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Solid Waste Services

Solid Waste Services 

Automated Curbside Collection Service and Rate Information

Diagram of cart with lid closed facing street, 3' radius clearance 

Receiving & Maintaining Your Cart

Putting Your Cart Out for Service 

What size and type of carts do I get as part of automated service?

Your automated service consists of two roll carts, each with a flip lid, a handle for maneuvering, and two wheels.  Your choices for trash are 48 gallons, 64 gallons or 96 gallons.  The approximate exterior dimensions for each cart are as follows:

  • 48-gallon cart = 29” deep x 24” wide x 38” tall

  • 64-gallon cart = 32” deep x 25” wide x 42” tall

  • 96-gallon cart = 36” deep x 30” wide x 44” tall

Your recycling service is a 96-gallon roll cart. A limited quantity of 64-gallon roll carts are available after the service has been implemented in your neighborhood. A change fee may apply.

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What does automated service cost?

Automated service is a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) program, where you pay for the size of trash roll cart you choose.  The following prices include use of the carts, as well as recycling and trash collection.  NOTE:  For more details on rates and fees, please refer to in Anchorage Municipal Code 26.70.

Average Weekly
Service Size

Cart Size(s) Collection
Monthly Rate**
24 gallons      48-gallon      Every other Week            $14.10
48 gallons  48-gallon  Weekly    $19.10
64 gallons  64-gallon  Weekly    $26.56
96 gallons  96-gallon  Weekly  $36.50
128 gallons  Two 64-gallon  Weekly    $46.45
160 gallons  One 64-gallon & One 96-gallon  Weekly    $56.40
192 gallons  Two 96-gallon  Weekly    $66.35
**Rates quoted are per occupancy unit (i.e., a duplex would sign up for two 64-gallon services, not one 128-gallon service).

    48 gallons = 1.5 cans              64 gallons = 2 cans             96 gallons = 3 cans

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When will I receive my roll carts?

Check the service map to determine if you should be receiving automated service. All remaining customers will receive service by spring of 2013. Customers will receive a mailing approximately two months before their new service is available. The mailer will include the website and phone number to subscribe and select your cart size. Carts will be delivered the week prior to your automated collection service beginning.

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How do I identify my roll carts?

Your roll carts are assigned to your address using a serial number imprinted on the cart.  Record these numbers in your User’s Guide, which is provided with your new roll carts. This will help you identify your carts in the case of a wind storm or if your carts are stolen or misplaced.  Do not take your carts with you when you move. Feel free to attach a removable tag to your cart with your house number to help easily identify it, but do not permanently mark your carts.

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Where and how do I store my trash/recycling carts?

Store your carts in the backyard, garage, or any other convenient, safe location where they are not visible except on scheduled collection days. Be Bear Aware  -- store your carts so they are protected from scavengers such as bears, ravens, and dogs. Do not store your carts near a furnace, fireplace, grill or any other heat source.

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How do I keep my carts clean?

SWS customers are required to maintain their carts, including keeping them clean.  Bagging your trash will help keep the brown trash roll cart clean.  Rinsing your recyclable containers will assist in keeping your blue recycling roll cart clean (do not bag recyclables).  Occasional rinsing with soapy water and a hose should keep your cart clean and odor-free.

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What happens if I move?

Contact SWS Customer Service at 343-6250 to cancel service and arrange for cart return.  Do not take the cart with you or you will be charged a replacement fee of $75 per cart. 


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What if my cart is stolen or damaged?

Report theft or damage of your roll carts SWS at 343-6250. Replacement fee for the carts is $75. If your cart is not serviceable due to damage, you will be assessed the replacement fee and a new cart will be provided.

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Can I get a bigger or smaller trash cart if my first choice does not meet my needs?

Yes.  You will be allowed one free change-out within the first 180 days of service if you determine that your current cart is not an adequate size.  Any additional change-outs will result in a fee of $30.

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What if I live in an apartment building or multi-family housing?

Currently, the automated collection service is available to SWS’ can/bag customers. Often larger housing units, such as triplexes, 4-plexes, condos and apartment buildings, have a dumpster service.  If you are serviced by a dumpster, this service will continue

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What if I already have a recycling roll cart from Alaska Waste?

When you receive your SWS recycling roll cart, you should call Alaska Waste at 563-3717 to cancel their service and arrange for them to pick up their cart.

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How do I determine my recycling collection day?

Your recycling is collected on the same day as your trash, but every other week.  You can determine your collection week )BLUE SOLID or RED STRIPED) by checking our service area map, then check the latest service calendar.  Calendars are provided quarterly with your billing, monthly via electronic newsletter (sign up at, or you can contact SWS Customer Service at 343-6250.  

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How do I move my carts?

Make sure the lid is closed, grab the handle with both hands, place one foot against the base of the cart on the axle, and carefully tilt the cart toward you.  Push or pull the cart to roll it.  Do not drag the cart as it may result in damage.  Do not tilt or roll the cart with the lid open.  On hills, push the cart when going downhill, and pull the cart when going uphill – the cart should always be on the downhill side of you.  Use caution with your cart when moving your cart on ice or snow.

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Where do I place my carts on collection day?

Place your carts at the curb or edge of the street or alley with the wheels and handle facing toward your house (away from the street).  Be sure there is a minimum clearance of three (3) feet on all sides of the carts, including mailboxes, trees, cars etc.  The trash and recycling carts also need to be placed three (3) feet apart from each other. This will allow the automated truck arm to safely reach the carts and dump them into the trash or recycling truck.

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When do I place my carts at curbside for pick-up?

Place your carts out for service by 7am on your collection day.  Be sure to return them to their storage area on the same day. Be bear aware – from April 1 to October 31 place your carts out on the day of service.

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What about parking on collection days?

Vehicles parked within three (3) feet of trash and recycling carts or blocking the carts may result in no service or may require additional charges for service.

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What if my trash or recyclables are not picked up on collection day?

Report any missed service to SWS Customer Service at 343-6250.  We will determine if there was a specific reason why the material was not picked up, such as the lid not being closed completely, lack of clearance, or too much contamination in the recycling cart. Excess refuse will not automatically be picked up. You must call SWS Customer Service at least one day in advance of your pick-up day to arrange for pick-up. Service charges will apply.

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May I continue to use my old cart or trash can?

No.  With the automated truck collection system, only the carts provided by the Municipality may be used for trash and recycling collection. If your neighborhood is receiving automated service for the first time, check your User's Guide for details regarding disposal of old cans.

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What if I produce more trash than fits in my cart?

The automated truck cannot pick up any trash that is not in the roll cart. Trash not contained in the roll cart must be bagged and will be collected by separate pick-up. You must call SWS customer service at 343-6250 at least one day in advance of your pick-up day to arrange for excess pick-up. You will be charged $10 per pick-up, plus the greater of either $2 per bag (32-gallon equivalent) or the current disposal rate by volume at a minimum of one cubic yard of uncompacted trash.  Any trash that protrudes from the cart so that the lid does not completely close will constitute excess waste and you will be charged for excess pick-up or you may not receive service due to safety concerns.  Trash stacked on top of the closed lid is prohibited and you will not receive service. Some additional charges are:

  • $6.00 each for items such as a washer, dryer, stove, hot water heater (white goods).
  • $12.00 each for a couch, mattress, box springs.
  • Miscellaneous items will be charged at $6.00 per cubic yard.

Call Customer Service at (907) 343-6250 for any changes in your service or billing questions.

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How do I dispose of bulky items that don’t fit in my carts?

Bulky wastes, such as furniture or mattresses, can be disposed of by transporting them yourself to the Central Transfer Station on E. 54th Ave. or the Anchorage Regional Landfill on Hiland Road.  You also may contact SWS Customer Service at 343-6250 to arrange a special pick-up according to published rates. Bulky recyclables, such as electronics and white goods (stoves, refrigerators etc.), can be recycled at several locations with applicable charges.   Visit How Do I Recycle….? for details about recycling these items.

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How do I dispose of excess yard waste?

Yard waste can be handled in several ways including keeping it at home to compost or mulch in your back yard, increasing your trash service, calling for an excess pick-up, self-hauling to the landfill or transfer station, and/or self-hauling to a composting or recycling facility or a woodlot.  

Are there other rules that should be followed when using the carts?

  • Keep the lid closed when your cart is not in use.  This helps to contain odors and discourages scavengers, like birds, insects and other wildlife.  It also keeps rain and snow out, which only add to the weight of the cart and can cause freezing of trash/recyclables to the inside of the roll cart.
  • Since the carts are the property of the Municipality, do not deface the carts in any way, including with stickers, markers, paint, cuts, or other damage that may result in a replacement fee.
  • Do not put hazardous materials in your trash or recycling cart.

  • Do not place your carts too close together. Carts need to be at least three (3) feet apart to allow room for the automated truck arm to pick them up.

  • Do not stack bags or other items on top of cart lids. The automated truck is not able to safely empty these carts.

  • Do not fasten cart lid closed at the curb. Lids must open and swing freely when dumped

  • Do not overfill carts. Lids must close completely. 

  • Do not put recyclables at the curb that do not fit in the recycling cart. Break down and flatten all cardboard and put it in the recycling cart.No waxed cardboard, no loose or bundled brush or yard waste, and no additional trash cans. 

  • Do not place nonrecyclable materials in your recycling cart.  The collection utility may inspect the contents of any recycle roll cart and carts found to contain materials not specifically identified on the list of acceptable materials or containing materials considered detrimental to the value of the recycled materials will be tagged, notifying the owner that unacceptable materials were found. Contents of the container will be collected as refuse and the owner will be billed for excess waste as specified in the above question "What if I produce more trash than fits in my cart?"

  • Do not overfill carts or pack material so tightly that it might become wedged in the cart.

  • Do not put out extra bags without calling for an excess pickup. Hazardous materials, such as chemicals and batteries, are not accepted.

  • Do not place carts close to trees. Consider overhead clearance when placing carts at the curb. The automated arm needs to lift the carts up to dump them.

  • Do not place carts close to vehicles. A minimum of three (3) feet of space is necessary so that the automated arm does not damage vehicles.

  • Do not place carts close to mailboxes, signs, and other obstacles. A minimum of three (3) feet of space is necessary for the automated arm to safely pick up carts.

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