Curbside Recycling & Trash


EXTENDED; Earlier Residential Curbside Collection Start Time, Week of June 24-28

Due to prolonged heat in the forecast for next week, crews will pick up curbside trash, recycling and organics starting at 6 a.m. to take advantage of cooler morning temperatures. Residents should place carts at the curb no later than 5:30 a.m. on their scheduled collection day. This earlier start time will remain in effect from Monday, June 24, through Friday, June 28. If you have questions, call 703-228-5000.

Arlington County provides weekly curbside trash, recycling and organics collection services to all single-family homes, duplexes and some town houses.


What's the Latest on...?

Food Scraps Collection

Using the green curbside cart year-round for food scraps along with yard waste.

Glass Recycling

Five drop-off sites help the County actually make money from glass jars and bottles while ensuring the market values of paper, cardboard, metal cans and plastic containers in the blue single-stream curbside recycling cart.

Disposing of Electronics and Metal

Arlington makes it easy to dispose of electronics and metal the right way.

Disposing of Batteries

Rechargeable batteries and small "button" types, used in watches and other devices, need special disposal, while alkalines can go in the trash. 

Collection Time

If your collection is missed, report it online using our missed pickup form or by calling 703-228-5000.

  • Set your cart out by 6 a.m. on your collection day (and no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before).
  • Secure your carts to keep contents from spilling onto the street.
  • Remove your carts from the curb within 24 hours of collection.

    Learn how Arlington's trash actually creates energy.  

Backdoor Pickup

Backdoor pickups can be arranged for residents who are unable to take their trash and/or recyclables to the curb. Apply for backdoor collection online or call 703-228-5000. Certain restrictions apply.

Missed Collection or Partial Pickup

Missed collections must be reported no later than 7 p.m. the first business day following your trash day. For example, if your trash day is Monday, missed collections must be reported no later than Tuesday at 7 p.m. Missed collections reported within this time frame will be collected by the end of the next business day following the day reported.

You may report a missed collection online using our reporting tool (“Residential Curbside Collections”>”Missed Service – Missed Collection”) or by calling 703-228-5000. Note that missed collections reported after 7 p.m. the following business day will have to be part of your next scheduled weekly trash pickup.

What’s Required for Recycling?

Place all recyclable materials in the blue recycling cart. Unacceptable materials such as cardboard boxes containing packing peanuts, Styrofoam or trash will be tagged and left at the curb.

Do not leave recycling in bags (even paper shopping bags, which can be recycled empty): Items should be loose and free in the blue cart.

Remember to empty and rinse all containers as appropriate.

Recyclable materials placed outside of the cart should be placed in household containers, or cardboard boxes. Recyclable materials placed in plastic bags outside of the cart will be treated as trash. 

Residential home properties are required to recycle the following materials:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard (no size restrictions)
  • Metal cans
  • Metal household items (large household appliances, bicycles, cabinets, doors, grills, iron furniture, etc.)
  • Mixed paper (cardboard, magazines, newspapers, paper shopping bags, office paper, etc.)
  • Plastics

Look Up Your Item & How To Prepare

recycle magnetFeb23.png

Hard-to-Recycle Materials

Some items, while recyclable, are not accepted in your blue recycling cart. These items include:

  • Wire Hangers – Reuse or take back a local dry cleaner.
  • Shredded Paper – Reuse as kindling if possible. The Solid Waste Bureau also provides monthly shredding for residents and accepts shredded paper at the event. Because shredded paper pieces are too small for the blue recycling cart, bag them and place in the black trash cart for home disposal.
  • Plastic Bags – Plastic bags cause damage to recycling facility machines. Try to reuse your plastic bags. Then recycle them in the bin at the grocery store. Plastic bubble wrap/cushioning can also be deposited at the supermarket.
  • Polystyrene Materials – Packing blocks and peanuts, food containers, construction materials and similarly produced items should be placed in the trash.
  • Glass bottles and jars – As of August 2019.

What’s Accepted as Trash?

It’s important to recycle and compost as much as possible, but some items go in the trash, including broken household goods.

Bag household trash before placing it in the trash cart. Trash may be left if improperly prepared for collection. Other trash items must be bagged, bundled or containerized for collection.

Bulk Household Items

Household items that are too bulky to be bagged, bundled or put in the trash cart (e.g., large furniture like sofas, mattresses, box springs and futons) no longer require a pickup request. These items can be placed at the curb for regular trash collection, unless they can be dismantled with the metal pieces separated, which can then be recycled.

You must arrange for the disposal of items weighing more than 500 pounds through a private hauler at your own expense.

For large and/or bulk household items such as debris from flooding, residents must follow these guidelines:

  • County carts must weigh less than 200 pounds. Personal containers and plastic bags must weigh less than 50 pounds.
  • Household items that are too bulky to be bagged, bundled or put in the trash cart (e.g., large furniture like sofas, mattresses, box springs, futons or home construction debris) do not require a pickup request. These items can be placed at the curb for regular trash collection, unless they can be dismantled with the metal pieces separated, which can then be recycled.
  • Furniture must fit into the back of a trash truck.
  • For electronics and bulk metal, residents can schedule a curbside special collection by calling the DES Customer Contact Center at 703-228-5000.

Trash should be properly prepared for pickup on the designated trash collection days.