Skip to content
Solid Waste and Recycling Program-Frequently Asked Questions
You'll find answers here to many questions about Gwinnett's new solid waste and recycling program. Jump directly to a particular section by clicking a topic:

General
Haulers
How do I Dispose Of…
Rates and Billing
Solid Waste Collection
Carts and Bins
Kinds of Waste
Recycling

General

Why did Gwinnett County implement a new garbage plan?

Cleaner neighborhoods: About 20,000 homes previously did not use waste collection services at all.
Environmental sustainability: A single hauler provides service to each neighborhood, reducing truck traffic and pollution. Now homeowners can recycle 35 different materials as part of their regular solid waste pick-up service. State law requires the County to update its solid waste management plan every 10 years and to work toward reducing the solid waste deposited in landfills.
More efficient and cost-effective: The one-hauler system is more efficient, cost-effective, and better for roads than having multiple trucks crisscrossing neighborhoods. The standard service fee is the same in all districts with the majority of residents seeing a decrease in monthly service fees.

My company lets me use their commercial dumpster. Do I still have to use this service?

While you may still use commercial dumpsters if you have permission from the owner, the new program requires all homeowners in unincorporated Gwinnett to pay for residential solid waste service. The uniform fee ensures that each property owner pays a fair share of solid waste disposal costs. Countywide solid waste service will help eliminate illegal dumping and illegal use of commercial dumpsters.

Is Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful involved with the new solid waste program?

Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful does not play an active part in administering the program but will continue to provide services consistent with their charter and mission.

Can I opt out of the County's solid waste program?

No. By requiring residential solid waste service for every residential property, we expect to significantly reduce illegal dumping.

Is there any exemption from the Solid Waste Ordinance requirements?

The Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Materials program is mandatory for all residents. However, if your property is vacant and you have a current, valid vacant property or boarding up structure permit from the Department of Planning and Development, you will automatically receive an exemption from the solid waste service fee during the permitted period.

How do you handle illegal dumping issues?

Residents may report illegal dumping to the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Call Center at 770.822.7141. Staff from the Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division and officers with the Police Department's Code Enforcement Unit will follow up on reports of illegal dumping.

Why doesn't Gwinnett use County employees to pick up trash?

After much consideration, it was determined that outsourcing this service to experienced and established companies was more cost-effective.

Who can I call with additional questions about the solid waste program?

Please call the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Call Center at 770.822.7141 between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday. You may also e-mail your questions to gcsolidwaste@gwinnettcounty.com.

Return to Top


Haulers

Do I have a choice of hauler?

No. By allowing one solid waste hauler per zone, it increases collection efficiency, limits truck traffic in residential neighborhoods, and reduces noise pollution.

Can my entire community choose a different hauler?

No. Communities cannot choose a different provider. The service zones were divided by major streets and neighborhoods to increase collection efficiency and limit large truck traffic in residential neighborhoods.

Who is my hauler?

There are five haulers in the new program, one in each service zone:

  • Sanitation Solutions - north Gwinnett
  • American Disposal Service of Atlanta, Inc. - north Gwinnett
  • Waste Pro - west Gwinnett
  • Southern Sanitation - south Gwinnett
  • Republic Services - east Gwinnett

Click here for a page where you can enter your address or parcel number to find your hauler.

How many haulers serve my area?

One. Click here for a page where you can enter your address or parcel number to find your hauler.

In a gated community with private roads, will haulers use smaller trucks?

Please contact your hauler with this question.

What if my hauler delivers poor service?

Contact your hauler directly. Click here for contact information. Please direct complaints that are not resolved within 24 hours to the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division at 770.822.7141 or e-mail your issue to gcsolidwaste@gwinnettcounty.com. If possible, please provide the service request number given by your hauler when you called them.

What are the rules, quality controls, and expectations for haulers?

All haulers must collect household garbage and recyclables once a week. They must meet service level agreements that include professionalism, qualified and trained staff, a call center that is adequately staffed and maintained from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, all of which are subject to liquidated damages if not met.

Who monitors the service providers for quality of service?

The Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division oversees the haulers to ensure that quality customer service is provided to our citizens.

Return to Top


Rates and Billing

What is the price for garbage and recyclables pickup?

The monthly base fee is $19.12 for 2016 and $18.99 for 2017. Eligible seniors automatically receive a 15 percent discount.

Will senior citizens or people with disabilities get a discount?

Qualifying senior citizens and disabled residents will automatically receive a 15 percent discount on their annual solid waste service fee. If you are a senior age 65 or older with an annual income below $10,000 and have filed a senior homestead exemption called an L3A, or a senior age 65 or older with an income up to $25,000 who qualifies for a senior school exemption or L5A, you are eligible for this discount. Monthly rates for seniors who meet these qualifications are $16.25 for 2016 and $16.14 for 2017.

How long will the current rate be in effect?

The base fee will be in effect for services provided from January 1st to December 31st.

Will there be additional fees, or is everything included?

The base fee per month includes weekly trash pickup of one 95 gallon cart of solid waste, bulky items (furniture, mattresses, etc.), white goods (stoves, refrigerators, etc.), and 35 kinds of recyclables. Additional fees include charges for optional services such as yard waste collection service, additional trash carts and other elective services, and delivery costs for additional carts or bins. The base fee is set for 12 months, but may be adjusted annually based on fuel prices, inflation, or changes in state laws.

Will vacant homes be charged a solid waste fee?

If your property is vacant and you have a current, valid vacant property or boarding up structure permit from the Department of Planning and Development, you will automatically receive an exemption from the solid waste service fee during the permitted period.

Return to Top
Solid Waste Collection

Does my pickup day have to change?

The haulers have set their own pickup schedules to create routes that maximize fuel efficiency and minimize truck traffic in individual neighborhoods.

What day will my trash be picked up?

That's up to your hauler. You can find hauler contact information and your pickup day by clicking here.

What are the pickup hours?

All garbage and recyclables are picked up between 7:00am and 6:30pm, Monday through Friday (Monday through Saturday for holiday weeks). Homeowners should put the garbage cart at the street no earlier than 3:30pm the day before pickup day and remove emptied carts and bins no later than the day following collection day.

How often are garbage and recyclables picked up?

Garbage and recyclables are picked up once a week on your assigned day. For pickup of bulky items or white goods (appliances), please call your hauler to arrange a pickup time.

Are garbage and recyclables picked up on the same day?

Most likely yes, but check with your hauler to be sure. Click here to find out your pickup day.

How many bags of garbage can I put out each week?

Haulers will only pick up garbage in the garbage cart they provided. If your household requires collection of more than the 95 gallons of waste per week provided in the basic service, you must contact your hauler to order an additional cart. Your hauler will assess a cart delivery charge and an additional monthly fee for this service. One method to reduce your household waste volume is to recycle!

What if I take my trash to another location?

If there is a residence on the property in question, the Solid Waste fee will be required.

What about yard waste? Is pickup available? How should I prepare yard waste for pickup?

Yard waste collection is an optional service. Please contact your hauler directly to subscribe to a six-month yard waste collection service at a rate not to exceed $10 per month. Haulers may offer one-time pickups of yard waste as an elective service. The County does not regulate the rates haulers charge for elective services.

Who do I call if my trash or recyclables are not picked up?

Please call your hauler directly to discuss missed pickups or other service-related issues. You can find hauler contact information here. If your issue is not resolved, please call the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recycling Call Center at 770.822.7141 or e-mail gcsolidwaste@gwinnettcounty.com.

What is the holiday pickup schedule?

No solid waste collection service will be provided on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day. Haulers are not required to collect or maintain office hours on these holidays. Collections will be made the day following the holiday and subsequent collection days during the holiday week will take place on the day after their normal collection day.

Who should I notify if I move?

It is not necessary to notify your hauler or Gwinnett County if you move. However, if your property will be unoccupied and there is no need for collection service, you may contact your hauler or the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recycling Division at 770.822.7141 or e-mail gcsolidwaste@gwinnettcounty.com to suspend collection services. Gwinnett County does not issue refunds or make adjustments for the solid waste fee and will continue to bill for the service going forward. If you are selling your home, you can ask your closing attorney about the option of prorating fees with the buyer.

Will the hauler assigned to my neighborhood also service the Homeowner's Association common areas?

If your HOA is using residential type cans for trash collection, the association should contract with the residential hauler assigned to your neighborhood. If your HOA is using a dumpster for trash collection, the association should contract with any of the approved commercial haulers.

I have a bulky item (couch, chair, mattress, etc.) that I need to dispose of. What’s the process for getting my bulky items collected at the curb?

The basic service fee includes collection of bulky items however it is the homeowner’s responsibility to notify his/her designated hauler at least one business day in advance of the pickup day. For instance, if your weekly pickup day is Monday, you must notify your designated hauler on the preceding Friday in order to guarantee that your bulk items will be collected on Monday. You can find hauler contact information and your pickup day on the Solid Waste Haulers Search page

Return to Top


Carts and Bins

Will I receive a new trash cart?

If your old hauler is not participating in this new plan, you may need to make arrangements with your old hauler to pick up your cart. Your old hauler is not allowed to charge you for retrieving the cart or for terminating services.

- If your new hauler is Advanced Disposal Services: Your hauler will supply one 95-gallon wheeled trash cart and one 18-gallon recycling bin.

- If your new hauler is Republic Services: Your hauler will supply one 95-gallon wheeled trash cart. These carts may be new or refurbished, if it is in good working condition. If you currently receive service from Republic Services, you may continue to use your existing cart. If Republic Services is not your current provider, the company will arrange for delivery of a cart.

- If your new hauler is Sanitation Solutions, Southern Sanitation, or Waste Pro: Your hauler will supply one 95-gallon wheeled trash cart. If you currently receive service from any of these three companies, you may continue to use your existing cart. If none of these three companies is your current provider, your new hauler will either arrange for delivery of a cart or place a company sticker on your current cart, if it is in good working condition.

Note about smaller carts: If you prefer a smaller, 65-gallon trash cart, you must contact your hauler to arrange for delivery of the smaller cart.

Recycling bin: You may continue to use your existing recycling bin if you are currently a Republic Services(also known as Robertson Sanitation, Allied Waste, and BFI), Sanitation Solutions, Southern Sanitation, Waste Pro, or Advanced Disposal customer. If you do not have a recycling bin from one of these haulers and you would like to recycle, please contact your new hauler for delivery of an 18-gallon recycling bin.

Can I request a larger recycling bin?

The basic service includes an 18-gallon storage bin for recyclables (which you can request from your hauler). Please contact your hauler directly about the availability of other size containers and the associated cost. You may also use other containers to hold your recyclables; however, make sure any additional containers are clearly marked as recyclables.

When will I receive my cart and recyclable bin?

Depending on when you set up service, your trash hauler will deliver your cart and bin within a week. If you have not received a trash cart or recycling bin yet or prefer a smaller, 65-gallon size cart, you must contact your haulerto arrange for delivery.

Can I use my own trash can or set out just bags?

No, haulers will only pick up garbage in the garbage cart they provided. Please use the trash cart and recycling bin provided by your hauler.

I live in a townhome complex, will haulers provide smaller trash carts on request?

Your hauler will provide a 65-gallon cart instead of the standard 95-gallon cart upon your request. You can find hauler contact information here.

Should I put my garbage cart and recycling bin out for pickup even if they are not full?

Yes. The hauler will remove the garbage and recyclables you have, eliminating all solid waste from your residence on a weekly basis.

Can I leave my cart out on the street in between collection days?

No. Please put it out no earlier than 3:30pm the day before your pickup day and remove it no later than the day after to ensure that our roads and neighborhoods are as safe as possible.

What if I have garbage that doesn't allow the lid to close?

If your household requires collection of more than the 95 gallons of waste per week provided in the basic service, you must contact your hauler to order an additional cart. Your hauler will assess a cart delivery charge and an additional monthly fee for this service. One method to reduce your household waste volume is to recycle!

Who is responsible for fixing broken or cracked carts?

Your hauler is responsible for buying, assembling, delivering, maintaining, and replacing carts that are damaged due to normal wear and tear. All carts and bins remain the property of the hauler. If cart damage is the result of misuse or neglect on the part of the resident, the resident will be charged a cart replacement fee.

Return to Top


Kinds of Waste

Does my hauler collect bulky items?

Haulers will collect bulky items (larger than three feet in any dimension and/or heavier than 50 pounds) by request on an as-needed basis at no extra charge. This includes, but is not limited to, mattresses, box springs, indoor/outdoor furniture, swing sets, plastic swimming pools, large toys, bicycles, aquariums, and similar items. You can find hauler contact information by clicking here.

What are white goods?

White goods are enameled household appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, and water heaters. They are collected as part of the base service upon request to the hauler as long as they do not contain dangerous chemicals (PCBs or CFCs) and are officially labeled to that effect. You must remove the doors from freezers and refrigerators.

Can I place biomedical/hazardous waste out for pickup?

Residents are legally allowed to dispose of medical waste if those wastes are generated from a single-family residential dwelling in the self-care and/or treatment of family members living on those premises. However, there are guidelines and regulations for disposing of these wastes. In an effort to assist residents to comply with state regulations of solid waste disposal, below you will find information on how to properly dispose of these types of materials.

If you are disposing of full biomedical containers such as colostomy or urostomy bags:

Although residents are allowed to dispose of biomedical wastes with their regular trash, this does not include non-solid biomedical materials such as urine or fecal matter. Urine and fecal matter are not solid waste and should be disposed of through wastewater treatment or septic tanks. This material should be emptied from the containers (such as a colostomy bag) into a toilet and then flushed. The empty containers should then be placed into a sealable plastic bag and disposed of with regular household trash.

If you are disposing of medical syringes/sharps/hypodermic needles:

Medical syringes and sharps generated from individuals in their homes can legally be placed with regular household trash. However, these materials should be properly contained for the purposes of the safety of the sanitation crews operating the collection of the household trash. Here are some guidelines for disposing of sharps and medical syringes/needles:

  1. Place used sharps/needles in a rigid plastic container. A liquid laundry detergent bottle is ideal because the thick rubbery plastic resists punctures, the spout restricts the opening to prevent spills, and the lid is secure.
  2. When full, screw the lid on tightly and tape in place with duct tape. Clearly label the container "Bio Hazard."
  3. Place the container with your regular household trash for collection.

Please refer to the link below for more information on Georgia State regulations on disposal of biomedical wastes.
http://www.dca.state.ga.us/development/environmentalmanagement/programs/downloads/epdsolidwasterules.pdf

What about construction or demolition debris?

You will need to contact an authorized construction and demolition waste hauler. Click here for a list of authorized commercial solid waste haulers.

What about commercial solid waste service?

The program does not change commercial solid waste service. Click here for a list of authorized commercial solid waste haulers.

What are the rules for yard trimmings?

Pickup of yard trimmings is an optional service that you must arrange for with your hauler and pay for directly. It includes collection of grass clippings, leaves, brush, shrub and tree prunings, nursery and greenhouse vegetative residuals, Christmas trees, maintenance trimmings (other than mining, agricultural and silvicultural). All materials must be in suitable receptacles (not plastic bags). Limbs less than four inches in diameter and under three feet long must be tied in a bundle weighing no more than 50 pounds. Stumps, roots, shrubs with intact root balls and treated wood are not allowed. Your hauler can provide more information.

What items can I recycle?

Haulers accept 35 types of recyclables.

What yard trimming items are acceptable for pickup?

Acceptable yard trimmings:

  • Leaves
  • Nursery and greenhouse vegetative residuals
  • Brush
  • Maintenance trimmings (other than mining, agricultural and silvicultural)
  • Grass clippings
  • Christmas trees - remove all lights and ornaments
  • Shrub/tree prunings

The following items will not be accepted for pickup:

  • NO stumps, roots, shrubs with intact root balls
  • NO treated wood

What waste is not acceptable?

The following types of waste will not be accepted for pickup:

  • Hazardous waste
  • Aerosol cans that are not empty
  • Large glass panes
  • Construction/demolition waste
  • Large tree debris
  • Tires
  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Stumps
  • Paint that is not solidified
  • Large engine parts
  • Ammunition of any type
  • Paint solvents
  • Chemicals
  • Small engine parts containing oil or fluids
  • Treated wood
  • Dead animals (over 10 pounds)
  • Firearms

Return to Top


Recycling

What day are my recyclables picked up?

It is most likely on the same day as your trash collection, but your hauler sets the pickup schedule for your street. You can find hauler contact information and your pickup day by clicking here.

What time of day are my garbage/recyclables picked up?

All garbage and recyclables are picked up between 7:00am and 6:30pm, Monday through Friday (Monday through Saturday for holiday weeks). Homeowners should put the garbage cart and recycling bins curbside no earlier than 3:30pm the day before pickup day but prior to 7:00am on collection day. Emptied carts and bins must be removed no later than the day following collection day.

What items are recyclable at the curb?

With Gwinnett’s recycling plan, more than five times as many items are accepted at the curb than ever before. For a list of the many items that can be recycled, visit the Recyclable Materials webpage.

Do I need to sort my recyclables?

Gwinnett's solid waste haulers use dedicated trucks for recycling and a method called “single stream recycling.” This means that recyclables are sorted at the recycling center, not curbside. Simply throw all of your recycling into one container — your solid waste hauler will sort it all later. Check out the Recyclable Materials webpage for a list of the many items you can recycle.

What if all of my recycling doesn’t fit in the container provided by my hauler?

If you have a hard time fitting all of your recycling in the recycling bin provided by your hauler, that's no problem and no extra charge! Feel free to use additional containers for recycling just make sure the container is clearly marked "recyclables." 

What about recycling plastics? Are all types accepted at the curb?

Plastics #1-7 are accepted curbside. However, for #4 plastics, only squeezable bottles are accepted at the curb. For a more comprehensive list of plastics that are recyclable, visit the Recyclable Materials webpage.

Do I have to recycle?

  • No - but voluntary participation in recycling helps contain costs. Haulers pay transport and landfill fees based on the amount of solid waste they carry, which can significantly increase the cost of trash disposal. Recycling reduces the amount of solid waste dumped in landfills and helps preserve our environment.

Who should I call if my recyclables are not picked up?

  • Please call your hauler directly about missed pickups or other service-related issues. You can find hauler contact information by clicking here. If your issue is not resolved, please notify the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recycling Call Center at 770.822.7141 or e-mail gcsolidwaste@gwinnettcounty.com.

Return to Top