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Sanitation

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 and reuse efforts of the community. Below you will find the most frequent requested information related to garbage service, recycling, yard waste and hazardous material disposal. For issue with garbage, recycling, or yard waste collection, please contact Rock River Disposal at 815-965-CITY (2489).  For other questions or concerns, residents can complete a service request, e-mail us, or call Neighborhood Standards at 779-348-7160.

Rock River Disposal has also developed the “WasteConnect” App, a mobile application offering service and recycling information to residents. Simply download the app to stay connected with service schedules, reminders, alerts and recycling information. Please note that the “Pay Your Bill” feature is not available at this time for our region.

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 the above listed holidays falling on these days garbage pick-up will occur one day later.

Weekly Garbage Pick-Up

All Rockford residential properties have unlimited collection once a week, Monday through Thursday (except holidays). Residents may place any amount of garbage out for pickup but it must be containerized in garbage cans with tight fitting lids or secured bags weighing no more than 50 pounds. Large items that will not fit in garbage cans or bags may also be placed for pick-up. Each residential dwelling unit is allowed one truck hopper (~3 cubic yards) per week.  Volumes exceeding one truck hopper are subject to bulk refuse rate surcharges listed in the City’s Fee Schedule that can be found here. Residents do not need to call ahead to put out large quantities of garbage but please be aware that they may be subject to the bulk waste charges. 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 direct 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.

Electronic Waste (E-Waste)

Beginning January 1, 2012, a new law went into effect prohibiting the disposal of Covered Electronic Devices (CEDs) in Illinois landfills.  These items will not be collected if placed out with sanitary garbage.  Please click here for the Illinois EPA’s current list of CEDs.

In compliance with the Illinois EPA’s Consumer Electronics Recycling Act (CERA), residents may dispose of used and obsolete CEDs at Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s Rockford Recycling Center, located at 4665 Hydraulic Road in Rockford.  Disposal is free of charge except for TVs and monitors that are subject to the following fees, which must be paid in cash only.

  • TVs/Monitors under 19 inches . . . . . . . $15.00
  • TVs/Monitors 19 inches and over . . . . .$20.00
  • Projection TVs/Wood Console TVs . . . $25.00

In accordance with CERA, only complete electronics from residential consumers will be accepted.  Partial electronic devices, components and parts, and business-derived electronic waste will be rejected. 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. Hours may be restricted on and around holidays. After-hour drop-offs are strictly prohibited and violators caught on the facility’s video surveillance system will be prosecuted accordingly. In addition to CEDs, please visit www.knib.org for further facility details and a comprehensive list of all accepted recyclables. City of Rockford residents with electronics smaller than 2 feet by 2 feet may also place CEDs, except for TVs and monitors, in their City-issued blue recycling bins for collection.

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 wastes will not be accepted. Some of these items may be accepted at the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility discussed below.  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. All containers should be rinsed of residual foods and liquid, caps removed, and placed loosely in a bin. If you have excess recyclables, they may be placed in a paper bag or cardboard box and set next to the bin. Large cardboard and paperboard must be flattened and bundled with string or twine (not wire) and placed next to the bin. 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 in your recycling. Recycling containers containing general garbage, yard waste, or other prohibited items will not be collected. Residents may also dispose of small electronics, smaller than 2 feet by 2 feet, in their City-issued blue recycling bins. The following materials may be placed in your recycling bins:

  • plastics #1-7
  • cardboard
  • writing paper and envelopes
  • magazines
  • newspaper
  • junk mail
  • chipboard
  • phone books
  • aluminum, aluminum foil and tin cans
  • juice boxes, milk cartons
  • glass (brown, clear, green)
  • other miscellaneous metal items (cans, coat hangers, etc.)

Weekly Compost/Yard Waste Pick-Up

Yard waste pick-up occurs only during the spring, summer and fall growing seasons along with a special pick-up for Christmas trees in 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 for yard waste will have one additional chance for it 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 County. Please visit Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s website for a comprehensive list of dates the drop off sites. 

For calendar year 2019, collection dates are as follows:

  • Christmas Tree Collection: January 7 – 17, 2019
  • Yard Waste Start: April 1, 2019
  • Yard Waste End: To Be Determined

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. Please call the Police and Fire non-emergency number to report illegal burning (815-966-2900).  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. Please report violations related to the disposal of leaves and grass clipping in City streets to the Public Works Department at 779-348-7175.

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.

Latex paint will not be accepted.  Residents 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 speed up solidification process.  Paint cans containing completely dry paint, 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 – 557 S. New Towne Drive