Inclement Weather Service Interruptions

Garbage and Recycling Collection Service Interruptions 

Answers to FAQs about the recent storm impacts on recycling and garbage collection 


Updated February 3, 2017

Contact: Theresa Koppang, Solid Waste and Recycling, Supervisor
503-846-3605 or email: recycle@co.washington.or.us

If your garbage and recycling collection was missed due to weather, the information below will help answer questions related to collection service in unincorporated Washington County. If your property resides inside a city boundary, contact your city office and/or collection company

How do I know when my garbage/recycling will be picked up? 
  • Many residents whose garbage collection service was missed will receive garbage service on their next regularly scheduled collection day. Note that impacts to schedules vary by collection company.
  • If recycling or yard debris collection were also missed, residents will likely receive collection service on the next regularly scheduled collection day. Recycling and yard debris are collected every-other-week. 
Contacting your garbage and recycling collection company 
My garbage and recycling volumes have doubled since my regular pick-up was missed. What should I do with the extras? 
  • Extra Garbage: 
    • Place your extra garbage at the curb for the next scheduled collection. There will be no additional charge for the extra material up to twice the volume of your regular service. If there is not enough room in your containers, place your garbage in a plastic bag next to your garbage can. 
  • Extra Recycling: 
    • If recyclable materials are more than your cart will hold, we recommend storing it and gradually adding it over the following weeks, until it is gone. This keeps the material dry and maintains its value as a recycling commodity. 
    • If you can't store it, please prepare your recycling as you would for regular collection. Recyclable material that does not fit in containers (because the container is full) can be set beside the container as long as it is properly prepared and set out on the scheduled collection day. For preparation instructions, view the waste prevention and recycling guide
Will I be charged for these extra bags I place at the curb? 
No. Your bill will not reflect any extra charges up to twice the volume of your regular service. 

Will I receive a credit for the day(s) my collection service was missed? 
No. Because your garbage and recycling will still be collected, no credit will be issued by your hauler. We recognize that it's inconvenient to have your collection delayed, waiting for roads to clear and make it safe for the collection trucks to get back on the road. However, the haulers typically incur extra costs to pick up garbage in the aftermath of a storm. Rather than giving a credit for missed days, then charging customers for the "extras" that are set out, the County's policy is to have the collection companies collect all the garbage and recycling that was missed at no additional charge to the customer. 

Should I worry about storing my garbage for more than the typical week? 
Storing garbage during a cold weather/snow event does not typically create a nuisance because materials are under cold storage (whether stored in the garage or outside). It's a good idea to use plastic bags.