Refuse Collection

Curbside Lineup


The City of Dubuque uses a pay-as-you throw program in which customers pay according to how much refuse they set out. Unlimited curbside recycling is available at no charge. 

How Much Does it Cost?

Monthly basic service: 
$15.38 - One 35 gal. bag or can per household (up to 40 lbs.)

Green decal:
$22.99 - Two 35-gal. cans per household (up to 40 lbs. each)

Blue decal:
$19.99 - One oversized 50 gal. can (not provided by the City) per household.
All trash must be bagged in oversized cans. No loose trash accepted. Limit three bags (up to 40 lbs. each) inside the can. 

64-gal. City-issued cart:
$20.65 - 224 lbs. max.  Loose trash accepted.

94-gal. City-issued cart:
$29.00 - 324 lbs. max.  Loose trash accepted.

These carts are very popular for use at rental properties. They are often more cost effective and improve the aesthetics and sanitation of the neighborhood. They are lifted and emptied mechanically

Green single-use stickers:
$1.50 each - Used for extra 35-gallon cans, bags, or smaller items, weighing less than 40 lbs. that do not fit in a can or bag.  Available in sheets of five at area grocery, discount, and hardware stores, and at Utility Billing in City Hall at 50 W. 13th Street. 

For further information or a subscription, call the Public Works Department at (563) 589-4250. 

Non complying containers and set outs will be tagged by crews and left uncollected.

How should I set out my trash?

Trash must be set out to the curb or alley line by 6:00 a.m. on the scheduled collection day. Containers must not be set out more than 24 hours prior to the collection day or left out more than 24 hours after the collection day. Containers at group/common setout point share with neighbors must be marked with address and apartment numbers.

Refuse Credit

A customer may be eligible for refuse credit if their property is vacant for a minimum of 2 months. A refuse credit form must be completed and submitted prior to or at the onset of the vacancy. This form must be completed annually.


Some customers who meet income guidelines may qualify for 50% monthly fee discounts. This includes family customers of five or more persons as well as persons over 65 years of age. Apply through Utility Billing. 

Success of the System

Pay as you throw (PAYT) systems have been successfully implemented in 446 communities in Iowa and 5,200 communities nationally. In Dubuque, it has led to a 30% increase in collected recycling tonnage, a 28% reduction in collected refuse tonnage, and only minimal problems with illegal dumping. With our community's support, we have developed a quality program of sustainable waste minimization and environmental integrity. 

For more information, call us at (563) 589-4250 from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.