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Frequently Asked Questions

Trash & Recycling Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I get a new recycling bin?

Recycling bins are available by calling the Citizen’s Service Center (1-877-727-3234). Learn more about the new recycling cart program here .


How much do trash and recycling services cost?

Currently, the monthly trash and recycling rate is $22.76, billed on your regular water bill ($16.98 for trash and $5.78 for recycling). This is down 7% from the 2017 rate of $24.50 (previously 18.33 for trash and $6.17 for recycling). The rate includes weekly curbside pick-up, one bulky item per week, and yard waste & leaf collection.


How much trash can I set out for pick-up?

Properties served by the City’s trash service may place no more than four (4) trash bags (maximum 55 gallons each) per week. In addition, one bulky item per week may be left at curbside. See “What items are allowed for bulky item pick-up?”


I am new to Reading. How do I start trash/recycling services?

To start your trash and recycling services and get additional information about moving to the city, contact the Citizens Service Center at 1-877-727-3234.


What items are allowed for bulky item pick-up?

The city curbside trash collection allows 1 bulky item pick-up per week, set out with your normal trash. No hazardous or restricted items are allowed. Restricted items include:

  • No refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, or other cooling appliances unless the Freon has been professionally removed and the item is marked with a sticker or tag signed by a certified technician.
  • No construction debris exceeding 70 pounds OR longer than 3 feet. Construction debris must be in a separate container or bundle.
  • Hazardous waste including, but not limited to: any household items labeled: Caution, Flammable, Toxic, Corrosive, Poison, Danger, Explosive, Warning, or Volatile. Common items include paint, automobile fluids, pesticides & herbicides, household chemicals, and more. See our Special Collections page to learn how to properly dispose of hazardous waste.
  • Mattresses and box springs each count as 1 bulky item and must be set out on separate weeks. Both the mattress and the box spring must be completely wrapped in plastic prior to being set out.


What items can be recycled?

Many common household items can be recycled curbside. The “Big 5” recyclables are paper & cardboard, plastic containers, glass bottles and jars, metal cans, and food and beverage cartons. This means everyday items like water bottles, milk jugs, pasta sauce jars, and soup cans can all be recycled. Most paper products such as newspaper, office paper, cardboard, magazines, and other common paper items can be recycled. The All-in-OneTM recycling program means all recyclables can go in one bin. Cartons are a new item in 2018 – see the Cartons FAQ for more information.

Remember only clean recyclables are accepted: rinse before you recycle. Use our What Goes Where tool or download the Recycle Coach app for specific questions. Some items not accepted through your curbside service can be recycled by other means. See the Special collections page for more information.


When is my trash and recycling collected?

Trash and recycling are collected Monday-Friday, with the exception of certain holidays. See the collection schedule or download the Recycle Coach app for details.


Where do my trash and recycling go?

Trash collected in the City of Reading goes to a nearby landfill. Recycling goes to one of two locations: Cougle’s Recycling Inc. (CRI) in Hamburg or Total Recycle in Birdsboro. Both locations provide additional drop-off services and do educational tours & events.


Who provides the city’s trash and recycling collection?

Trash and recycling services are provided through contract with Republic Services for all residences with less than 7 dwelling units. All commercial, institutional, or residential properties, or residential properties with 7 or more apartments, are required to have private haulers. See the Commercial Trash & Recycling page for more information.