Garbage Services

The City of Sterling Contracts with  Republic Services for solid waste services.   For questions regarding your pick up please contact their local customer service at 815-625-1000.  If you are unable to reach customer service or your issue is not resolved, please contact 815-632-6621.   

Solid Green carts are for household trash only. Dried latex paint may be disposed of, however, no oil base wet latex paint, chemicals, motor oil, or household hazardous waste, construction materials, dirt, rocks, auto parts, major appliances, hot ashes, or coals allowed. 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 (the same place you currently set out the trash), if accessible, by 6:00 a.m. on your regularly scheduled pickup day. All carts should be brought in the same day after trash pick up.

What day does your trash get picked up?  Enter you address and find out.

Bulk Waste

Items such as chairs, couches, chairs, and larger household items that are too big for your cart require stickers.  Stickers are $1.85 and must be purchased for additional items.  Mattresses and box springs must be wrapped in plastic to be picked up.  Bulk stickers are available at the following locations:

  • Krogers - 2301 Locust Street
  • Wal-Mart- 4115 East Lincolnway
  • County Market - 210 W 3rd Street
  • City Hall - 212 3rd Avenue 

Do not use large appliance boxes filled with miscellaneous refuse items. The hauler will not pick it up.
You are allowed one free bulk waste item up to 50Ibs per week. Any item over 50lbs, requires a bulk waste sticker per additional 50lbs. 

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

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 in April and runs through November.  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 30 gallon can with handles and marked with an X for grass clippings, leaves, and small limbs. A 50lb weight limit also applies to the cans.   If you would like a yard waste toter, those are available for rent from Republic Services. 

For yard waste, such as large limbs, tree stumps, and bushes, items must be put them bundles of lengths of 4 feet or less, and 4 inches or less in diameter. Tie each bundle with twine and set it out with your garbage and recycling. The 50lb weight limit applies to this also. Bushes and shrubs must be bundled, if possible, and put out with garbage and recycling.  Burning yard waste is not permitted.

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 set up an appointment for drop-off at 1605 Ave L, Sterling, IL. 

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.  Please tape the batteries to prevent the terminals from touching.  The Community Service Office is open from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. Phone 815-632-6624

Vehicle 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 may be taken to Cimco at 13509 Galt Road, Sterling.  815-380-2280. 

Hazardous Waste

Do not dispose of household hazardous waste with your household trash.  Examples of household hazardous waste items include;  

  • Oil-based paints
  • Paint thinners
  •  Insecticides
  • Antifreeze
  • Pool chemicals
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Acids
  • Herbicides
  • Solvents
  • Old gasoline
  • Aerosol paints 
  • Drain cleaners 
  • Corrosives 
  • Motor oil 
  • Lawn chemicals 
  • Pesticides 
  • Hobby chemicals
  • Cleaning products
  • Mercury

To dispose of these items please contact Whiteside County for information on their annual hazardous materials event at 815-772-7308.

Illinois residents (not businesses) can dispose of household hazardous waste at  

Four Rivers Sanitation Authority
2222 Kishwaukee Street
Rockford, IL 


Trash will be delayed one day for the following holidays observed by Republic Services;

  • July 4th 
  • Labor Day 
  • Memorial Day 
  • Thanksgiving Day 
  • Christmas Day 
  • New Year's Day