sign up today.

Computers and Electronics

Recycle TVs, computers, monitors, laptops, tablets, e-readers and portable DVD players for FREE through E-Cycle Washington. Households, small businesses, schools & school districts, small governments, special purpose districts and charities can recycle electronic products free of charge using this program. Find a recycling drop off location for your e-waste.

Packing Peanuts

Packing peanuts are often accepted for reuse by local mailing businesses.

Wrapping and Packaging

Cardboard boxes, printed gift-wrapping paper, mailing tubes and paper bags that cannot be used again next year may be flattened and placed in your blue recycle cart or container. Please do not include ribbons, bows, yarn, foil-coated wrapping, bubble wrap, plastic bags or foam packing. You can reduce the amount of paper that is discarded by utilizing reusable gift bags made of heavy paper or fabric or by making the wrapping part of the gift i.e., tablecloths, towels and storage containers.

Visit Clark County Green Neighbors for more resources to manage holiday waste: Did you know that in the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons?

Household Hazardous Waste

Some household products can harm you and/or the environment. Read the label. If you see the words DANGER, POISON, CAUTION, or WARNING on the label, consider the product hazardous. That’s true even if the label also includes words such as NATURAL or GREEN, which currently have no legal definition.

Most Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) commonly fall into one of the following categories:

  • Automotive products – oil, antifreeze, gasoline, brake and transmission fluid
  • Household cleaners – oven cleaners, drain cleaners, disinfectants, and some laundry products
  • Paints/Solvents – latex and oil-based paints, paint thinners, varnishes, and wood preservatives
  • Poisons – insecticides/pesticides, herbicides and fungicides

Solvents, paints, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemicals should never be poured down a sink or stormwater drain. They do not belong inside your garbage or recycling cart. Also batteries, motor oil, and antifreeze – can be collected curbside, separately and placed appropriately, along with your recycle cart. Visit RecycleU to learn more.

To help you with proper and safe disposal, up to 25 gallons or 200 pounds of household hazardous wastes are accepted from residents free of charge on designated days at the transfer stations listed here.

For a quick check, use the free RecycleRight App or use the Item Lookup. Enter the name of the item you no longer need and hit the “Search” to get answers to your disposal and recycling questions.

Central Transfer and
Recycling Center

11034 NE 117th Avenue
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
360-256-8482

West Van Materials Recovery Center
6601 NW Old Lower River Rd
Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
360-737-1727

Washougal Transfer Station
4020 South Grant Street
1st and 3rd Saturday, monthly, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
360-835-2500

Visit www.columbiaresourcecompany.com to check the camera for a real-time idea of possible lines at the transfer stations.


Recycling Paint

Conveniently recycle paint at several Clark County locations. Visit www.PaintCare.org for locations, acceptable materials and quantities. Paint is also accepted as HHW at the transfer stations (see above).

Unwanted Medication

Improper disposal of unwanted medication and medical waste also can cause harm to humans, pets and the environment. Clark County Public Health has teamed up with the nonprofit MED-Project LLC to provide free disposal of expired, unwanted or unused medicine safely and conveniently. In Clark County, there are many drop-off sites residents can visit during business hours to dispose of unwanted or expired medicine. If driving is not an option, medications can be mailed in after filling out the online form.

Contact PREVENT! Coalition for additional resources, 360-952-3397 or www.preventcoalition.org.

Disposal of Used Sharps

Sharps are medical needles, scalpels, and other small sharp instruments. Sharps come from diabetics, livestock and pet owners, and others who must give injections at home. Used sharps should never be placed in your garbage or recycle carts or flushed down the toilet. Instead, utilize one of the options below:

Heavy-duty plastic containers designed for collecting used sharps are available for purchase at many pharmacies. If an approved sharps container is not available, use a container with a well-secured lid, preferably made of rigid plastic. Be sure to label it: “Warning Sharps – Do Not Recycle”.

Business

The City of Vancouver contracts with Waste Connections for garbage, recycling and organics services. Please contact Waste Connections at 360-892-5370 or at customerhelp@wasteconnections.com or through their website at www.wcnorthwest.com.

Each commercial garbage customer may have to up to three yards of recycling for $11 per month, plus a monthly recycling processing surcharge. Customers may choose to use either carts or dumpsters for recycling – up to three yards of material. This allows for the collection of mixed recycling or glass depending on the needs of the business. Smaller carts can be used for small offices that want to divert paper, cans, and plastic from their waste stream. As a reminder, garbage and recycling receptacles must be screened from view, per VMC 20.970.Please contact Waste Connections at 360-892-5370 or at customerhelp@wasteconnections.com

If your business generates more recycling than the reduced rate for three yards, you may check with a licensed commercial recycler to see about a larger container. This service is an open-market service, and each provider sets their own rates. Some of the commercial recyclers are specialized to collect drop box loads of recycling and others provide very specific services like shredding and document destruction. If you have any questions about the kind of recycling service you need, feel free to contact the City for assistance or use the business recyclers list on this page to find a provider.

Business Customers: Commercial and industrial locations must utilize a recycler with a current license with the City of Vancouver. Please check with the providers below to determine which best meets your business needs for recyclable collection.

For additional commercial recycling information, please call 1-800-RECYCLE or visit Washington State Recycling Association.

All construction projects in Vancouver must properly manage waste and recyclable materials.

Rates

The service levels and rates listed below are those utilized most often. The full set of commercial options can be found here: VMC 6.12 – subsections 209-213.

Type of Service: Garbage2024 Monthly Rates
(Effective Jan. 1)
2023 Monthly Rates
32-gallon cart service weekly collection$27.21$25.46
32-gallon cart service every-other week collection$20.41$19.10
64-gallon cart service weekly collection$54.42$50.92
64-gallon cart service every-other week collection$27.21$25.46
96-gallon cart service weekly collection$81.63$76.38
96-gallon cart service every-other week collection$61.23$57.30
Commercial Carryout Service
32-gallon cart service weekly collection$40.82$38.19
64-gallon cart service weekly collection$68.03$63.65
96-gallon cart service weekly collection$95.24$89.11
Multiple collections of a cart or carts per week is available. Every-other-week service available. See VMC 6.12.209
Commercial Container Service (Non-compacted container, includes disposal within weight limits)
1-Yard once per week collection$167.96$157.18
1.5-Yard once per week collection$209.95$196.48
2-Yard once per week collection$251.94$235.77
3-Yard once per week collection$335.92$314.36
4-Yard once per week collection$419.90$392.95
6-Yard once per week collection$587.86$550.13
8-Yard once per week collection$755.82$707.31
Commercial – Space Saver Container Service
2-yard, four times per week collection$831.40$778.04
Commercial Compacter Container Service
2-yard compacted container, once per week$565.50$529.20
3-yard compacted container, once per week$754.00$705.60
Multiple container sizes and collection frequencies up to 7 days a week available. See VMC 6.12.210
Commercial Special Services
Accessibility charge$4.61$4.38
Rollout Charge (Greater than 15 feet)$4.61$4.38
Lock Charge/per collection (Containers)$3.26$3.09
Overfilled / Extra Yardage$21.25$19.89
Bulky Item Rates
Chair$14.66$13.91
Mattress/Box springs$16.60$15.76
Other bulky items$19.32$18.34
Additional items and rates found in VMC 6.12.212
Drop Box Trucking Fee
Drop box$181.09$171.88
Compactor$201.22$190.99
Drop Box Services
Daily Demurrage (rental) (max)$4.32$4.10
Monthly Demurrage (rental) (max)$130.00$123.39
Return Trip Charge$36.96$35.08
Drop Box Liner$66.77$63.38
Drop Boxes and Compactors available in 10, 20, 30 or 40 yards. More information at VMC 6.12.211
Type of Service: Recycle
Each commercial garbage customer may have to up to three yards of recycling for $11 per month, plus a monthly recycling processing surcharge. Customers may choose to use either carts or dumpsters for recycling – up to three yards of material.
Multifamily Rates
Recycle Collection (per unit/month)$1.57$1.49
Processing Surcharge$0.650.42
Type of Service: Organics/Food Waste
Commercial Organics / Food Waste Cart
64-gallon weekly collection$20.65$19.60
64-gallon every-other-week collection$10.32$9.80
Roll-Off Organics Services
Drop Box$128.75$122.21
Compactor$143.07$135.79
Rates shown are for roundtrip haul. Other VMC 6.12.211 service rates apply. Drop Boxes and Compactors available in 10, 20, 30 or 40 yards.

Business Recyclers List

Commercial and industrial operations in Vancouver must utilize a recycler currently licensed with the City of Vancouver. The following recyclers comply with the registration requirements set forth in Vancouver Municipal Code 5.62

Commercial Recyclers Registered Under VMC 5.62 to Provide Recycling Services in the City of Vancouver

The City of Vancouver does not endorse the services of any one particular company; this list represents companies that meet commercial licensing requirements.

Bobs Metals, Inc.
503-799-5984
www.bobsmetals.com
Drop Box: Recyclable Metal

City Bark & Recycling
360-253-8461
www.citybarkandrecycling.com
Drop Box: Wood and yard debris

Columbia Resource Co
360-737-1727
www.wcnorthwest.com
Drop Box: Full line of recycling material

Earth Friendly Recycling
360-433-8575
www.earthfriendlyrecycling.net
Special pick-up of electronics

EFI Recycling (Enviroshred)
503-737-2100
www.envirofiber.com
Drop Box: Paper in carts, compactors

H & H Wood Recyclers
360-892-2805
www.hhwoodrecyclers.com
Drop Box: Wood

International Paper
503-520-4147
www.internationalpaper.com
Drop Box: Fiber broker, recycling services

Interstate Drop Box
360-600-2734
Drop Box: Recyclable material; construction sites

Iron Mountain
503-285-2095
www.ironmountain.com
Document Destruction

Lemay Mobile Shredding
360-449-8397
www.lemaymobileshredding.com
Document destruction and recycling

McFarlane’s Bark
360-695-4240
www.mcfarlanesbark.com
Drop Box: Wood and yard debris

Metro Metals
1-800-610-5680
www.metrometalsnw.com
Drop Box: Metals

NW Dropbox
360-947-4404
www.nwdropbox.com
Drop Box: Full line of recyclable materials

Ompy’s Recycling
360-567-5973
Wood, metal, cardboard

Oregon Paper Fiber
503-542-3418
www.wasteconnectionspdx.com
Drop Box: Recyclable cardboard and paper

Pacific Coast Shredding
360-737-8335
www.metrometalsnw.com/pacific-coast-shredding/
Drop Box: Metals

Paper People
360-695-2092
www.paperpeoplenw.com
Collect paper and some plastics using carts, front load containers & drop boxes

Recology Portland
503-283-2015
www.recologyportland.com
Drop Box accounts for recyclable materials

ReNu Recycling Services
877-444-7368
www.northstar.com
Drop Box for recyclable construction materials

Republic Services
503-253-5656
www.disposal.com
Drop Box accounts for recyclable materials

Resource Recovery Systems
503-256-8865
www.ecrrecycling.com
Drop Box: Full line of recyclable materials

Schnitzer Steel
503-737-6848
www.schnitzersteel.com
 
Shred Northwest
503-669-0460
www.shrednorthwest.com
Document destruction and recycling

Technical Imaging Systems
360-567-1260
www.tisimaging.com
Document destruction and recycling

Technology Conservation Group
503-735-1102
www.tcgrecycling.com
Special recycling scrap electronics

Total Reclaim / Ecolights Northwest
206-343-7443
www.totalreclaim.com
Special pick-up for fluorescent bulbs, batteries, electronics and select appliances

Urban Gypsum
503-232-6108
www.urbangypsum.com
Drop Box: Sheetrock

Waste Connections Recycling
360-892-5370
www.wcnorthwest.com
Drop Box, Roll-off containers, Roll Carts: full line of recycling material

WestRock Recycling
503-772-8710
www.rocktenn.com
Drop Box: Full line of recyclable materials

Construction and Demolition Waste and Recycling

Construction Regulations and Guidance

Construction and demolition waste generators must:

  • Use the City’s contracted solid waste hauler Waste Connections of Washington (WCW) or a licensed commercial recycler (unless materials are self-hauled under according to provisions in the Vancouver Municipal Code);
  • Deliver all recyclable materials to a permitted recycling facility. Recyclable materials must not be sent for landfill disposal; and
  • Prepare recyclable materials properly- materials must not be contaminated or mixed with garbage.
Solid Waste Disposal

The City has an exclusive contract with Waste Connections of Washington (WCW) to provide all waste collection and hauling services to businesses and residents within city limits, including construction activities and demolition waste from job sites.

There are allowed exceptions, including:

  1. Self-hauling Waste: A business is allowed to “self-haul” waste if the owner or employee hauls materials to an authorized disposal site using a company-owned vehicle.
  2. Subcontractors: A business may hire a subcontractor to haul construction or demolition waste from the job site to an authorized disposal site using a dump truck already being used to perform other operations on the job site.
  3. Incidental Transport: A subcontractor may haul waste in company-owned equipment if the haul is incidental to other services performed on the job site, such as cleaning or demolition. However, this subcontractor cannot promote itself as a waste-hauling company and must also be licensed as a common carrier by the WUTC.
Recycling

Common demolition materials include wood, plaster, drywall, metals, masonry and other items that can be reused or recycled, rather than hauled to landfills. Reuse and recycling construction debris can be more economical than landfilling and may be required based on building codes.

  1. Hauling: Vancouver codes require use of a licensed commercial recycler or subcontractor, including but not limited to Waste Connections of Washington (WCW), to haul separated or mixed recyclables (no waste) to any permitted processing facility.
  2. Material Recovery: Recovery of delivered materials must be accomplished at the processing facility. The city reserves the right to determine whether materials are being recovered as intended.

More Information: For help in setting up a separation process or other questions, please contact the City of Vancouver’s Solid Waste Services at 360-487-7160 or solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us, or Waste Connections at 360-892-5370.

Recycle Right

Use the RecycleRight tool below or download the free RecycleRight app to:

  • View your collection schedule
  • Sign up for reminders and service alerts in case of schedule changes
  • Look up donation, recycling and disposal options
  • Request a bulky item pickup

Download the RecycleRight app from Apple App Store (works with iPhones and iPads) or Google Play (works with android devices). Alerts in Español, Русский and Tiếng Việt are also available. Email the Solid Waste team at solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us for assistance.

The handy A-Z Directory helps provide answers to your questions about how to recycle, reuse and properly dispose of hundreds of items.

Enter the name of the item you no longer need and hit the Search. You’ll get answers to options for reusing and recycling, including locations and contact information. If the item needs special handling, such as a household hazardous waste, Recycling A-Z will tell you how to properly dispose of it, keeping you and the environment safe.

If you are a business or organization that accepts materials for reuse or recycling and would like to be included in the Recycling Look Up database, contact us.

More Recycling Help

To learn more tips and information, view the Recycling Refresher Newsletter or see the web links below for further information. If you have other questions or need assistance from Vancouver Solid Waste Services, please contact us at solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us or 360-487-7160.

Recycling right image with cart

Recycling FAQs

Answers to Many of Your Questions about How to Use Your Recycling Cart

Q: What can I recycle in my cart?
A: 
A lot of things can go in your cart:

  • Paper: newspapers magazines and catalogs, mail and office paper, paper bags, rinsed milk and juice cartons, and cardboard, including cereal and shoe boxes.
  • Metal: Clean metal cans and lids; clean foil pie plates and trays, empty aerosol cans and other small metal items.
  • Plastics: Clean plastic bottles, yogurt, margarine and other clean tubs, and five-gallon or less nursery pots and buckets.
     

Q: What plastics can’t I put in my cart?
A: 
Any plastic that is not a bottle, tub, jar or bucket. The following are examples of plastic materials that can’t be placed in your recycling cart: No Styrofoam; no plastic take-out containers from restaurants; no grocery produce “clamshells” such as used for cherry tomato or berry containers; and no plastic bags. Plastic bags are especially hard on recycling systems, getting wrapped around the shafts of sorting equipment and jamming machinery. Loose lids from plastic containers aren’t recoverable through the sorting system and should not go in the cart. If a cap from a bottle screws on, it can stay on, though the bottle can be recycled with a cap or not. If a lid might pop off (like on a cottage cheese tub), it should stay off and go in the garbage cart. ​

Q: Where does glass go?
A: 
Use a separate container or bin for recycling your glass bottles and jars; attach a “glass only” label. Broken glass and paper shouldn’t mix because shards and other pieces of broken glass can cause major problems at facilities where materials are sorted and at mills where paper is recycled. Simply place the glass bin next to the recycling cart for collection on your regularly scheduled collection day. You will only need to set it out when it is full. Your efforts to keep glass separate will help maintain the quality of recyclables collected at the curb, providing high quality materials for end-users, and keeping them out of the landfill.

Q: Where can I recycle plastics that don’t go in the recycling cart?
A: 
Many grocery stores accept clean plastic bags for recycling if you don’t have an opportunity to reuse them at home. Or better yet, consider using reusable bags for shopping to reduce the number of plastic bags you receive. Check the RecycleRight tool above to find recycling options for plastics not accepted at a transfer station.

Q: Where do I put my batteries, antifreeze and motor oil for curbside recycling?
A:
 Please put your used motor oil or antifreeze in a one-gallon, clear plastic jug with a screw cap and place them next to your “glass only” bin early on the morning of recycling collection. If possible, clearly mark the jug as used oil or used antifreeze. To recycle household batteries — AA, AAA, C, D, Lithium “Button Cell” (not Lithium-ion), Mercury, Ni-Cad – put batteries in a clear, re-sealable plastic bag and place them on the lid of your new recycling cart.

Q: When should I set out my recycling for collection?
A:
 Following your every-other-week schedule, have your recycling cart and glass bin, along with any batteries, antifreeze or motor oil, at the curb by 6 a.m. on the collection day.

Q: Why do I have to have space between my garbage cart and recycling cart?
A:
 The trucks that service the carts, including yard debris carts for those who subscribe to this service, have automated arms that wrap around the sides of the carts. Your carts must be three feet apart from each other and five feet from cars and other objects or they will not be emptied. If the drivers attempt to empty the carts when they are too close, they can knock over the carts or potentially damage property near the carts.

Q: How does the driver know if there is recycling or garbage in the cart?
A: Recycling trucks have video cameras to monitor your recycling cart for garbage and glass. When the materials are dropped off at the transfer station they will be able to visually inspect for items that are not accepted in the program. Please follow the instructions on the poster that comes with your new recycling cart.

Q: Where do I take material that you do not accept curbside?
A: 
Visit the Residential tab for listings of where to take hundreds of other items such as sports equipment, hazardous waste, electronic devices and more. Many items may also be taken to the transfer stations. Be sure to call before if you have questions before you go.

Q: What can I do about scavenging of my carts?
A:
Scavenging of recyclables or waste is against the law in Vancouver according to VCM 6.12.216. If you see someone taking recyclables, please call 311 and report it as a “theft of recyclables.” Providing details can be helpful. For example, if the person is using a vehicle, write down the license plate number and a description of the vehicle that you can then provide in your report. Always exercise caution and consider your personal safety. Do not confront the individual/s. If the suspects have come and gone, Vancouver residents may call 311 any time of day or 360-487-7355 during regular business hours to file a report with a police technician. The information provided will be kept with other records to monitor trends and inform future patrols.

Use these tips to discourage scavenging or interest in your carts:

  • Set recyclables out the morning of collection, between 6-6:30 a.m., Carts need to be in place and ready for pickup by 6:30 a.m. Leaving them out all night makes them easier and more attractive targets.
  • Always shred or tear scrap paper that has personal financial information such as credit card account numbers or social security numbers. Please do not put shredded paper in your recycling cart.

Transfer Station Information

  • West Van Materials Recovery Center360-737-1727; Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 6601 N.W. Old Lower River Road, Vancouver, WA 98660
  • Central Transfer and Recycling Center360-256-8482; Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 11034 N.E. 117th Ave., Vancouver, WA 98662
  • Washougal Transfer Station360-835-2500; Wednesday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 4020 South Grant St., Washougal, WA 98671
Bulky Items

City of Vancouver residents with active Waste Connections garbage service can use the free Bulky Item Pickup Program to dispose of up to five (5) items too large or bulky to fit in a garbage cart. Customers are eligible for one (1) FREE curbside pickup each calendar year of up to five items. Below you will find signup instructions, commonly accepted items and items that are not accepted. If you live in an apartment or share your garbage service with others, check with your property manager for assistance when disposing of bulky items.

Requirements and restrictions apply, so carefully review all information below. Scroll down to learn more and review information before signing up.

How to Sign Up

  1. Use the RecycleRight app or tool on your smart phone, tablet or desktop to sign up.
  2. Select the Bulky Item with the chair icon and selected up to five (5) items, each weighing less than 100 pounds.
  3. Choose your preferred date from the list.
  4. Enter your name, phone number and email address. Describe any “Other” items selected from Step 2.
  5. Submit your request, and be sure to click “confirm” when prompted.
  6. We will confirm your request via email, and our email will include a link if you need to change or cancel your request before the pickup day.
  7. Set out your bulky items at the curb by 6 a.m. on the morning of your scheduled pickup day. Please be careful to not block traffic, bike lanes or sidewalks.
    Customers with regular collection in an alleyway will set items out at their curb, instead of their alleyway, for this special pickup.
    – If items are not out on the curb by 6 a.m. on your scheduled pickup day, a return trip can be scheduled. However, fees may apply.

Commonly Accepted Bulky Items

Broken or worn-out items that are too large to fit in your garbage cart at home may qualify. For example:

  • Appliances – Stoves, water heaters, washer/dryers, etc.
  • Furniture – Sofas, chairs, tables, shelving, mattresses, patio sets
  • Household items – Carpets, rugs, kiddie pools, mops and brooms
  • Kitchen/bath items – Sinks, toilets, other plumbing items
  • Outdoor items – Barbecues, car parts, play sets, rotten fencing, deck boards
  • Power yard equipment – Lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, weed whackers (Be sure to remove any batteries, gasoline, oils, and other fluids)
  • Recreation/exercise equipment – Bicycles, treadmills, basketball hoops, etc.
  • Small appliances – Vacuums, lamps

Not Accepted Bulky Items

The items below cannot be picked up as part of this Bulky Item Pickup service. Please look in the A-Z directory for other ways you can dispose of these items.

  • Yard debris
  • Tires
  • Concrete or building construction and demolition materials
  • Electronic waste, including computers, TVs and cellphones
  • Any materials potentially containing asbestos
  • Household hazardous wastes, including fluorescent bulbs, paint and chemicals
  • Items containing freon, such as refrigerators, freezers or air conditioning units

Questions and Additional Assistance

Appliance Disposal – In addition to the Bulky Item Pickup, an annual one-time free appliance pickup is available to single-family households as part of regular Vancouver Solid Waste services to arrange for an appliance pickup under our regular program, you must schedule directly with Waste Connections at calling 360-892-5370customerhelp@wcnx.org or using the chat feature at wcnorthwest.com. The appliances collected as part of the regular appliance pickup option will be recycled. Appliances collected as part of the Bulky Item Pickup Day will be sent to the landfill.

Regular Bulky Item Pickup: Please remember that curbside bulky item pickups are available for a fee through Waste Connections by scheduled appointment throughout the year. To learn more about this service and rates for this service, please visit wcnorthwest.com/bulky-items.

Contact Solid Waste Services at 360-487-7160 or solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us for more information.

Bulky Item Pickup Program with images
Free Classes

RecycleU

City of Vancouver and Clark County residents can take free workshops to learn about regional recycling systems, curbside composting through the Organics service and preventing food waste. These classes are offered through a partnership with Vancouver Solid Waste, Clark County Green Neighbors and Waste Connections. Read below for workshop descriptions, upcoming dates and registration.

Earn $120 for your neighborhood association by attending a workshop or taking a tour.

Current Class List

Review the current RecycleU schedule and sign up for a free class today.

Clark County’s Composter Recycler Program also offers free workshops on backyard composting, worm bins, toxic-free cleaning and more.

Recycling 101 Recycling Done Right – Learn the Basics

Live in an apartment? Rent? Own? Everyone is invited to join this informative Recycling 101 class. Get all the latest tips about our regional garbage and recycling system. 

  • Learn the basics about what to recycle curbside and why,and where items go after being picked up.
  • If you are unsure if certain items can be recycled, bring those questions to this class!

Organics 101 – Curbside Composting

If you live within Vancouver or Ridgefield city limits, you can add food scraps to your yard debris cart. During this class, learn about this optional program including:

  • What is and is not accepted in the organics cart and why.
  • The benefit of keeping food scraps out of the garbage.
  • How to maintain your cart and pail to keep them clean.
  • Where the yard debris and food scraps go after leaving the curb.

Prevent Food Waste – Use Food Well

Use your food well! In this workshop, you will gain an understanding of how reducing food waste is good for the planet and your wallet. Learn and share strategies to combat food waste, minimize food spoilage and get the most out of your food. 

Recycling 201 – Beyond the Curb

Take the next step! Go beyond the basics of curbside recycling.

  • Discover a variety of convenient recycling and reuse options locally for plastic bags, appliances, bulky items and more.
  • Learn to identify Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and how to safely dispose of this material.
  • Please note: Prior attendance in Recycling 101 is requested for this class.

Recycling Walking Tours

Contact recyclehelp@wasteconnections.com to schedule.

Join a walk-and-talk tour at a local, regional transfer station and material recovery facility. Discover how your recycling gets sorted and prepared for markets.

  • Please note: Participants must provide their own transportation to the site. Parking is limited, and carpooling is encouraged.

$120 RecycleU Grant for Neighborhood Associations

Earn $120 for your Neighborhood Association! By attending a workshop or taking a tour, your neighborhood association may be eligible for a $120 grant. This is available only to officially recognized neighborhood associations in the City of Vancouver and Clark County. Follow these steps:

1. Attend a RecycleU or Composter Recycler workshop.
2. Share what you learned with your neighborhood

  • Use one of the pre-written articles or write your own. If you create your own, please have Solid Waste Services review it by contacting 360-487-7160 or email solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us.
  • Submit one article to your neighborhood newsletter OR,
  • Share two postings on NextDoor.

3. Send copies of these postings or submissions to solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us for your grant request to be processed. A check will be sent to your Neighborhood Association’s Treasurer or designee.

Community members taking a tour or local material recovery facility.