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Residential Waste

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Hauling and disposal of Polk County’s waste is not a simple task. It is a science. Nearly 750,000 tons of trash are collected from around the county annually. Of that, about 170,000 tons of municipal solid waste (garbage) are generated by the approximate 140,000 unincorporated Polk household customers.

The county’s Solid Waste Ordinance governing residential waste collection was enacted in 1989. Fees for once-a-week trash collection are billed through annual assessments.

Polk County contracts with Advanced Disposal Services and FCC Environmental for residential curbside collection.

Weekly Residential Curbside Services

All residential curbside collection occurs Monday-Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Curbside Tips for Successful Pick-up in All Service Areas

  • All household waste, recyclable materials and routine yard waste should be placed curbside either the night before or by 6 a.m. on your collection day.
  • Roll cart, bundles, yard waste and bulk waste must be:
    • Within three feet of the curb or edge of the street
    • At least three feet from other fixed objects
  • Find Your Collection Day to learn your trash pick up schedules and garbage collection days day based on area.

Household Waste Collection

Automated Household Waste Collection

A special vehicle, equipped with a lifting mechanism, reaches out to the roll cart, lifts and empties the container returning the cart to its original position.

Residents receive a garbage roll cart for all household trash, but that roll cart may be exchanged for a different size; 35, 65 or 95-gallon cart. To request a roll cart change, call (863) 284-4319.

If a resident is physically or medically unable to place his/her roll cart(s) curbside for pick-up, Polk County Waste and Recycling does offer a backdoor service. The service is available to those who complete the Back Door Service Application and meet all the requirements. For more information, please call customer care at (863) 284-4319.

Guidelines for household waste collection:

  • Place all household waste inside your garbage roll cart
  • Position the garbage roll cart so the lid opens to the street
  • No other container may be used for household waste
  • Garbage roll cart must be within three feet of the curb or edge of the street
  • Garbage roll cart must be at least three feet from other fixed objects
  • Too much trash for your cart? Learn more about Bulk Waste

To minimize litter in front of your home, make sure your garbage roll cart lid is closed.

How do I get an additional roll cart for garbage?

  • Complete the lease application or visit Waste and Recycling’s Administrative Office. Each household may have one additional cart.
  • Hand-deliver your notarized application and payment to the Waste and Recycling Administrative Office or mail your notarized application and check, payable to Polk BoCC, to the administrative office:
    • Waste and Recycling Administrative Office
      Attn: Additional Garbage Cart
      10 Environmental Loop S.
      Winter Haven, FL 33889
  • Cost: $67 One-time lease fee (non-refundable)
  • Plus $52.50 Annual Disposal Fee*
  • Acceptable form of payment: Cash, check and credit cards
  • Make checks payable to: Polk BoCC

* Disposal fees for the first year will be prorated based on the month the cart is leased. You can view the prorated fee schedule below. All fees must be paid prior to an additional cart being delivered as noted in the lease application.

Prorated Fee Schedule
Month Cart LeasedOne-Time Lease FeeFirst-Year Disposal FeeTotal Due

Yard Waste Collection (Horticultural Trash)

Yard waste collection service is intended for the collection of routine lawn and landscape maintenance. Routine yard waste is collected once a week.

Guidelines for routine yard waste collection

  • Yard waste items must be:
    • curbside from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • within three feet of the curb or edge of the street
    • at least three feet from other fixed objects
  • All yard waste must be bagged, bundled or containerized for collection
  • Up to four containers will be collected per week
  • Bundles, bags or containers of yard waste should weigh less than 30 pounds each
  • Branches should be no more than three feet in length and no more than two inches in diameter

Routine yard trash

Any vegetative matter resulting from residential property lawn and landscaping maintenance including:

  • Shrub and tree trimmings
  • Grass clippings
  • Palm fronds
  • Branches

Non-routine yard trash

Material placed curbside that does not meet the county guidelines of routine yard trash will be tagged with a non-collection notice, which serves to inform the resident that the material is non-conforming debris and therefore cannot be collected. If a material is non-conforming, then disposal is the responsibility of the resident. Routine yard trash does not include:

  • Whole trees/tree trunks
  • Stumps/logs
  • Root systems
  • Land clearing debris (i.e. rocks, bushes)

For a list of contract haulers to remove non-conforming debris, contact the Waste and Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319.

Recyclable Material Collection

Attention residents: As of May 1, 2024, recycling carts will no longer be issued. Curbside recycling collection will continue until the end of September. As of Oct. 1, 2024, curbside recycling collection will be discontinued. After Oct. 1, you may use your cart for household or yard waste, until your cart is no longer serviceable, or you may call the Solid Waste Division at (863) 284-4319 to request it be removed.

The goal of the Recyclable Materials Collection Program is to effectively collect materials that have the greatest potential to successfully be reused or recycled into new products or packaging.

Automated Recyclable Materials Collection

A special vehicle, equipped with a lifting mechanism, reaches out to the roll cart, lifts and empties the container returning the cart to its original position. Residents receive a 65-gallon recyclable materials roll cart for the accepted recyclable materials. RMCP is available to all unincorporated Polk County customers, who wish to participate. If you need a recyclable materials roll cart, call the Waste and Recycling Division at (863) 284-4319.

Guidelines for Recyclable Material collection:

  • Recyclable materials roll cart must be curbside from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Roll cart must be within three feet of the curb or edge of the street or road
  • Roll cart must be at least three feet from other fixed objects and vehicles
  • No other container may be used for recyclable materials roll cart

Accepted recyclable materials:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Steel (tin) cans or containers
  • Cardboard, cereal boxes, egg cartons (cardboard)
  • Newspaper, uncoated paper, paper products
  • Most gallon and half gallon, translucent plastics (no colored or clear plastics), milk, juice or water jugs
  • Only translucent plastics (no colored or clear plastics) are accepted.

Keeping recyclable materials dry and free of grease, soil and residue is the best way to ensure success.

Avoid including items that can contaminate your cart. By keeping your roll cart lid closed, you will minimize contact with rain and keep your materials dry. Only items listed above should be placed in the recyclable materials cart; items not listed above, should be placed in the garbage roll cart.

Why not glass and plastic?

Glass breaks easily during the collection process and compromises other viable materials in the RMCP roll cart. As a result, broken glass embeds in healthy materials making them unlikely to be reused or recycled successfully into new products.

Not all plastics are created equal. Many do not blend effectively during the process of creating a new product. This poses regulatory and processing challenges to manufacturers, who incorporate post-consumer plastics into a new product. For this reason, Polk County limits its collection to products that have the longest environmental and economic value, such as milk and juice jugs.

Furniture and Appliance Collection (Bulk Waste)

Furniture and Appliance collection, formerly known as bulk waste collection, is intended for those items that are too large to fit inside the garbage roll cart.

Guidelines for Furniture and Appliance Collection:

Items must be:

  • Within three feet of the curb or edge of the street
  • At least three feet from other fixed objects

Furniture and appliance collection will take place once a month on a pre-set, scheduled day. Household items that were not structurally attached to the house are acceptable. No construction debris or eviction/move-outs will be collected. All items should be curbside by 6 a.m. on your collection day. Items not in compliance will not be collected; if they stay curbside they may be subject to code enforcement violations.

Unacceptable Trash Items

Do not place the following materials/items in your garbage roll cart or at the curb. If any of these items are found in your cart or at the curb, they will be tagged with an instructional notice and not serviced. Call (863) 284-4319 for proper disposal information.

Trees or land clearing debris, e.g., rocks or large tree remains including trunks, stumps or root systems regardless of how small they have been cut. For more information, see guidelines for yard waste.

  • Cars
  • Boats
  • Tires
  • Automobile parts
  • Engines
  • Asbestos
  • Radioactive materials
  • Explosives, including propane cylinders
  • Biomedical waste, including sharps/syringes used for medical purposes
  • Household Hazardous Wastes, such as:
    • Lead-acid batteries
    • Used oil or oil filters
    • Any product labeled:
      • Toxic
      • Poison
      • Corrosive
      • Flammable

Removal of Non-Conforming Material or Non-Conforming Bulk Waste

If items placed curbside do not meet the criteria in the residential collection contract, then please use the list of commercial haulers for the removal of non-conforming materials or bulk waste.

List of Local Commercial Haulers
Company NameAddressPhoneEmail
Coastal Waste and Recycling of Central Florida481 Thorpe Rd., Orlando, FL 32824(407)
Florida Rolloff Solutions, LLC2144 State Rd 60 W, Lake Wales, FL 3359(863)
Gateway Rolloff Services, Inc.2230 Destiny Way, Orlando, FL 33556(727)
GFL Environmental, Inc.1263 W Landstreet Rd, Orlando, FL 32824 (407)
Ideal Refuse of Florida2506 Mine and Mill Lane, Lakeland, FL 33801 (863)
JJ’s Waste & Recycling 3905 El Rey Rd, Orlando, FL 32808 (407)
Recycling Services of FL3560 126th Ave N, Clearwater, FL 33762(312)
Republic Services3820 Maine Ave, Lakeland, FL 33801(863)
Roggen Clyne Development2840 Security Lane, Lakeland, FL 33803(863) 666-1999
Steel Smith 6809 Scenic Drive, Apollo Beach, FL 33572(813)
Trash Taxi201 E Main Street, Dundee, FL 33838(863)
Waste Management, Inc.3340 US Hwy 92 E, Lakeland, FL 33801(866) 909-4458
Waste Pro of Florida, Inc. 3705 St. Johns Pkwy, Sanford, FL 32771(863)
Webb’s Can-it 3007 E Main St., Lakeland, FL 33801(863)