Garbage & Recycling


Recycling Trailers 

The City of Humboldt collects residential garbage and recycling once each week as well as collecting commercial garbage throughout the week. The Sanitation Department consists of three employees who work from 6:00 AM - 2:30 PM Monday through Friday. Residents may call the City Clerk's Office to find out what day their garbage will be collected at 332-3435. All residences within the City limits of Humboldt that have water service are required to use the City sanitation service.

Holiday Garbage Collection Schedule 2021

As a general rule, if your regular garbage day falls on a holiday, your garbage will be picked up on the following day, along with the route regularly scheduled for that day.  The rest of the week is picked up on the normal schedule.

President's Day, Monday, February 15th - Monday's route will be picked up on Tuesday the 17th, along with Tuesday's regular route.  The rest of the week is on regular schedule.

Memorial Day - Monday, May 31st - Monday's route will be picked up on Tuesday June 1st, along with Tuesday's regular route.  The rest of the week is on regular schedule.

Independence Day - Sunday, July 4th - This week is on regular schedule.

Labor Day - Monday, September 6th - Monday's route will be picked up on Tuesday the 7th, along with Tuesday's regular route.  The rest of the week is on regular schedule.

Veteran's Day - Thursday, November 11th - Thursday's route will be picked up on Wednesday the 10th, along with Wednesday's regular route.  The rest of the week is on regular schedule.

Thanksgiving - Thursday and Friday November 25th and 26th- Trash for both days will be picked up on Wednesday the 24th, along with Wednesday's route.  The rest of the week is on regular schedule.

Christmas Day - Saturday, December 25th - This week is on regular schedule.

New Year's Day -Saturday, January 1st, 2022 - This week is on regular schedule.

City Garbage Bags

The City of Humboldt utilizes a "pay as you throw" (see the bottom of the page for an in-depth explanation) system for solid waste. The residential monthly garbage charge is $7.50 (as of 7/1/15) on each utility bill from the City. In addition to this charge, residents must use city garbage bags that can be purchased at the City Clerk's Office, Hy-Vee, or Fareway. A package of ten yellow 20-gallon bags is $9.00, and a package of ten blue 30-gallon bags is $13.50.

As you are paying for garbage pickup service by paying for the City bags, there is no limit on the number of bags you can leave on the curb.  The only limit is that each bag cannot weigh more than 50 pounds.

Recycling is a free service, with no charge billed to the resident. City of Humboldt green recycling bins are available at City Hall at no charge, limit one per residence. If you should move, however, please leave the bin at your current residence.

Click here for a garbage collection map and schedule.

 Humboldt Trash Bags

What Can You Recycle?

Newspaper, Magazines, & Catalogues:

 Any magazine or catalogue or phone book under 1 inch thick.  Newspapers, junk mail, glossy inserts, etc.  Do not tie these together with string or put in plastic bags.
 Fiber Board & Office Paper:

Cereal boxes, cracker boxes, tissue boxes, shoe boxes, etc.  Make sure to remove any plastic or wax liners and flatten boxes.  Any clean paper such as computer paper, junk mail, or envelopes is acceptable.
Tin & Aluminum Cans:

No need to remove labels or flatten cans, just rinse clean and remove all lids.
 Clear Glass:

Clear glass ONLY!  Remove and discard all lids and rinse clean.

Remove and discard all lids and rinse clean.  No need to remove labels.  Check the container for the "recycling number", as we will take numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7.
Corrugated Cardboard:

Break down and flatten boxes and place under your bin for collection.



Everything that you would like to recycle must be clean to be acceptable.  If you have something in your bin that the recycling center cannot take, it will be left in your bin for you to throw away. 
Recycle Bin


Clean Up Days

The City of Humboldt holds an annual clean-up week each spring. The dates will be announced each year.  Anything too large for the city garbage bags is included at no charge. If you have electronics or appliances you would like to put out, please purchase a sticker for $10 for each item at the City Municipal Building.


Residents are also able to take items to the Fort Dodge Landfill at 2150 S 22nd St in Fort Dodge (800) 582-4379.  The charge is $35 per ton with a $20 minimum per load. 
Hazardous waste can be taken to the North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste in Fort Dodge. Their hours are Tuesday-Friday 8am-11am and the 1st and 3rd Sat. 8am-11am by appointment only. Their number is (515) 576-5866 if you have any questions about hazardous waste.

Questions?  Call: 332-3435


The City Compost Pile:

Click HERE to view a map of the access route to get there

The compost site is now OPEN for the season.

Just a reminder that yard waste such as leaves, garden vegetation waste and grass clippings are the ONLY things allowed on the compost pile.  Trash is not allowed.  If you witness someone violating this policy, please report them to the Law Enforcement Center at 332-2600 to make sure the compost pile can remain open for everyone. 


Humboldt uses a pay-as-you-throw program where residents are charged for the collection of municipal solid waste—ordinary household trash—based on the amount they throw away. This creates a direct economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste.

Traditionally, residents pay for waste collection through property taxes or a fixed fee, regardless of how much—or how little—trash they generate. Pay-As-You-throw (PAYT) breaks with tradition by treating trash services just like electricity, gas, and other utilities. Households pay a variable rate depending on the amount of service they use. 

With PAYT, residents are charged a fee for each bag of waste they generate. The less individuals throw away, the less they pay.

This new approach to solid waste management encompasses three interrelated components that are key to successful community programs:

  1. Inherent Fairness - One of the most important advantages of a variable-rate program may be its inherent fairness. When the cost of managing trash is hidden in taxes or charged at a flat rate, residents who recycle and prevent waste subsidize their neighbors' wastefulness. Under PAYT, residents pay only for what they throw away.

  2. Economic Sustainability - PAYT is an effective tool for addressing soaring municipal solid waste management expenses. This well-designed program generates the revenues to cover solid waste costs, including the costs of such complementary programs as recycling and composting. Residents benefit, too, because they have the opportunity to take control of their trash bills.

  3. Environmental Sustainability – PAYT produces significant increases in recycling and reductions in waste, due primarily to the waste reduction incentive created by the cost of city trash bags. Less waste and more recycling mean that fewer natural resources need to be extracted. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, distribution, use, and subsequent disposal of products are reduced as a result of the increased recycling and waste reduction PAYT encourages.

Click the image below to view a PDF from the EPA about how PAYT programs work:



All forms are viewable in a .pdf format.  Click on the image below to get the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.