Garbage, Recycling and Waste FAQs

Folks in Clark County can reduce their garbage service by changing the size of their curbside container and the frequency of their pick-up. By having a smaller container and reducing pick-up frequency, this will not only cut down on your waste but save you money. Find your garbage rates at https://wcnorthwest.com/residential-rates

Contact your local service provider. Waste Control - (360) 225-8281, Waste Connections - (360) 892-5370, City of Camas - (360) 834-2462

Garbage is mandatory in the City of Vancouver, Camas, Ridgefield, and Washougal. Garbage is optional in the City of Battle Ground and La Center as well as Urban Growth Areas throughout the county.

You can find the current rates for disposal at the transfer stations at https://www.columbiaresourcecompany.com/rates

You can find your current rate for recycling collection at https://wcnorthwest.com/residential-rates

Central Transfer & Recycling Center
360.256.8482

West Van Material Recovery Center
360.737.1727

Washougal Transfer Station
360.835.2500

Central Transfer & Recycling Center
11034 NE 117th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98662

West Van Material Recovery Center
6601 NW Old Lower River Road
Vancouver, WA 98660

Washougal Transfer Station
4020 S. Grant Street
Washougal, WA 98671

Visit our Recycling A-Z  widget to find recycling facilities currently accepting block foam. 

Central Transfer and Recycling Center, Washougal Transfer Station and West Van Material Recovery Center accept block foam from residents for no charge during operating hours. Businesses can drop off block foam at $5 per yard -- call Waste Connections for a dropbox for large volumes.

Some cities put on city-wide collection events open only to their residents. These events may collect block foam. Check with your city government for the next event if you are in city-limits.

Waste Connections offer special pickups of bulky items in their collection areas - call for charges and appointments. Some thrift stores also accept furniture and large appliances. Check the listings in the RecyclingA-Z.com for more information.

Visit the Recycling A-Z Directory for more information. Bulky item pick-up from your curb is available through pre-arrangement with Waste Connections. Please call ahead.

Clean and dry, empty bags and film are accepted for recycling at certain retail stores. If you are unable to take your plastic film to the store, please dispose of them in your garbage. Do not place them in your recycling cart. Plastic bags and film may go to companies making plastic lumber or other products here in the U.S., or be exported to Asia for similar uses there.

Area Company Phone Number
Vancouver, Unincorporated Clark County, Yacolt,
Ridgefield, Battle Ground, La Center and Washougal
Waste Connections 360.892.5370
City of Camas - Garbage City of Camas 360.834.2462
City of Camas - Recycling Waste Connections 360.892.5370
Woodland Vicinity (NW Clark County) - Recycling service available only in the city of Woodland Waste Control, Inc. 360.225.8281

If your garbage or recycling was missed, please call your service provider's office as soon as possible.

Waste Control - (360) 225-8281 
Waste Connections - (360) 892-5370 
City of Camas - (360) 834-2462

If the pickup was missed by the driver, they will return for pickup either the next day or the next collection day with no charge for extras. If the pickup was missed due to the customer not have the can out, there will be an extra charge to return for the pickup.

In Vancouver and most of Clark County, garbage, recycling and yard debris service are not collected on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. If one of these holidays falls on a weekday, collection will run one date late for the rest of the week.

Yes. All transfer stations will accept your self-hauled recyclables. West Van Materials Recovery Center offers a buy back program for some recyclable commodities. Please call 360.737.1727 for specific information on the types of commodities accepted, minimum quantities to qualify, material preparation requirements and current buy back rates.

What am I allowed to self-haul?

Items accepted are:

Newspapers and magazines
Mixed waste paper
Empty aerosol cans/tin cans
Aluminum cans
Scrap metal
Glass (sort by color)
Milk jugs
Plastic bottles
Corrugated cardboard
Antifreeze
Motor oil
Vegetable oil
Auto Batteries
Household batteries (only accepted during HHW hours)
Plastic film
Block foam
Electronics (e-cycle program electronics only)
Empty propane tanks
Shredded paper
Fluorescent bulbs
Sharps

Items accepted for a fee:

Yard debris
Clean wood
Sheet rock
Appliances

Product

Process

Aluminum Baled and sold to Anheiser Busch to be turned back into aluminum cans
Glass Sorted by color and sold to Owen-Illinois to be made into glass bottles.
The broken glass is crushed to 1/2" minus and used in construction projects, in place of gravel.
MCDB's (milk carton/drink boxes) Baled and sold to Weyerhaeuser for fiber recovery
Plastic Bottles Sorted into three categories, 1. PET (Polyethylene Terethphalate) bottles, 2.) HDPE (high density polyethylene) Natural bottles (milk jugs), 3.) all other plastic bottles. The different bottles go to different markets around the US and Canada
Tin Cans Baled and sold to domestic scrap metal markets
Aerosol cans Baled with tin cans
Newspapers Loaded loose and sold to local fiber mills
Mixed Paper Sometimes mixed paper will be sorted for high grade paper or newspaper, depending on the markets. Then it is loaded loose and sold to local fiber mills or to another MRF.
OCC (Old Corrugated Cardboard) Baled and sold to local fiber mills
Motor Oil Collected by a fuel recovery company and burned for energy.
Scrap Metal Sold to a local scrap metal dealer
Anti-Freeze Collected by a fuel recovery company and distilled back into new anti-freeze
Household Batteries Collected by a hazardous waste recovery company, batteries are processed to recover heavy metals.

Residents can set out up to 250 pounds of recyclables at no additional charge if they are placed in a clearly marked container. For example, put extra paper in a paper bag. If this is a regular occurrence, residents are encouraged to designate a durable container, such as a 5-gallon bucket, for extra recyclables; call your service provider and they will send you a label for extra containers.

Plastic bottles, tubs, jugs, and jars can be recycled curbside in Clark County. These must all be clean, empty, and dry, and not contain any hazardous material. Plastics such as plastic bags, lids, and wrap should not be placed in your curbside recycling. Plastic film and bags can be recycled at most grocery stores. 

See the above for complete details. In general, certain metals, mixed paper, cardboard, and specific plastics are accepted. Also, check out Waste Connections recycle guide.

  • Materials should be loose in the cart, and not placed into plastic bags or garbage bags
  • Materials should be clean and dry, and free of liquids and food waste
  • Cardboard should be flattened to fit into the cart, and tape removed if possible
  • Caps on plastic bottles can be left on
  • Caps on glass bottles should be removed
  • Lids should be removed from all materials

You can send those peanuts off for reuse by calling a commercial mail service center near you. There are ten locations shown at RecyclingA-Z.com.

Waste Connections Inc. provides recycling services in all areas of Clark County except the greater Woodland area.  Contact Waste Connections, Inc. 360.892.5370 or email customerhelp@wasteconnections.com

If you live in the Woodland area, contact Waste Control at 360.225.8281. (Note: some Woodland addresses close to the La Center zip code boundary are still Waste Connections. Please call either provider to confirm.)

Because there is no real regulation on the use of the recycling symbol, nor on the similar triangles with resin code numbers inside that are found on many plastic products. Many labeled products and packages are recyclable but many are not. Many unlabeled products and packages are recyclable. Manufacturer's industry associations and lobbyists have so far resisted any "truth in labeling" restrictions on the use of the recycling symbol, or on words relating to recyclability or recycled content. If a manufacturer's marketing department thinks the recycle symbol will help sales, the symbol goes on. If the marketers think the symbol might hurt sales, it doesn't. Placement of a recycle symbol or similar label on a product is just a marketing decision, not a guarantee.

Recycling is required in the City of Camas, Ridgefield, Vancouver, and Washougal. You will be charged for the service whether or not you participate. Recycling in required in the City of Battle Ground and La Center if residents have more than one can/month of garbage service.

graph showing recycling services by area

Clark County residents can recycle their old computers, computer monitors, laptops, televisions, and monitors for FREE through the E-Cycle Washington program. To find a recycler for other electronics such as stereo equipment, computer keyboards, and printers visit Recycling A-Z.

It is important to buy products that contain recycled content because it is better for the environment. For example, a plastic bottle is made from oil, a fossil fuel that is extracted deep within the ground. It takes a lot of energy, water, and other valuable resources to obtain the oil and then manufacture the plastic bottle. If we recycle the bottle, then we can help to conserve those resources.

Post-consumer recycled content is material that has been recovered or diverted from the waste stream and is used to make another material. You might see this printed on plastic bottles or paper products in different percentages. It is always a plus when you purchase materials made with either recycled or post-consumer recycled content, but it is important to remember that our goal is to reduce our waste in the first place.

There are several recycling centers in Clark County that offer buy-back opportunities. Please call ahead before arrival. Note: Clark County maintains this partial list as a courtesy to the public and does not endorse or guarantee the quality of the service offered or provided.

EH Metal Recycling
360.334.6005
8801 NE 117th St, Vancouver

Paper People 
360.695.2092
11007 NE 37th Cir, Vancouver

Metro Metals NW 
360.737.8335
901 Port Way, Vancouver

One of the best means of avoiding exposure to household hazardous materials is to use safer alternatives whenever possible.  Make the switch toward safer household products and sign up for the green cleaning workshop.

Not locally. Empty motor oil bottles are difficult to recycle because of the oily residue leftover. These bottles should be empty and discarded in the trash.

If any fluid remains, please take it to a Household Hazardous Waste facility. Alternatively, pour contents into a clear, screw-top milk jug that can be securely closed and place it next to your curbside recycling cart on pick-up day.

Call your local paint store to ask if they sell recycled paint. Habitat for Humanity ReStore also sells recycled paint.

Call Portland Metro at 503.234.3000 for a brochure and information about colors, prices, and sales location or visit Metro Paint.

Empty dried paint cans can be disposed of safely in your garbage can.

Please do not place paint cans in your curbside recycling. The recycling facility assumes there is paint in the can and will pull it out to prevent mess. Empty cans can be dropped off in scrap metal at various locations. You can find more information on proper disposal on our Recycling A-Z Directory .

By taking HHW to any of the Clark County transfer stations during designated collection days and times.

Business generated hazardous waste is not accepted through this program. Businesses should visit Business Hazardous Waste or contact the Clark County Solid Waste Program at 564.397.7352 for additional information and assistance with hazardous waste issues.

By taking unwanted paint to participating paint collection sites or by taking unwanted paint to any of the Clark County Free Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. 

Business generated hazardous waste is not accepted through these programs. Businesses should visit Business Hazardous Waste or contact the Clark County Solid Waste Program at 564.397.7352 for additional information and assistance with hazardous waste issues.

Throwing loose or containerized sharps into your trash or recycling container can hurt the people who handle your waste and others who may come in contact with them. If you use syringes for any medical condition, or if you use any other sharps (hypodermic needles, syringes or intravenous (IV) tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, and lancets), be sure to dispose of them properly. For information on proper disposal type "SHARPS" at www.RecyclingA-Z.com.

Improper disposal of unwanted medications can result in serious harm to humans, animals, and the environment. For information on proper disposal go to www.RecyclingA-Z.com and type "Medications".

Before you buy a product - read the label.

Make sure that you understand what hazards, if any, are associated with the product, its use, or its disposal. Look for the signal words on the container and buy the least hazardous product.

For pesticides, "DANGER" means highly toxic, "WARNING" OR "CAUTION" moderately toxic and "CAUTION" slightly toxic.

For household products, "POISON" means highly toxic, "DANGER" toxic, "WARNING" or "CAUTION" less toxic. For more information on identifying hazardous products go to How to Green Clean

Household hazardous wastes when disposed of improperly (pouring wastes down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or putting them out with the trash) can affect human health and the environment.

The dangers of improper disposal may not be immediately obvious, but certain types of household hazardous waste have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers; contaminate ground water at landfills; contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets; and present hazards to children and pets if left around the house.

For information on using hazardous materials safely and other safety related information go to Hazardous Materials in Your Home.

If you have curbside recycling service at your home pour the used oil or antifreeze carefully into a clean plastic milk jug (remember to use separate containers for the oil and antifreeze, do not mix them) and screw the lid on tightly. Then place the jug(s) next to your recycling bins.

If you live in a multifamily complex (apartments or trailer parks), check with your manager about leaving oil or antifreeze with the recycling. If allowed, place the jug of motor oil or antifreeze next to the recycling carts. Please do not put inside the carts because the oil will leak when collected and contaminate the rest of the recyclable material and pose a hazard to human and environmental health.

If you do not have curbside recycling or live in a multifamily complex that does not allow the service, pour the used oil or antifreeze into separate containers (do not mix oil and antifreeze) with a secure screw-top lid for safe transportation to a household hazardous waste facility or other drop off location.

Go go Recycling A-Z and type "motor oil" or "antifreeze" into the search tool to find drop off locations.

Where does it go next? Since oil gets dirty and never breaks down, it can be cleaned and reused at refineries or it can be blended and used as an alternative fuel source.

Check out our Recycling A-Z Directory which makes searching for local reuse, recycling, and safe disposal options for hundreds of products and household items even easier.

Refer to Clark County Green Neighbor’s Thrift Store/Donation Map to find organizations, stores, and more who will gladly accept these items.

Head over to Waste Connections’ Special Waste disposal site to learn more about how to properly dispose of the material.