Public Works Department

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Overview

We aim to make sure the City's environment is healthy. To do this, we use the latest cutting-edge technology for waste, recycling, and street management. We are also committed to making the City of Grand Rapids one of the most sustainable cities in the U.S.

See below for a list of services we provide and other information.


Public Works Department Recycling Newsletter

Want to know more about what is happening with the Public Works Department? Click below to download our quarterly Newsletter about best recycling practices, sustainability, trash collection tips, seasonal and bulk item removal and more!


Sign Up for Waste Services

Do you need someone to take care of your trash removal? The City service will take care of all your trash, recycle and yard waste needs. Click below for a step by step guide on setting up your trash/refuse, recycling, or yard waste services.

Request Services

Do you need information on subsidized trash removal service? The City of Grand Rapids works with Home Repair Services to connect eligible homeowners with affordable, subsidized trash service. Households that qualify will receive one subsidized 32-gallon trash cart. Additional trash carts can be purchased at full retail price and will not receive subsidized rates. Click Here to review the Service Guidelines for recycling and refuse cart services. Click below for more information on the subsidized trash program and to see if you qualify. For more information, please call Home Repair Services at (616) 241-2601, email at info@homerepairservices.org or visit the website below.

Home Repair Services Webpage

Home Repair Services First-Time Client Intake Form


Trash and Recycling Pickup Dates

Need to know when your trash and recycling carts are picked up? You can use My Neighborhood to look up your next collection dates. Just type in your address!


Holiday Delays for Trash and Recycling

We delay trash and recycling collection in observance of some holidays. Service is always delayed by one day on applicable holidays.

Pay Online with GR PayIt

Need to pay for your waste? You can make a payment online through GR PayIt. We also have other payment options.

Use GR PayIt


Waste Payment Options, Fees, and Details

Our Pay-As-You-Throw refuse service allows you to manage costs. You deposit money into a pre-paid account, maintain a positive balance, and you will only be charged when you place your refuse  cart out for collection.

Waste Payment Options, Fees, and Details

*Note: Your refuse cart may not be emptied if you have a $0 balance on your account and curbside recycling is free to our residents.


Check your balance

You can find your account balance, tip history and recycle cart history in your GR PayIt account. It's quick and easy to Sign Up Online.

Don't have a GR PayIt account? Give us a call at 311 or 616-456-3000. We'll give you your account information.

Trash and Recycling

Recycling

A property tax funded service with two cart sizes to choose from. The more you recycle the less you pay for waste removal service.

  • 64 gallon cart - perfect for 3-4 people
  • 96 gallon cart - perfect for 4+ people

Trash/Refuse

A pay per collection service. We offer three different cart sizes (options below). You only pay when you use the cart. Keep in mind a smaller cart will work if you recycle often. You'll also want to keep a positive account balance.

If the cart you use for trash service is left at the curb it may be tipped and charged, regardless of the account balance.

  • 32 gallon cart - perfect for 1-2 people  $3.30 per tip
  • 64 gallon cart - perfect for 3-4 people  $5.50 per tip
  • 96 gallon cart - perfect for 4+ people   $7.70 per tip

Request Trash or Recycling Services

Do you need someone to take care of your trash removal? The City service will take care of all your trash, recycle and yard waste needs. Click below for a step by step guide on setting up your trash/refuse, recycling, or yard waste services. 

Request Services

Assisted Trash and Recycling Service

Current customers that are physically unable to place the cart at the curb may qualify for our assisted service. Just place the cart by your house/garage and our staff will make sure the cart is emptied each week you want service. To see if you qualify call 616-456-3000 to receive more information and set up an appointment.


Looking Up Trash and Recycling Pickup Dates

Need to know when your trash and recycling carts are picked up? You can use My Neighborhood to look up your next collection dates. Just type in your address!

Look Up Trash and Recycling Pick Up Dates

 


Want To Become A Better Recycler?

Do you need a refresher on what materials belong in the recycling cart and what materials belong in the refuse cart? Try playing our SORT IT OUT game! Click below to test your knowledge and receive a certificate of completion to show off!

SORT It Out! Game 

Report a Pothole

Have you spotted a pothole in Grand Rapids? You can report the pothole online or by using our new app grcity311.

Report a Pothole

 


Emergency Street Repairs

Street Maintenance responds 24 hours daily to all types of street repair needs. We respond to hazardous situations such as:

  • Dangerous potholes
  • Debris blocking streets or alleys or creeks
  • Missing or damaged guard rails

If you see any of these situations, call 311 or 616-456-3000.


Street Sweeping

Street Sweepers clean the entire city street system by designated routes. The City is broken down into 41 different routes. Our goal has always been to get through each route at least twice in the Fall, sweeping around the clock for approximately 4 weeks, to clear as much of the leaves and debris as possible before the snow flies.

In the Spring, as the snow melts, we will begin sweeping First Attention streets (the main arteries through town and business districts) to pick up any trash, debris, or leftover salt from Winter activities. After we complete these main thoroughfares, and once all of the snow has melted, we move into the routes to clean up anything left over from the Fall or anything that has collected through Winter. Once this Spring sweeping has been completed, we shift our focus back to street maintenance activities and tone down our sweeping.


Winter Parking

Seasonal parking restrictions allows us to sweep and plow the streets during the fall and winter months. It also helps us prevent the City's street from becoming flooded in the winter due to clogged catch basins.

Want to see the info for which streets in the City are affected? Click the link below.

Odd/Even and One-Side Parking Map

Odd/even parking

The odd-even parking ordinance is used by the City to create enough space City service vehicles to access a street during the fall and winter months. This allows for street sweepers to sweep up leaves and plows to service the street during snow events and create a lane for driving. Although the City attempts to clear the streets in sync with the parking regulations, the plows may not service both sides of the street during a snow event. The snow plows do attempt to widen streets and clean up in between snow events, weather permitting. This is a seasonal parking rule that takes place Nov.1 to April 1.

To avoid a $20 parking ticket that may be given whether snow is present or not, please park on the even-numbered side of the street on even-numbered days and on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered days from 1 a.m. to 6 p.m. From 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. the next day, parking is permitted on both sides of the street unless there are signs otherwise restricting parking. Before you go to bed, think ahead!

Same Side Parking - Winter Restrictions

With collaboration from the City’s Traffic Safety, Fire and Public Services departments, some odd-even parking has been eliminated on certain streets November 1 to April 1. The parking has been modified to one-sided parking. Some streets now have no parking at all. This change allows street sweepers, emergency vehicles and snow plows to more easily navigate neighborhoods streets. Signs identify these one-sided parking streets. The City recognizes that one-sided parking makes it more difficult for residents to clear the snow on the side of the street where parking is allowed. The City does its best to work with residents to assist with snow removal if it becomes necessary.


 

Winter Preparedness Brief

Our "Winter Preparedness Guide" contains information prepared by City departments and 311 Customer Service Agents. This information includes the follow:

  • Snow Plowing
  • Snow Shoveling
  • Placement of Refuse and Recycling Carts

Winter Preparedness Guide

Yard Waste Collection

Your yard waste collection is the same day as your regular waste collection. Yard waste is collected curbside from early April until the second Friday in December. We offer several options for curbside collection.

Yard Waste Cart

The cart is $27.50 to order. This is a service fee and is non-refundable. You can Request Yard Services here online. Be sure to have enough funds in your refuse account to cover the service fee.

To enroll and pay by mail, use this form: Yard Waste Cart Program Enrollment Form(PDF, 194KB). Each time you would like your cart emptied, attach a yellow Yard Waste Tag to the cart. Each tag is $6.00.

Yard Waste Paper Bag

You can use a yard waste paper bag for leaves, grass clippings and small twigs. Bags are $2.50 each or come in packs of 5 for $12.50. Items in the yard waste paper bag can't weigh more than 30 pounds.

Yard Waste Bulk Tag

You can use a purple yard waste bulk tag for bundles of larger twigs or branches. You may also attach this tag to a non-city paper yard waste bag. These tags cost $2.50 each. Bundled branches and twigs shouldn’t be more than 4 feet long or 2 inches in diameter.

You can buy City yard waste cart tags, paper bags, and purple bulk tags at City Hall. You can also buy them at select supermarkets. For a complete list of sellers near you, click here(PDF, 143KB).


Yard Waste Materials

Yard Waste includes

  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Brush
  • Twigs (less than two inches in diameter)
  • Garden Plants

Yard Waste does not include

  • Sod
  • Dirt
  • Stones
  • Broken concrete
  • Trees
  • Tree limbs
  • Logs
  • Railroad Tires
  • Stumps
  • Animal feces and dead animals
  • Dyed mulch

Request Yard Waste Services

Do you have yards waste needs? Click below to request yard waste services:

Request Yard Services


Drop-Off Site

About the Composting Site

The City of Grand Rapids offers residents a FREE drop-off site for their yard waste. You can drop-off up to 4 cubic yards each week of leaves, brush, and tree branches at 2001 Butterworth SW at no out of pocket cost. This is offered to Grand Rapids residents only, so bring ID for proof of residence. Yard waste must be loose or in a paper bag. Plastic bags are not allowed. People with hydraulic dump-trailers will be required to manually empty the trailer for safety reasons.

 Hours of Operation

  April - Mid december

Monday - Saturday 7:30 to 4:30

winter hours

Monday - Friday 7:30 to 4:30

Our yard waste drop-off site is meant for residential yard waste only. Commercial contractors that want to use this site will need to work with our composting vendor We Care Denali who manages the on-site operations. Commercial contractors will need to weigh material on our scale and pay the tipping fee.

For inquiries on commercial or landscape contractors using this site, please call WeCare Denali directly at 616-685-5164

Mulch and Compost Pickup - 2,000 yards of compost and mulch will be available each season for the City of Grand Rapids residents only. City residents will be allowed to pick up to one cubic yard of material total each season on a first come basis, for FREE. Free compost and mulch are available for pickup during normal business hours each Saturday beginning in April through June. If you would like to purchase more material beyond the free one-yard, retail prices are as follows:

WeCare Compost - $19.50 per yard

Wood Chips - $5.25 per yard

Spring Soil - $19.50 per cubic yard

For more information about 2024 pricing for the City of Grand Rapids Click Here(PDF, 199KB).

Not sure if your yard waste is eligible for drop off? Call 311 or 616-456-3000 to make sure.

Bulk Item Collections

Bulky items and/or appliances scheduled online or with a City sticker for $35 will be collected within 3 business days of your refuse collection day. Be sure to put your bulk item(s) out on your collection day before 7:00 AM. Any large item place at the curb without a sticker will not be collected and the property owner may receive a notice of violation. The maximum size of any one item is 6 ft. x 5 ft., anything larger will not fit in the truck and can't be collected.


Online Bulk Item Scheduling

You can schedule and pay for a collection of bulky items using our online payment form. The same rules apply for the type of items we can collect. By using this form you do not need to purchase a bulk sticker.

City Bulk Stickers

You'll need to purchase a City Bulk sticker for collection. Bulk stickers are for either type of item and are $35. You can purchase bulk stickers at our Customer Service storefront located on the "M" level of  City Hall. You can also purchase stickers at select supermarkets and some neighborhood stores.

You can download a list of stores that sell bulk item stickers near you.

Download List(PDF, 143KB)


Material Requiring a Sticker

A City Bulk Sticker is to be used when disposing the following items:

Appliances

  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators*
  • Freezers*
  • Microwave ovens
  • Air conditioners
  • Humidifiers/ dehumidifiers
  • Garbage disposals
  • Trash compactors 
  • Furnaces

* Refrigerator and freezer doors must be removed for collection

Furniture

  • Bed frames
  • Buffets
  • Couches
  • Dressers
  • Hutches
  • Love seats
  • Recliners
  • Stereo Cabinets
  • Wall Units

Household Items

  • Bathtubs
  • Box springs
  • Garage Doors
  • Glass or Wood doors
  • Mattresses
  • Sinks
  • Sliding Doors
  • Window Awnings

Public Property


Private Property

You'll need to fill out a waiver to request graffiti removal on private property. The waiver gives us permission to enter your property and paint or power wash the graffiti.

Download Waiver(PDF, 83KB)

Overview of Neighborhood Dumpster Cleanup

The Neighborhood Cleanup has become a highly anticipated community event. The current program, pioneered at the curb almost 30 years ago, created difficulties such as excessive, disorganized, unmanageable collections. The event has evolved to our present-day cleanup, which provides an opportunity for residents to connect with their neighborhood association. During cleanup events, dumpsters are placed at a volunteer-staffed location generally within the selected cleanup area, where residents can dispose of acceptable items (listed below). In response to community feedback, the collection of recyclable items, including recyclable metal was recently added to the program.

 

Neighborhood Dumpster Cleanup Rules:

  • DO have identification to show that you live in the cleanup area (Ex. Driver License, utility bill or vehicle registration)
  • DO arrive early to ensure that all items can be collected

  • DO be prepared to unload your trash. Neighborhood Associations are encouraged to provide volunteers for those who need assistance

  • DO make sure that major appliances are properly prepared FREON FREE (Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, air conditioners and dehumidifiers…etc.)

     

  • Metal recyclers will be collecting scrap metal (when applicable to event)

     

  • DO NOT place your refuse at the curb. You must bring it to the collection site

  • DO NOT publicize this beyond your neighborhood area

  • DO NOT bring yard waste, sod, broken concrete, or asphalt

  • DO NOT bring hazardous materials such as tires, oil, gas, paint, hot ashes, or household/garden chemicals

  • DO NOT bring electronics such as televisions, computers, monitors, printers, cell phones, etc.

 

Please review postcard for applicable services at your cleanup:

Clean Styrofoam that would snap and not bend, usually used for packaging. Follow the guide below.

Recycle-picture.jpg

 

DISPOSAL OF MATERIALS NOT ACCEPTED AT EVENT:

Yard Waste Drop-Off:

Location: 2001 Butterworth St SW

Site Open (Summer Hours): Monday – Saturday (Winter Hours) Monday- Friday

From: 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM

 

Hazardous Waste Drop-Off at Safe Chem:

Location: 1045 Wealthy St SW

Mondays and Thursdays: 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Wednesdays: 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Every 2nd Saturday: 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM

 

Metal Recycling: https://padnos.com/contact/locations/

Electronics Recycling: https://www.reimaginetrash.org/recycle/recycle-guide/electronics/

 

 

Free Drop Off Sites

The City of Grand Rapids offers free drop-off sites for Christmas trees after the holidays. The sites are located at:

  • Riverside Park (north entrance) located at 3151 Monroe Ave NE
  • Jaycee McKay Family Park located at 2531 Kalamazoo Ave SE
  • Lincoln Park located at 231 Marion Ave NW - (west parking lot off Garfield St NW at Lincoln Ave NW)
  • Huff Park located at 2286 Ball Ave NE

The drop-off locations will be open beginning December 30th until January 31st (dates are the same each year). Parking lot gates at the parks will be unlocked during daytime hours only.


Fee Based Curbside Pickup Program

The alternative method for disposing of your tree is to attach a $2.50 City bulk yard waste tag (purple tag) to the tree and place it in your pickup area by 7:00 a.m. on the regular refuse collection day. Christmas trees that are placed in the refuse pick-up area must be properly tagged for collection. The tag must be visible at the time of collection. Resident must make every effort to be sure that the tree is able to be collected (not buried in the snow) and the tag is visible. All ornaments, other decorations, tinsel, nails and tree stands and any plastic bags on the tree need to be removed prior to collection. If not properly tagged, the property owner is subject to a notice of violation and possible fine. Lost or stolen tags are the responsibility of the resident to replace.

*Please note that curbside Christmas tree collection will only be available during the month of January. Curbside tree collection is only performed WEATHER PERMITTING.


When Will Trees be Picked Up

  • The Public Works Department will pick up Christmas trees on or near the same day as refuse pick up, weather permitting.
  • Christmas trees are not picked up during snow events.
  • Christmas trees are picked up during 1st, 2nd, or 3rd shift.

Do you have hazardous waste material you're trying to dispose? Kent County Department of Public Works has created the following programs to guide you through the process of hazardous waste disposal.

  • SafeChem -  This program will teach you how to safely dispose of left-over chemicals.
  • SafeMeds - This program provides residents with safe and convenient access to proper medicine disposal.
  • SafeSharps - This programs gives Kent County residents an option for safe disposal of used needles.