Garbage Services


Since July 2010, Sterling citizens have been receiving new garbage and recycling carts. This new system has eliminated the need to buy "City bags." Just throw your kitchen trash bag right into the cart and roll the cart to the curb the night before trash collection!


The City of Sterling’s Solid Waste Collection Program is an automated curbside cart trash and recycling collection program.

Republic Services delivered new carts in early July 2010.  Carts will easily roll for your convenience.

Solid Green carts are for household trash only.  No paint, chemicals, motor oil or other household hazardous waste, construction materials, dirt, rocks, auto parts, major appliances, hot ashes, or coals.  Please bag your trash before placing it in the container to reduce litter, keep containers clean and prevent spilling.

The recycling cart will be green and have a gray lid. The lid will list items that are recyclable (and non-recyclable).

All carts must be set out curbside or alley (same place you currently set out trash), if accessible, by 6:00 a.m. on your regularly scheduled pickup day.


Set your automated cart at curbside or in the alley at your regular point of collection, handle facing your home. Containers must be at least three feet away from other containers, parked cars, lamp posts, fences, trees, mailbox post, and away from overhead wires or any other structures so that the automated collection truck can pick up your container. Waste will only be collected when placed in the appropriate cart or bags that display the appropriate sticker/tag. Bags unable to fit in your new cart must have a sticker attached to the bag. Do not place extra bags on top of cart. Allow 3 feet on either side of cart.

Garbage collection map

Recycling program - What is accecpted in your recycling container 

Yard Waste

Yard waste is considered grass clippings, dead flowers, weeds, brush and tree limbs. Rocks, sod, earth, garden vegetables, fruit, straw, and hay are not considered yard waste.

Yard waste collection begins the first full week in April and runs through December 4th.  Pick up is on the same day as your garbage and recycling pick up. From December through March, you may drop off your yard waste at the Public Works Department at 1605 Avenue L, Sterling. Please call 815-632-6657 for instructions.

Put your grass clippings and leaves in paper yard waste bags and set out to the alley or curb (same place as your garbage or recycling). There is a 50lb weight limit on each bag. You may also use a 35 gallon can with handles for grass clippings, leaves, and small limbs. A 50lb weight limit also applies to the cans. 

For hard yard waste, such as large limbs, tree stumps, and bushes, you must put them in bundles of lengths of 4 feet or less, and 4 inches or less in diameter. Tie each bundle with twine and set out with your garbage and recycling. The 50 lb weight limit applies to this also. Bushes and shrubs must be bundled, if possible, and sat out with garbage and recycling.

Bulk Waste

Bulk items -  such as chairs, couches, chairs, and larger household items that are too big for your cart require stickers.  You are allowed 1 free bulk waste item per trash day.  Stickers are $1.80 and must be purchased for additional items.  Matresses and box springs must be wrapped in plastic to be picked up.  These stickers are available through the following retailers:

  • Krogers-2301 Locust
  • Wal-Mart-Sterling
  • County Market-210 W 3rd St.
  • City Hall - 212 3rd Ave 

50lbs per bulk waste sticker.

You can put items into the following using 1 sticker;

  • 30 gallon can with
  • Medium size box
  • Large garbage bag

Do not use large appliance boxes filled with miscellaneous refuse items. The hauler will not pick it up.  

Please be considerate, if you cannot lift the item by yourself, neither can the driver.

Bulk/Extra Pickup Request

Do you have a request for an extra or bulky item pickup to be done? Items such as home furnishings, construction or remodeling debris, mattresses, box springs, carpet, padding, car parts, and waste generated from move-outs, clean-outs and home operated businesses are not included in your weekly pick-up service.  Extra charges will apply for these services. Most of the time Republic Services will provide the extra pickup services on your normal pickup day.

If you would like to request an extra pickup of a bulky item pickup, there are two ways to contact Republic Services:

1. Call the local customer service group at (815) 625-1000 

If you don't know your service area click here.

2. Send Republic Services an email. Simply fill in the required information and they will respond to any request within 24 hours. All required information is used for internal purposes only, and will not be shared.


Battery disposal is considered hazardous waste disposal. For car and marine batteries, the best option is to exchange your old battery for your new battery. Otherwise, batteries should be disposed of during Whiteside County hazardous waste collections. Call the Whiteside County landfill at 772-7308 for dates.

Battery recycling: Any Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride, Lithium Ion or small (up to 2 pounds) Sealed Lead rechargeable batteries can be dropped off at the Community Services Department at the Coliseum. The Coliseum is located at 212 3rd Avenue and the Community Service Office is open from 8am - 4:30pm. Phone 632-6624 with questions, or email.

Electronic Recycling

As of January 1, 2012 Electronic Devices were banned from landfills.  The City of Sterling Public Works Department will be collecting E-Waste.  Please call 815-632-6657 from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm to setup an appointment for drop off at 1605 Ave L, Sterling, IL. 

 Covered & Eligible Electronic Devices (all items must be intact);

  • Cable Receivers
  • Computers (mouse, keyboards, desktop, laptop, netbook, notebook, tablet)
  • Digital Converter boxes
  • DVD Players
  • DVD Recorders
  • FAX Machines
  • Monitors
  • Portable Digital Music Players
  • Printers
  • Satellite Receivers
  • Scanners
  • Small Scale Servers
  • Televisions
  • Videocassette Recorders
  • Video Game Consoles
  • Cell Phones
  • Portable Digital Assistant (PDA)
  • Computer Cable
  • Zip Drive


During certain holidays, trash service is not available.  If any of these holidays fall on Sunday-Friday, pick up will be the following day. The holidays in which trash and recycling are not picked up include:
New Year's Day
Memorial Day
July 4th
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day