Recycling, Trash and Other Carts

Recycling cart on the curbside

Trash Carts

Each household is provided with one black wheeled cart for weekly trash collection. When you start your service, you’ll have the choice of either a 32-gallon or 64-gallon cart. Smaller carts are in limited supply and will be delivered on a first come, first serve basis.

Trash may also be set out for pickup in self-purchased household containers, or in plastic bags. Plastic bags must:

  • Be securely tied with the contents wrapped to prevent tearing or puncturing the bag.
  • Be no smaller than 20 gallons and no larger than 32 gallons.
  • Be sturdy enough to support the weight of the contents.
  • Weigh no more than 50 lbs. when full.

Recycling Carts

Each household is provided with one blue wheeled cart for weekly recycling collection. When you start your service, you’ll have the choice of either a 35-gallon or 65-gallon cart.

You can request an upgrade from a 35-gallon to a 65-gallon cart at any time. Recycling may also be set out for pickup in self-purchased household containers. 

Recycling reminders:

  • Please make sure lid is closed to prevent litter when you set your cart out for collection.
  • Place extra recyclables in cardboard boxes, clearly label ridged containers or paper bags near the recycling cart.
  • Black or white plastic bags, placed outside of the cart containing recyclable materials won’t be collected as recycling.
  • Large pieces of cardboard that cannot fit in the cart: remove all packaging materials and lean against the cart.
  • Boxes containing packaging peanuts, Styrofoam or trash will not be collected.

Yard Waste Carts

Learn more about the year round yard waste program. 

Households are provided with an organics yard waste cart as part of the year-round yard waste service. Single-family homes and duplexes received a green 64-gallon wheeled cart and town homes received a 32-gallon wheeled cart.

Exchange or Return of Yard Waste Cart

If you prefer a smaller 32-gallon cart, you can request one by calling 703-228-5000. Although use of the cart isn’t mandatory, you’ll still be required to separate and properly set out yard waste at the curb in biodegradable paper bags, tied bundles or in personal household containers for collection on your normal trash day. Plastic bags containing yard waste won’t be collected. 

Cart Capacity, Dimensions & Weight Limits

  • 32-gallon cart: 24”L x 19”W x 39”H, maximum 200 lbs.
  • 35-gallon cart: 23”L x 20”W x 39”H, maximum 200 lbs.
  • 64-gallon cart: 32”L x 24”W x 42”H, maximum 200 lbs.
  • 65-gallon cart: 28”L x 27”W x 41”H, maximum 200 lbs.

Additional Carts & Managing Cart Storage

Each household may request up to two additional trash, recycling and yard waste carts each (a total of six additional carts) for a quarterly charge of $6 per cart online or by calling 703-228-5000.

Likewise, if you don’t believe you have storage space for all three carts and are still using a 96-gallon trash cart, you can request a smaller 64-gallon trash cart online or by calling 703-228-5000.

Need a cart repair?

You can request a cart repair online or contact Customer Service at 703-228-5000. The cart repair will take place on your next collection day. Carts that can’t be repaired will be replaced. There is no charge for cart repairs or replacements due to normal wear and tear, weather or contractor handling. Please note there is a fee for replacement carts due to damage caused by the resident.

Cart washing is available free from the County at the Trades Center in Shirlington.

Personal Container Requirements

The container(s) must:

  • Be made of metal or sturdy plastic.
  • Have a tight fitting lid.
  • Hold between 20 and 32 gallons.
  • Weight no more than 50 lbs. when full.

All maintenance and care of the container is the responsibility of the resident.

We reserve the right to dispose of any additional trash containers that aren’t serviceable and pose a safety hazard to crews. These containers include:

  • Metal cans with the bottoms weakened or open due to rust.
  • Metal cans with missing handles.
  • Cracked or split plastic cans.

We’ll notify the customer about the unserviceable condition of the container, and if it’s still in use in the future, will dispose of it as trash.


Recycling Right Q&A