Garbage and Recycling Collection Service Interruptions

Release date: 01/09/2012
Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Solid Waste & Recycling (SW&R) Division


In the event of severe winter weather, garbage and recycling collection schedules may be impacted. If schools are closed, solid waste (garbage) and recycling (including yard debris) collection may be cancelled. Collection will be made up the following day.

If adverse weather conditions persist (schools continue to be closed) for more than one day, customers who miss collection service will receive service during the next regularly scheduled period for the missed service. This means recycling/yard debris services will be collected on the next regularly scheduled period. Reminder: Recycling/Yard debris is collected every-other-week. So it may be two weeks until Recycling/Yard Debris is collected.

Contact your hauler with questions about collection schedules during inclement weather. If your property resides inside a city boundary, contact your city office or hauler for instructions.

Questions and Answers about Interrupted Service

Q.  My garbage and recycling volumes have doubled since my regular pick-up was missed. What should I do with the extras?  

Extra Garbage
 - You can place your 'extras' (garbage) at the curb for the next scheduled pick-up and there will be no additional charge for the extra material. If there is not enough room in your containers, place your garbage in a plastic bag next to your garbage can.             

Extra Recycling - If you have more recyclable materials 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 makes it more valuable 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 pick up day.  


Q. Will I be charged for these extra bags I place at the curb?

A.  No. Your bill will not reflect any extra charges.   


Q. Will I receive a credit for the day(s) my collection service was missed?

A. 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 the weather to clear to 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 haulers pick up all the garbage and recycling that was missed at no additional charge to the customer.  


Q. Should I worry about storing my garbage for more than the typical week? 

A. 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).    


Frozen Yard Debris
In very cold weather conditions yard debris often freezes in the cart. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the hauler to empty the cart into the collection truck. This is not a common occurrence, but it has been known to happen in severely cold weather where the carts are outside.

Note: Recycling and yard debris is collected every-other-week in unincorporated Washington County and many of the cities.


Washington County Solid Waste and Recycling Program 
(503) 846-8609  


Media Contact:

Theresa Koppang, Solid Waste and Recycling Program Supervisor