Garbage, Recycling, & Yard Waste

Metro Waste Authority (MWA) manages the garbage and recycling contract for Altoona.  MWA has contracted with Ankeny Sanitation for garbage and yard waste. Waste Management is our CurbIt recycling collection service.

Monday pick-up:
Residents living south of the railroad tracks.

Tuesday pick-up:
Residents living north of the railroad tracks.

Recycling is picked up every other week on your the regularly scheduled trash pick-up day.

Set-Out Time
5:00pm the night before collection – 6:00am on collection day

Placement Tips
Consider the three-foot rule; there should be three feet between carts, yard waste bags and structures such as mail boxes, cars and lamp posts.
Cart should be within 18 inches of the curb.
Face the short metal bar toward the street.
Position the cart on as level of surface as possible, away from overhanging tree branches.
Make sure lid is closed.

Winter Tips

  • Clear out a place for your cart when you shovel snow from your driveway.
  • Leave 18 inches around it to allow room for the truck’s arm.
  • Don’t place carts on snow piles, because it’s easy for them to tip over and litter our streets and presents a difficult situation for the truck driver to set down your cart.
  • Don’t place carts in the street. This is a hazard for cars, and they could be destroyed by snow plows.
  • If your garbage or recycling is not picked up by 8 p.m., please contact Metro Waste Authority at (515) 244-0021.

Holiday Schedule
Watch our social media pages for updates, but keep in mind, if the holiday falls on a weekend, NO CHANGE occurs to your pick-up schedule.

Hazardous Waste
Click here to learn more about hazardous waste and how to properly dispose of it.

Recycling & Disposal Guide
Click here to see which materials are accepted in recycling, garbage, yard waste, and hazardous waste

Compost It!
Compost It! is the yard and garden waste curbside program and is picked up from the curb weekly during Compost It! Season, on garbage collection day.

Residents have two convenient options for recycling yard and garden waste at the curb – or can mix and match:

bag stickerBag & Sticker Program
You can participate in the Bag & Sticker program when you purchase Metro Waste Authority Compost It! bags or green Compost It! stickers and attach to store-brand bags and brush bundles. Attach a sticker to each brush bundle or generic bag.  Brush bundles must be no more than 18 inches in diameter and no more than four feet long.  Bundles cannot weigh more than 40 lbs.  Each bundle must have a Compost It! sticker attached.

Cost of bundle of 5 bags: $9.00

Cost per Sticker: (for brush bundles & generic bags): $1.50

Bags and stickers can be purchased at City Hall, 900 Venbury Dr, Suite A.

Cart ServiceCart Service
The Cart Service is an optional subscription service. Residents have the convenience of a 96-gallon wheeled cart for weekly collection of yard waste during the Compost It! Season.

First-time Enrollment
New customers pay a one-time fee for the cart. First-time participants also pay an annual service fee to cover the cost of collection and to process the material.

Annual Renewal
Each year, residents pay for the upcoming season and receive a new sticker for the cart, indicating the service is current. The sticker is $122 plus a 2.95% processing fee. Existing customers can renew online.

To sign up or renew Compost Cart Service please click hereNOTE: Service for the 2024 season begins on April 1, 2024.  

City Brush Pile
City of Altoona allows residents to drop off brush waste in a designated City brush pile. Acceptable brush includes limbs and trunks smaller than 12" in diameter. Leaves, wires, or construction materials are NOT allowed. 

Brush drop off takes place four times per year - on the first Saturday in April, May, September and October. The brush pile is open from 8:00am – 12:00pm on these days.  Please check the "Calendar" or “News to Know” areas on the City website homepage for the exact dates.

The City brush pile is for residents only. Contractors may NOT utilize the brush pile. Please have information identifying you as a City of Altoona resident ready when you drop off brush.

To access the brush pile, please see the map below.  You will enter the Utilities Department service road from 8th Street SW.  Drive south on the road, past the Utilities Department buildings, and continue up the hill.  The brush drop-off will be on your left.

Brush Pile Map - Updated 2

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Public Works Director Scott Atzen at (515) 967-5136.

Metro Park East Landfill
Yard waste is accepted at the Metro Park East Landfill (12181 NE University Ave, Mitchellville, IA 50169). There is a disposal fee, unless the yard waste is brought in with Compost It! Bags or stickers.

Regular Season:                April 1 - Nov. 24

Winter Collection:            Dec. 30, 2024 – Jan. 7, 2025