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Holiday Garbage Collection Refresher

Holiday Garbage Collection Refresher

December 22, 2021

With the Christmas and New Year's holidays approaching, the City of Cedar Rapids gets a lot of questions about garbage, recycling and yard waste collection.

This year, there will be no delay in collection due to the Christmas and New Year's holidays. This is because both holidays fall over the weekend.

On a typical year, the holidays with collection delays are as follows:

  • Memorial Day (No collection, one-day delay for all customers that week)
  • Labor Day (No collection, one-day delay for all customers that week)
  • Thanksgiving Day (No collection, one-day delay for customers with regular Thursday and Friday collections that week)
  • Christmas Day (No collection, one-day delay for the remainder of the week; no delay if Christmas falls on the weekend)
  • New Year's Day (No collection, one-day delay for the remainder of the week; no delay if New Year's Day falls on the weekend)

We apologize for any inconveniences caused by holiday collection delays, but we appreciate your understanding and allowing for our employees to be at home with their families during these times.

While City offices may be closed, there are no delays in collection for the following holidays:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day*
  • Good Friday
  • Independence Day
  • Veterans Day

*Starting in 2022, City offices will be closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day rather than Presidents' Day.

From time to time we get questions about why our solid waste and recycling collection workers collect on certain holidays and not others. Our collection workers are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union. Holiday benefits are negotiated as part of the Union's contract with the City of Cedar Rapids.

More Collection Tips


We know how schedule interruptions can cause confusion for our customers. That's why we try our best to limit the number of times per year interruptions occur. When planning our collection schedule around the holidays, we do our best to choose to delay collection, rather than surprise customers with collection a day ahead of schedule. There may be a rare exception of unforeseen weather events or other circumstances beyond our control. But for the most part, customers can rest assured that the garbage truck won't come a day early. That's why we suggest this simple motto: when in doubt, leave it out!

If you're unsure whether an upcoming holiday will impact garbage collection that week, we suggest you set your cart out on the regularly scheduled collection day. If we didn't collect the cart, leave it out until we do — usually the next day! IMPORTANT NOTE: To ensure collection, all customers must have their carts out by 7 AM on their scheduled collection day, regardless of the time their carts are "usually" collected.

This philosophy works great for other collection events, too. Sometimes a new collection worker may be driving an unfamiliar route and errantly skip a block, or arrive earlier than normal. If your carts were missed due to a missed collection, contact the Solid Waste & Recycling division and leave your cart out until it is collected. You can report a missed collection using My CR, emailing the division or calling 319-286-5897. Carts must be set in the collection area by the 7 AM collection deadline to qualify for missed collection pickup.

When in doubt, leave it out! It's a simple rule that can save a lot of frustration with your garbage and recycling collection.


Residents have several options for disposal of their Christmas trees, including curbside collection and drop-off locations. Learn how to dispose of your holiday trees here.

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