Waste Collection Guidelines

Getting Started

If you are a new resident, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you have both a garbage and a recycling can. Residential waste collection* is included as a municipal service covered by your taxes. Get off to a good start by downloading the Vestavia Hills Action Center app, a tool you can use to start your service, request a special pickup (for all those moving boxes and your yard trimmings), and more.

Choose “Start garbage and trash service at a residence” from the Action Center request menu, or call Public Services at 978-0150 to start service.

To know your pick-up days, see “Garbage vs. Trash” below.

*Businesses must contract with a waste collection agency of their choice.

Vestavia Hills Action Center

The Vestavia Hills Action Center is a convenient way to make requests or make repots of areas needing maintenance. Download the mobile app on the iTunes or the Google Play store, or visit our website http://vhal.org/action-center/.

When you make a request in the Action Center, you will receive two confirmations. The first one shows that your request has been received. The second one shows that the City has made a response. If your trash and debris pick-up request is not completed within 10 days, please contact the city either through the Action Center or by calling 978-0150.

Placement of Items for Collection

Proper placement checklist:

Not on or in the right-of-way (including sidewalks)

Not on a storm drain cover

Not further than 4 ft from the curb

Not under a low utility line

Separated piles for yard debris vs. bulk/junk materials

Please also keep in mind that vehicles parked near where items are placed will also prevent collection of items.


Waste/Debris Removal

Click for DETAILED Waste Removal Guidelines

waste-debrisAs a community, Vestavia Hills residents, by and large, are concerned about keeping their homes and neighborhoods tidy, and most are conscientious about managing their disposal of garbage (household waste), trash (bulky items and yard debris), and recyclables.  It is wonderful that in Vestavia Hills this comes from caring on the personal, community, and environmental levels.  Although it is true that at City Hall, we field many calls from neighbors who are unhappy because someone does not seem to know the expectations of the community, we also receive calls and emails from people who want to do things “right” and who do not want to upset their neighbors.  You can find the list of Waste Collection Guidelines in our Action Center Frequently Asked Questions (http://www.vhal.org/government/action-center/). This article covers just a few issues that we see regularly and questions we are often asked.

Will the City’s waste contractor pick up cut trees? If you have a tree service do the work, it is responsible for removing the trees.  If you do the work yourself, be sure to cut the trees in lengths of six feet or less and report the boom pile.  Be prepared that a large pile may not be collected in one trip, i.e. it may take multiple weeks.

Why was only part of my pile collected?  In order to ensure service to all of our residents, there is a limit on how much can be collected in a single trip.  If multiple trips are required, they will probably be over a course of the following weeks.  If you will have a large pile and it is important to have it removed by a certain date, please consider alternative disposal methods.

Can I recycle (fill in the blank)?  Because there is not a market for the particular material in Alabama or for other reasons, some items that may have a recycling logo are not accepted by our collectors.  Glass, Styrofoam, and wax-coated containers should not be placed in the recycle bin.  It is unnecessary to remove the caps from bottles.  The courtesy of rinsing out containers would be appreciated, but items will be accepted if they are not.

How should grass clippings (small yard debris, leaves) be prepared?  Clippings, leaves, and small debris should be “containerized,” which would include bags or a garbage cart.  It is better to bag the clippings, as this reduces the possibility of them blowing off the truck.  If you have more than ten bags, you should put in a request for a boom truck.

Do I have to call for a special pickup? It is recommended that you put in an Action Center request or place a call to our Public Services Department for special pickups, but it is not required.  Trash is usually collected on the second garbage day, but large piles may be collected later.  When you place an Action Center request, it automatically is placed on a list for our waste contractors and you will receive an email confirmation that it was received.  Pickup is usually within 7 to 10 business days.

What are some “pet peeves” the collection crews face regularly?  Piles on top of cable boxes and storm drains (which usually result in damage when the claw tries to pick up), glass doors not prepared (for safety sake, either the glass should be broken and put into a box or the door should be wrapped well in plastic), moving boxes not broken down, cars blocking the way (usually when contract work is being done at a residence).

What if I want or need an additional or replacement garbage cart?  Residents are allowed two garbage carts (additional charge for more).  To get a new cart, place a request in the Action Center or call our Public Services Department.  The old cart should be placed at the curb with a sign that says “Broken – Please Remove” and left at the curb until it is taken away.  Generally, a new cart is not delivered until the old one is removed.  The new cart is usually delivered within 3-4 business days.

If you need to discuss a waste collection issue, please contact our Public Services Department rather than the waste contractor, at 205-978-0150 between the hours of 7:30 am and 3:00 pm Monday through Friday.