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  • Historic Courthouse - Bartow
  • Airboat Rides - Lake Wales
  • Highlands Reserve Golf Course - Davenport
  • Mulberry
  • Davidson Citrus Candy Factory - Dundee
  • Fantasy of Flight - Polk City
  • Fort Meade
  • Eagle Lake
  • Lake Morton - Lakeland
  • LEGOLAND Florida - Winter Haven
  • Eaglebrooke Golf Course - Lakeland
  • Southern Dunes Golf Course - Haines City
  • City Hall - Auburndale
  • Kissimmee State Park - Lake Wales
  • Lake Alfred
  • City Hall - Frostproof
  • Bok Tower Gardens - Lake Wales
  • Hillcrest Heights
  • Highland Park
  • Lake Hamilton

Waste & Recycling Division

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that we hope will address your concerns. If you need additional assistance, please call Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319 or e-mail


 Will yard waste generated by my landscaper be picked up?

No.  Polk County provides weekly collection of routine yard waste for homeowners who maintain their own yards.  All yard waste generated by commercial/professional landscapers, including, but not limited to land clearing, tree trimming and removal, or other clippings and waste is not included in your weekly routine pick up.  This has been excluded from the county's collection contract.  Your commercial/professional landscaper is expected to provide hauling services for you.

Should you occasionally need additional yard waste collection, you may contact the county for a list of commercial haulers.  Commercial haulers will charge a fee for their services.

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What is automated garbage collection?       

Automated garbage collection uses a special vehicle equipped with a lifting mechanism. The lifting mechanism reaches out to the specially designed waste cart provided, lifts it up, empties the contents and returns the cart to its original position near the curb. 

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How and where do I place my cart on collection day?

  • Place all garbage in plastic bags prior to putting it in the cart.
  • The wheels of the cart must face your home, with the lid opening toward the road. 
  • Place the cart at least five (5) feet away from mailboxes, poles or other obstacles.
  • Where possible, place the garbage cart on one side of the driveway and recycling bin(s) and yard trimming container/bags on the other for easy removal.

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What can I put into my new cart?

Your routine household garbage. ~ Return to top ~

What does NOT go into the new cart?

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When is my collection/service day? 

Call Republic Services at (863) 665-1489 or (888) 445-5045 or Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319 for information.  ~ Return to top ~

What if my collection day falls on a Holiday?

The landfill is closed and waste will not be collected on the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • July 4
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

If your collection day falls on a holiday, then your garbage, recycle and yard waste collection will be delayed by one day for that week only .  Your regular schedule will resume the following week. 

For example:  If the holiday falls on Thursday, then Thursday collection service will be provided on Friday and Friday service will be provided on Saturday.

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May I use a different container than the one that was supplied?

No, the collection vehicles are designed and equipped to collect from the approved containers the County provided. No other containers will be serviced. ~ Return to top ~

What if my cart gets damaged?

If the cart is damaged in the collection process, it will be repaired or replaced free of charge. If the cart is damaged due to neglect, abuse, modification, etc. you will be responsible for repair or replacement costs.

If your cart is damaged, call Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319. ~ Return to top ~

What if my cart is stolen?

Please contact Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319 to report the issue. ~ Return to top ~                       

What happens if I move?

The County-issued garbage carts (and recycling bins) are the property of Polk County. If you move, leave it in the garage or secured at the property for the new resident. ~ Return to top ~

What if I cannot roll the cart to the curb?  

If you are physically disabled and unable to place your cart to the curb you may be eligible for special assistance. Please contact Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319 for further information. ~ Return to top ~

What if the cart is not big enough to hold all of my garbage?

The 95- gallon carts provided hold slighltly MORE than three of our typical 30-gallon trash cans.  This is typically more than adequate for the average household.  However, after recycling what you can, if you still need for an additional cart, you may call Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319 to obtain a second cart. ~ Return to top ~

How do I handle bulky items?

The following items will be picked up curbside at NO CHARGE within 72 hours of notifying Republic Services at (863) 665-1489 or (888) 445-5045:

  • Air Conditioners
  • Furniture
  • Freezers
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves
  • Washing Machines

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How do I clean my cart?

To keep carts clean and control odor, bag garbage before placing inside the cart. Periodically hose out the cart.  ~ Return to top ~

Are trash, recyclables and yard waste going to be collected in the same way?

No, only garbage will be collected using the automated truck.  Yard waste, recyclables and bulky waste collection will remain unchanged. ~ Return to top ~

Why wasn't my garbage cart emptied?

If the container was at the curb by 6 a.m. and not serviced, check the container for an educational tag explaining why the material could not be collected.  If there is no tag, call Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319 or Republic Services at (863) 665-1489 or (888) 445-5045 to report the missed collection. ~ Return to top ~

I just purchased the home and the previous owners took their cart, how do I get a new one?

Call  Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319 for more information.

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What do I do with my old can/cart?

  • Use your old can for yard waste or composting.
  • Put it in your garbage cart for disposal.

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Can I get extra garbage carts and/or recycling bins?

Contact Waste & Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319 for more information. ~ Return to top ~

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Polk County Board of County Commissioners | 330 West Church Street | P.O. Box 9005 | Bartow, FL 33830 | 863.534.6000