The department of Community & Economic Development, division of Neighborhood Standards, handles the sanitation contract through Rock River Disposal for City of Rockford Residents. Our mission is to provide for the collection and disposal of solid waste in a manner that is consistent with federal and state regulations as well as to encourage the recycling efforts of the community. This web page contains everything you need to know about garbage service, recycling, yard waste and hazardous material. You can complete a service request or e-mail us with a question or concern. You can also call Neighborhood Standards at 779-348-7160.

City of Rockford ordinance requires all garbage, garbage cans or bags to be stored at an inconspicuous location, generally out of sight from the street, until 3 p.m. the night before your regularly scheduled pick-up. Empty garbage cans must be returned to an inconspicuous location by 8 a.m. the day following your garbage pick-up.

Holiday Garbage & Refuse Schedule

No collections on:

  •  New Year’s Day
  •  Memorial Day
  •  Independence Day
  •  Labor Day
  •  Thanksgiving Day
  •  Christmas Day

Normal garbage collection days for all Rockford residents are Monday through Thursday. For holidays falling on these days garbage pick-up will occur one day later.

To sign up for delivery alerts by e-mail from Rock River Disposal, please click the following link: Rock River Disposal Service

Weekly Garbage Pick-Up

All Rockford residential properties have unlimited collection once a week, Monday through Thursday (excepting holidays). Each residential unit is allowed one truck hopper (~3 cubic yards) per week.  Volumes exceeding one truck hopper will be subject to bulk refuse rate surcharges listed in the City’s Fee Schedule that can be found here. Please read below for additional information regarding bulk item collection. If you are a new resident and need to know your garbage collection day, simply enter your address in the Garbage Boundary Map web page.  If are having an issue with your garbage service or have a missed pick-up, please contact Rock River Disposal directly at 815-965-CITY (2489).  If your issue needs further assistance, please contact Community & Economic Development at 779-348-7160 or e-mail the Neighborhood Standards division.

Although you can place any amount of garbage out for pickup, it must be placed in garbage cans or bags weighing no more than 50 pounds along the curb or alley no earlier than 3 p.m. the night before your garbage pick-up and no later than 6 a.m. the day of pick-up. All containers must be removed from the curb or alley by 8 a.m. the day following your garbage pick-up. Large items that will not fit in garbage cans or bags can be placed for pick-up.  There is a charge for excessive waste from a residential property.  All excessive waste charges will be billed to the resident by the City of Rockford. Please refer to the Solid Waste Fees section of the current Fee Schedule located here.  You do not need to call ahead if you have large quantities of garbage to be picked up but please be aware they may be subject to the bulk waste charges listed in the Fee Schedule.

Electronic Waste (E-Waste)

Beginning January 1st, 2013, a new law went into effect that means Illinois residents are no longer able to dispose of “electronic waste” in their curbside garbage.  Items included as part of the new law are as follows:  computers, video game consoles, computer monitors, electronic mice, printers, scanners, televisions, digital converter boxes, electronic keyboards, cable receivers, fax machines, satellite receivers, videocassette recorders, digital video disc recorders, portable digital music players, small scale servers, DVD players, and cellular phones.

Residents may drop-off used and obsolete electronics free of charge at Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s Rockford Recycling Center, located at 4665 Hydraulic Road in Rockford.  A per day limit of 2 televisions or computer monitors per vehicle may be dropped off by Rockford residents.  The facility is open to the public on Tuesdays, from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturdays.  Please visit www.knib.org for further details and a comprehensive list of all accepted recyclables.

Acceptable materials to be dropped off at the collection bins include consumer electronics (e.g., cell phones, computers and computer equipment, laptops, TVs), office equipment, circuit boards, and power supplies.  Virtually anything with a cord qualifies.

Residents may also dispose of small electronics, smaller than 2 feet by 2 feet, in their City-issued blue recycling bins.

Weekly Bulk Item Pick-Up

Bulk items are household items that are too large to be placed in a garbage can or bag. Items containing Freon, such as refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners, will  be accepted only if they are certified Freon-free by a licensed refrigeration technician. Bulk items are collected the same day as your regularly scheduled garbage pick-up.  Bulk items are also subject to the bulk refuse rates listed in the City’s Fee Schedule that can be found here.  The size of some bulk items may need to be reduced before collection for safety purposes.  If you feel you have an atypically large bulk item, please contact Rock River Disposal at 815-965-CITY (2489) to verify pick-up eligibility. Citizens may also elect to transport bulk items themselves to the Winnebago Landfill.  The landfill is located at 8403 Lindenwood Road, Rockford, IL 61109.  Please contact the landfill direct at (815) 874-4806 to confirm disposal rates and hours of operation.

Building and remodeling materials, automobile parts, oil, tires, liquid waste and paint thinners are not accepted. Some of these items may be accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility.  Please call to verify eligibility.

Weekly Recycling Pick-Up

The City encourages all residents to take advantage of the recycling program. Each household is furnished with a blue 35-gallon recycling bin. If you do not have one, you may purchase a new one through Rock River Disposal at 815-965-2489 or from a local home improvement store as long as it is blue and clearly labeled with the standard triangular recycling logo. Recyclables will be collected on your regular garbage day.

Aluminum and tin cans, glass jars and bottles, 6 and 12 pack plastic rings, coded plastics #3 through #7,  and aerosol cans will be accepted. All containers should be rinsed, caps removed, and placed loosely in a bin. If you have excess recyclables, they may be placed in a paper bag and set next to the bin. Newspapers should be placed in a paper bag and set on top of the bin. Paper, magazines and phone books should be placed in a paper bag and set next to the bin. Cardboard and paperboard must be flattened and bundled with string or twine, not wire. The bundles should be no larger than 2 feet by 2 feet.  Please do not include food-contaminated paper products or cardboard such as used pizza boxes. A complete list of recyclable materials can be located here.  Residents may also dispose of small electronics, smaller than 2 feet by 2 feet, in their City-issued blue recycling bins.

Weekly Compost/Yard Waste Pick-Up

Yard waste pick-up occurs only during the spring, summer and fall growing seasons. Additionally, a special pick-up week for Christmas trees typically occurs in early January.  A press release is sent out in the spring, fall, and shortly after the winter holidays advising when these pick-ups will resume and end. Residents missing the final collection date will have one additional chance for their yard waste to be collected during the annual Christmas tree pick-up. Each January, Rock River Disposal will collect Christmas trees from residents on their normally scheduled garbage pick-up day.  These pick-ups typically occur in the second or third full week. A press release is sent out prior to the collection advising when the collection will occur. Non-bagged trees should be cut into 4 foot sections and placed alongside resident’s regular garbage. Trees must be free of all ornaments, stands, lights, and other decorative materials.  Residents may also dispose of any remaining yard waste if properly containerized.  It is requested that yard waste only be placed in 2-ply biodegradable paper bags and not in garbage cans for this pick-up, as yard waste may freeze in cans preventing full disposal.  Christmas trees may also be dropped off for recycling at one of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s recycling sites in Winnebago and Boone Counties. Please visit Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s website for a comprehensive list of dates the drop off sites. 

For calendar year 2018, collection dates are as follows:

  • Christmas Tree Collection: (to be determined for 2019)
  • Yard Waste Start: March 19, 2018
  • Yard Waste End: December 6, 2018 (tentative)

Residential yard waste pick-up occurs the same day as your regularly scheduled garbage pick-up. Yard Waste material must be placed in compostable paper bags or in 32 gallon or smaller refuse cans that have been marked with a large “X” that is plainly visible from the street. Twigs, branches and other types of large brush that cannot fit into either of these containers must be placed in bundles no more than 4 feet long by 2 feet in diameter. Bundles should be tied with string or twine, not metal. No bag, can or bundle can weigh more than 50 pounds when loaded. Yard waste cannot be mixed with regular garbage nor placed in plastic bags for pickup.

Leaf burning in the City of Rockford limits and unincorporated areas of Winnebago County within and immediately surrounding the City limits is illegal. Leaves can be collected the same as your other yard waste and picked up during your regularly scheduled garbage day. It is a violation to dispose of leaves and grass clippings into the streets as they clog both street sweepers and storm sewer drains which can cause flooding.

Household Hazardous Waste

Illinois residents (not businesses) can dispose of household hazardous waste at the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Center at 3333 Kishwaukee Street on Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

Commonly generated acceptable hazardous wastes includes the following: aerosols, corrosives, oxidizers, solvents, oil-based paints, waste oil, pesticides, fertilizers, batteries (no alkaline), and fluorescent lamps.  Up to 4 passenger tires (without the metal rim) per vehicle are also accepted at the site for Rockford residents.  Large truck, semi, agricultural, and other commercial tires are prohibited.

Participants are encourage to dispose of open cans of latex paint by leaving them open to dry or by adding cat litter or oil dry to help solidify.  Paint cans, with lids removed, should then be placed next to garbage cans containing general household refuse on normal pick-up days.

Unacceptable waste includes: radioactive waste, compressed gas, explosives, large drums, and other bulk packaged materials. The facility accepts a large variety of batteries with the exception of alkaline and automotive batteries.  Alkaline batteries should be discarded with your general trash. Automotive batteries should be returned to a local automotive or battery retailers for recycling per Illinois law.  Please refer to this Battery Management Guide to determine how to manage several battery types.

Although the facility will accept over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and insulin (no needles/sharps), it will not accept prescription medications. Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful will occasionally host used medication drives for these items.  Prescription pharmaceuticals may also be disposed of for free in a 24-hour secure drop box located in the lobby of each Rockford Police Department District station listed below.  The Rockford Police Department’s Drug Collection Unit sites are open to the public Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Citizens may drop off up to one, 1-gallon bag per visit, once a week. Medications shall be removed from the original container and placed in a clear, self-closing disposable bag, provided by the citizen disposing the medication.

  • District 1 – 1045 W. State Street
  • District 2 – 1410 Broadway
  • District 3 (Administration Headquarters) – 557 S. New Towne Drive