Refuse & Recycling Regulations

2018 Changes

Over the past few years, the City of Bowling Green has taken proactive steps to improve city provided refuse/recycling collection, litter and other nuisance issues revolving around refuse and recycling, and at the same time, shore up a General Fund deficit problem.

Beginning in 2018, residents receiving refuse and recycling service from the City will now begin to pay a $13 per month fee for the service. This fee will be reflected on utility bills - itemized much like the different utility services such as water, sewer, and electric. Residents will begin to see the fee on their utility bill with the January billing cycle and invoiced in February. Because of the billing software and the timing of implementation, the fee will be listed on the January utility bills but the charge amount will be zero. For those that have more than the standard one refuse container and one recycling container, there will be an additional $5 fee per container per month added to utility bills.

During the first three months of 2018, there was a grace period to allow residents to decide if two containers are needed or not, and notify the City of this decision by calling Public Works at 419-354-6227. The $5 per month per container fee will be reflected in the bill you receive in April. Those with containers above and beyond the one refuse container and one recycling container must notify the City by March 23 if they no longer wish to have these containers.

Large Item & Brush Collection

Large item and brush collection have been expanded for resident convenience as part of the recent changes to City provided refuse and recycling service. Residents no longer have to wait for these special collection services, but can now schedule a pick-up!

Large Item

Large item collection will occur year around. As part of the program, residents may schedule up to two large item collections (up to 5 items per collection) at no additional charge per year (some restrictions apply). Thereafter the following fees apply: $25 for the first item, $15 per item thereafter.

Residents simply need to call Public Works at 419-354-6227 to schedule a date (typically a Monday or Friday) to have the item(s) curbside no later than 7 am Because of additional fees and restrictions at the Wood County Landfill, mattresses will still require additional payment (maximum of 3 mattresses) and items with Freon cannot be collected (such as dehumidifiers and refrigerators).


Brush collection will occur much like large item. Collection will occur during the 3rd week of April, May, September and October. Residents simply need to call Public Works by the 2nd Monday of the respective month to schedule a brush collection. Current restrictions for brush collection remain - such as the size of tree limbs and no yard waste (grass clippings).

2016 Updates

City Council passed legislation at the August 1, 2016 City Council meeting updating Chapter 94 of the Bowling Green Codified Ordinances, which covers garbage and litter laws within the City. These changes were made by Council to help keep Bowling Green neighborhoods appealing and healthy as well as improving the efficiency of refuse/recycling collection. Some of these changes include:

  • Improperly utilizing recycling containers such as filling it with trash, bagging recyclables, filling containers with brush, etc.
  • Container lids shall be closed at all times.
  • All containers shall be set at the curb with the lid opening facing the street with the lid fully closed, and all containers shall be removed from the right-of-way by 7 am the day following collection.
  • On non-collection days, all refuse and recycling containers, including dumpsters, whether City or privately owned, shall be stored within an enclosed area or in the side or rear yard of the premises adjacent to the structure with the lid closed.

The purpose of requiring container lids to be closed at all times is to help prevent the breaking of the lid during the collection process. If the lid is open or the container is facing the wrong way at the curb, the lid can break. Also, if the lid is open during non-collection days or at the curb, the chances increase that the garbage within the container will fall out becoming loose litter. These changes went in to effect on August 31, 2016.

For More Information

Call Public Works at 419-354-6227 or the Mayor/Municipal Administrator's Office at 419-354-6204 for questions.