How Can We Help You?

Solid Waste Services

Solid Waste Services 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of the "Most Frequently Asked Questions."  The questions are addressed first to Disposal and then to Refuse Collection.  Please do not hesitate to call our offices for more information:

  • Disposal, hazardous waste and recycling at  (907) 343-6262
  • Refuse collections and scale houses at (907) 343-6250

NOTE:  ARL = Anchorage Regional Landfill                CTS = Central Transfer Station


Q: When and where are the woodlots? Do we have to pay?

The woodlots are operated either by the MOA Fire Department or the Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District (ASWCD).  The Girdwood and Eagle River (MOA) woodlots are free of charge for Anchorage residents if material is delivered separately from other trash, thanks to the Fire Department and grants for wildfire mitigation.  The ASWCD charges a nominal fee for teh operation of the Anchorage woodlot.  The woodlots typically are open seasonally from May through September.  Visit the Woodlot web site for exact dates and details about accepted material.

Q: My load is heavy/tires/bricks/already bagged.  Do I really need to cover it?

Yes. All loads coming into ARL or CTS must be covered and secured.

Q: Where and when can I bring hazardous waste?

The Hazardous Waste Collection Center located at ARL is open five days a week and the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at CTS is open three days a week.  Visit Hazardous Materials Management for details.

Q:  Can I come out and salvage items from the Landfill?

Salvage is not permitted. This activity would be in violation of SWS policy, and jeopardize the safety of the individual trying to salvage.

Q:  Can I bring clean fill in for free?

No. All material brought to the facility occupies the same amount of space; therefore, you would be charged per our fee schedule.

Q:  Can I bring an old trailer house or travel trailer in to the Landfill and how much will it cost?

Yes. The cost will be determined by the amount the unit weighs and if you intend on salvaging any parts of the framework. After dumping there will be a special handling fee associated with time spent at the facility.

Q:  What can I do with an old refrigerator or freezer?

Appliances such as washers, dryers, fridges, freezers, and stoves may be brought to CTS and ARL for recycling. No other scrap metals will be accepted and/or segregated as recycling by SWS, but may be accepted as refuse and disposed accordingly. *Refrigerators and freezers are accepted at CTS and ARL for an additional $20.00 charge, per each unit, which covers the removal of the CFCs (Freon).

For other scrap metal disposal or recycling options, please reference your local phone book or the internet.

Q:  How do I dispose of a dead animal (horse, moose etc.)?

You can bring it to ARL during regular operating hours. We would like as much advance notice as possible and the earlier in the day the better. SWS will not be able to assist you with off loading so you will need to make arrangements if necessary.

Q:  Can you destroy documents, alcohol, cigarettes, food products etc.?

Yes. We offer this service at ARL and you will be charged a special handling fee.

Q:  Can I bring my animal wastes to you?

Yes. We will accept them at ARL only.  See How Do I Dispose Of...? for more information.

Q: Can I dispose of contaminated soil?

Contaminated soil is accepted at ARL.  See Contaminated Soil Policy for more details.

Q:  Where can I dispose of abestos?

Asbestos is accepted at ARL.  See SWS Asbestos Handling and Disposal Policy for more details.

Q:  What can I do with several drums of cooking oil from a deep fryer?

This material is accepted on a case-by-case basis. There may be a better disposal method for this product depending on its makeup. See Cooking Oil & Grease on the How Do I Recycle...? page.  Call for further information.

Q:  What should I do with old cans of paint, gas, used oil, batteries etc.?

The Hazardous Waste Collection Facilities have various guidelines.  See How Do I Dispose of...? or How Do I Recycle...? for more information.

Q:  Where can I dispose of a tote of spoiled fish, crab, shrimp etc.?

SWS accepts these items on a case-by-case basis. Call for further information.

Q:  What do I do with old railroad ties?

See  How Do I Dispose of...? for information.

Refuse Collections

Q:  Why didn’t they pick up my trash, or just part of my trash?


  1. It wasn't placed out in time (should be out by 7:00 a.m.)
  2. The lid was not closed all the way.
  3. The handles were facing the street instead of your house.
  4. There was insufficient clearance around the cart or the cart was blocked.
  5. An excess trash pick-up was not scheduled.
  6. Trash was jammed in the container not allowing it to dump freely.

For more tips, visit the Automated Curbside Collections page.

Can/bag service:

  1. It wasn’t placed out in time (should be out by 7:00 a.m.)
  2. It was not placed to the curb or alley, whichever is applicable. (must be within 3 feet of curb/alley)
  3. The refuse wasn’t containerized properly (boxes and paper bags get wet on the bottom)
  4. Container exceeded the weight limits or size limit (70 pounds for 32-gallon cans; 35 pounds for 32-gallon bags)
  5. More was placed out than allowed. (4 cans or bags per week)
  6. Something was in your trash that is not allowed (hazardous materials, loose animal wastes, needles,  loose sawdust or ashes, oil, batteries)
  7. Refuse was placed behind a snow berm.
  8. Wet refuse wasn’t wrapped or it was jammed in container, not allowing it to dump freely. 


  1. The dumpster(s) was blocked by a vehicle, not allowing access to empty it.
  2. The dumpster(s) was overloaded (higher than the lids) or there was refuse in front of the dumpster preventing us from connecting to it.
  3. The dumpster(s) was turned by someone placing it at an angle where the driver could not hook up.
  4. The dumpster(s) is blocked by snow berms or it was too icy to get into location of the dumpster.
  5. It  wasn’t the scheduled day for collection.
  6. Something is jammed in the container, not allowing refuse to dump freely.

Sometimes customers are missed due to new employees or equipment breakdowns.  If the problem was caused by SWS, please let us know.  Service will be provided 


Q:  What area does SWS service?   

See Area Map.

Q:  Do you pick up appliances, couches, mattresses, bed springs, tree trimmings?

We will pick up anything we can get into our trucks, with the exception of appliances containing freon (refrigerators/freezers), for an additional charge.  Please call us for estimates and to request a pick-up.

Q:  Can I rent a dumpster for a temporary project?

Yes, providing we can place the dumpster at your location and handle the refuse you are wanting to dispose of (no large construction/demolition/landclearing).  Please call for rates.

Q:  What time will my trash be picked up?

Our crews start at 7:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday.  Since many things can affect the timing of how they run their routes, the best bet is to have it out by 7:00 a.m..

Q:  Do you require a deposit?

No, unless you have had prior bad credit with us.

Q:  Can I get credit for the time I’m on vacation?

If your residence will be not be occupied by anyone for 30 days or more, you can receive credit for when you will be gone.  You must notify us in advance and provide us with dates of the vacancy.  Credit will not be given after the fact.

Q:  Why do I have to have your service? I do not want or need your service. 

Municipal code requires that all occupied properties within the Refuse Collection service area have and use refuse collection service.  The primary reasons for mandatory service are to help keep neighborhoods clean and free of litter, to reduce possible health problems associated with trash, and to reduce costs.

Q:  Do you collect refuse on holidays?

With the exception of Christmas and New Year's Day, refuse is collected on all holidays.  For Christmas and New Year's Day, all affected customers are notified of an alternate day for collection, generally the following week day or Saturday.