Shawnee County Solid Waste

Efficient Environmental Services.

Solid Waste

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  • Frequently Asked Questions
    What are the rates?

    Shawnee County Solid Waste offers full service refuse and recycling pick-up for $19.26 per month for City of Topeka Water Customers, and $20.50 per month for non-city water customers. Customers have a choice of three sizes for their convenience: 35-gallon, 65-gallon, and 95-gallon. (You may see examples of these by clicking on: Divisions/Collections/Residential Containers on the left side of the web page). Additional carts are available for an added fee of $3.00 per month per cart.

    When will I receive my cart?

    We strive to have a cart to every new customer within two weeks of signing up for our service.

    Am I being billed for the cart?

    No, we provide one refuse and one recycling cart as part of our standard service. Additional carts may be obtained for an added fee of $3.00 per month per cart. Although Shawnee County Solid Waste retains ownership of the carts, it is the customer's responsibility to keep them clean. Normal wear and tear is expected, however, negligent damage (e.g., burned cart), may result in an additional replacement charge.

    When or how do I arrange for large item pick-up?

    Shawnee County Solid Waste offers one large item pick-up per week free of charge. This includes:

    • Box-springs & mattress
    • Couch or sofa. (Sofa sleepers need to have the metal springs removed to be eligible for free pick-up, you will need to call and schedule a pick-up time for the metal springs).
    • Household furniture
    • Fifteen bags of leaves or grass (under 45 lbs per bag)
    • Bundled tree limbs, or carpet, are to be no longer than 4 feet in length and/or 18 inches in diameter. (See Customer Information Sheet on our home page)


    Metal items can be picked up by calling our office at 785.233.4774 to schedule. There is a minimum $65.00 fee for this service.

    How do I dispose of my used needles (sharps)?

    The Shawnee County Solid Waste Department will accept used needles (sharps) in your refuse container with proper preparation. You should place your used needles (sharps) in an empty hard plastic container with a tight fitting lid (e.g., laundry detergent bottles, bleach bottles, ketchup bottles, etc). Plastic milk containers or red bio-hazardous material containers are not acceptable. After placing the needles (sharps) in the container, make sure the lid is on tight, tape the lid, and indicate what is in the container ( e.g., Used Needles). Under no circumstances should the needle container be placed in your recycle bin.

    Starting on November 7, 2015, Shawnee County will begin accepting sharps at our Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 131 NE 46th St. Residents may bring their containers to the facility during normal working hours.

    Where can I recycle my electronics or other non-traditional items?

    The Shawnee County Solid Waste Department does not accept any type of electronics for recycling. However, they can be placed with your refuse for pick-up. If you prefer to recycle, go to: this site has a recycling guide to help you find ways to reuse/recycle these items.

    Shawnee County and the City of Topeka typically co-host an electronic waste recycling event in the Spring of each year. We recommend you periodically check this website or contact us by email at or by phone at (785) 233-4774 for upcoming event information

    What is the holiday schedule?

    The Holiday Schedule will let you know when to place your solid waste out for collection during holiday weeks. The schedule is mailed to each of our customers in December of each year. It can also be viewed on the Shawnee County website.

    What is my pick-up day?

    Refuse is collected every week; recycling is collected every other week. Your pick-up day is determined by where you are located in the city/county. Please refer to our Interactive Service Lookup map. To use the map, type in your address; the site will indicate what your day of service is, and whether you are a red or blue week customer. You can then access our red week/blue week calendar to see when your recycling will be picked up. This calendar will also tell you when to expect your pick-up during a holiday week.

    What items cannot (should not) be placed in the household refuse cart?

    The following should not be placed with your household refuse/recycling. (This list is not all inclusive):

    • Tires
    • Dirt
    • Rock or concrete
    • Construction and/or demolition material
    • Paint cans with paint still in them
    • Motor Oil
    • Car batteries
    • Acids

    For additional information on what can be safely placed in your refuse container, see Customer Information Sheet on our home page.

    How do I know what can be placed in my recycling cart?

    The blue lid on your recycling cart is a quick reference guide to what can be placed in it and how it should be placed along the street curb/alley. No electrical cords, garden hoses or any material that will easily wrap around mechanical equipment are acceptable. For information on how to recycle these items, visit see the Recycling Directory, see our Customer Information Sheet on the home page.

    Click here for a quick reference guide to items that can and cannot be recycled.