GovernmentGarbage & Recycling

Garbage & Recycling

Residential Garbage

Residential garbage (gray bin) is picked up as follows:

  • Monday – North of W 4th Street and west of Grand Avenue
  • Tuesday – North of E 4th Street and east of Grand Avenue
  • Wednesday – South of East and West 4th Streets.

Please keep these items out of your gray bin: Cardboard, yard waste (tree and grass trimming, etc.), batteries, electronics, household hazardous and medical waste, light bulbs, lumber, big durable plastics like lawn furniture and kids toys, explosive or hazardous materials like ammunition, liquids in containers. Contact the transfer station to learn how you can dispose of these items.

Help us decrease the amount of items going into our landfill by filling your blue bin with recyclables first! Learn more below. 

Transfer Station Drop-Off Location (Garbage and Recycling  Center)

The TRANSFER STATION is located at 3101 West 18th Street

Hours Of Operation
Monday-Friday 8AM – 4PM
Saturday 8AM – 1PM

Residents need to be scaled by 3:30 P.M. Monday – Friday and 12:30 P.M. Saturday

Effective December 1, 2020


There are fees for ALL construction materials brought to the Transfer Station by residents, commercial businesses and contractors. Other fees may apply for disposal of some items. Please call (712) 580-7270 or email  for any questions.

Untarped Loads: Effective January 1, 2008, the solid waste transfer station will charge a $10.00 fee for any untarped or unsecured load that enters the facility. This applies to all vehicles that intend to dump at the facility including household garbage and loose bags of garbage. This charge will be in addition to any charges for dumping. It will be at the discretion of the transfer station attendant to determine whether a load is not secured or not tarped. Exceptions to the rule: White goods, large pieces of furniture and electronics do not need to be tarped, but must be secured. Trash cans with lids do not need to be tarped but must have the lid secured in order to keep trash from leaving the container. This is being put in effect in an effort to help keep our ditches and streets free of debris that may fall or blow out of a vehicle in route to the transfer station.

Request a Dumpster Solid Waste Pre-Pay Jobsite Recycling for Contractors

Household Hazardous Waste (Regional Collection Center)

The Regional Collection Center is located at the Transfer Station at 3101 West 18th St in Spencer, Iowa

Hours Of Operation
Monday – Friday 8AM – 12 PM

Please email or call (712) 580-7277 if you have any questions regarding Household Hazardous Waste. 

Household Hazardous Waste accepts: automotive products, batteries, cleaning products, cooking oil, fluorescent bulbs/compact fluorescent bulbs, Mercury-containing devices, pesticides, propane cylinder, solvents and waste paint.

Swap Shop Program: Various items can be acquired from the Swap Shop at the Collection Center. Items that are safe and in good condition, such as household cleaners, car care supplies, and latex paints are available to residents at no charge.

Household Hazardous Waste 

Northern Plains Landfill

The Landfill only accepts residential solid waste from waste haulers, private individuals are not allowed to bring household garbage directly to the Landfill.  To arrange for pickup of your garbage, please contact a hauler in your area. To learn more about the landfill visit the Northern Plain Landfill webpage.

Tree and Grass Site

The Grass/Brush Site is located North of W. 18th Street at 18th Ave. West 

Hours Of Operation
Open 24 Hours a Day
Seven Days a Week

The City encourages the use of tarps and or straps to secure loads going to the tree and grass site. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Curbside Recycling

Residential recycling (blue bin) is collected weekly on alternating sides of town as indicated on the calendar button below. Put your blue cart at the curb, 5 feet free from obstructions. Please DO NOT bag your items.

Common Items to Recycle:

  • PLASTIC: Plastic bottles, detergent bottles, milk jugs and caps
  • METAL: Aluminum, tin and steel cans, aluminum foil and bakeware
  • PAPER: Newspaper, catalogs, junk mail and envelopes, flattened cardboard, cardstock and color paper

Please keep these items out of your blue bin: Plastic bags (e.g. grocery bags, garbage bags, etc.), glass, food, yard, or pet waste, diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, or facial tissue, batteries, wiring, or electronics, household hazardous waste and medical waste, new or used clothing, styrofoam (e.g. plates, cups, or egg cartons), ceramics and light bulbs, glass or lumber, dinnerware or glassware, big durable plastics like lawn furniture and kids toys, explosive or hazardous materials like ammunition, liquids in containers. Contact the transfer station to learn how you can dispose of these items.

Want to learn more about recycling program, schedule a presentation or have questions? Email and LIKE our Facebook page for tips!

Alternate Recycling Locations

Additional receptacles for recycling glass (purple bin) and other products are available at Hy-vee and Walmart in Spencer, IA and the Transfer Station. These drop off locations are available for Spencer and Clay County residents only. Walmart, Hy-Vee and Fareway all accept plastic grocery bags in the entryways.

About Our Recycling Program

The importance of recycling is growing rapidly as expensive landfills reach capacity and new locations are needed. In addition, we can save money by recycling! The City of Spencer started recycling in 1990, by handing out clear plastic bags and has progressed to the automated collection system we have today. In the early years, recycling involved mostly newspapers and tin cans. Now, the materials which can be recycled have vastly increased. Each day, more and more of what used to be our ‘garbage’ can now be recycled.

The City’s recycling is loaded into semi trailers and taken to a processing facility where it is sorted and sent to various plants to be processed to be used as raw material for the creation of new materials. The City – along with a larger volunteer task force – is always working on expanding recycling in an effort to greatly reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill.

The goal of the task force follows the philosophy of University of Northern Iowa’s Ron Padavich: “Knowledge and concern drive behavior.” (Padavich is with the University of Northern Iowa’s Strategic Marketing Services which is administering the first ever Iowa Energy Poll.)

2024-25 Recycling Calendar  What to Recycle  Container Placement

101 W 5th Street
Spencer, IA 51301