Garbage Service Information and Frequently Asked Questions
In 2008, the City of Sparks negotiated and executed a franchise agreement for the collection and disposal of garbage within City limits. This franchise is specific to "garbage" as well as the residential curbside recycling program, and applies to all residential households as well as commercial and industrial businesses that generate "garbage."
Specific rules regarding garbage collection can be found within the Sparks Municipal Code TITLE 7 as well as the executed Franchise Agreement and associated "Exhibit B" and "Exhibit C." Current collection rates ("Exhibit A") for residential and business accounts may be found here. (revised February 1, 2016)
Questions or concerns regarding new service, changes to existing service or service problems should be directed to Waste Management at 775-329-8822 from 8AM - 5PM, Monday - Friday. Additional online resources from Waste Management, specific to the City of Sparks franchise agreement may be found here.
The City of Sparks is available to assist with any questions concerning the Municipal Code requirements or the franchise agreement itself. These calls can be made to 775-353-2273.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Am I required to have garbage service at my home or business?
- Who do we need to use for garbage service?
- Are there any other options for my trash collection?
- What about recycling?
- What time do I need to have my trash cart out?
- Are there service delays for holidays?
- Can I use my own trash can?
- What do I do if all of my trash won't fit in my cart?
- What should I do with bulky items or appliances that I want to dispose of?
- What do I do with computer monitors or televisions that I need to throw out?
- How do I safely dispose of old car batteries, used motor oil or antifreeze?
- How do I safely dispose of house paint?
Am I required to have garbage service at my home or business?
Yes. Per Section 7.12.030 of the Sparks Municipal Code, "All persons residing in the city in a single-family dwelling, all owners or managers of multiple-family dwellings, all business establishments, and all public buildings shall subscribe to the collection, hauling and disposal of solid waste."
Who do we need to use for garbage service?
The City of Sparks holds a franchise agreement with Sparks Sanitation which is a company owned and operated by Waste Management. Waste Management is the only company permitted by the Washoe County Health Department to haul "garbage" within the City of Sparks. "Garbage" is legally defined as a specific type of waste and is generated by all households as well as some classifications of business and industrial customers. Generally speaking, "garbage" includes waste matter such as food that naturally degrades quickly, causing concerns over odors and public health. Any container that includes any food wastes or containers that once held food for sale classifies the entire container as garbage.
Are there any other options for my trash collection?
Not for regular residential or commercial/industrial garbage service. Waste Management is the only company locally licensed to haul "garbage." Businesses that generate other types of solid waste "trash" or other dry waste not classified as "garbage") have the option of using Waste Management or other licensed companies that collect, haul and dispose of those solid wastes. The rates for collection of materials other than"garbage" are not regulated by any franchise agreement and may change as market conditions demand. Businesses that choose providers for their "non-garbage" wastes will still be required to maintain some level of service with Waste Management for what garbage is produced at their address and separate their "garbage" from the other wastes. Residential customers needing drop-box service connected to construction, demolition or high-volume trash removal may also "shop the market" as long as "garbage" is not placed in the rented container.
Residential curbside recycling is included in the collection rate for all residential customers whether the service is used or not. While the service is optional, the fee cannot be separated or removed from the residential bill. Commercial and industrial recycling from businesses is not included in the current franchise agreement. Businesses that source separate their recyclable materials for recycling may contract with a vendor of their choice for hauling and processing of materials just as they can with other dry wastes. If recyclable materials are co-mingled with"garbage" for processing, the entire load is considered "garbage" (per the Washoe County Health Department) and would therefore need to be processed by the franchisee.
What time do I need to have my trash cart out?
All containers must be curbside on your scheduled service day by 7:00 a.m.
Are there service delays for holidays?
Waste Management operates residential routes Monday through Friday and work all holidays, including Christmas. The customer service center is closed on New Year's Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Nevada Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Can I use my own trash can?
No. The rate for residential service includes the rental of the 96-gallon or 64-gallon container for garbage service. These cans are standardized and meet the rugged requirements associated with the heavy machinery that automatically picks up your garbage. If a can is damaged or needs to be replaced for reasons not caused by the homeowner, it will be replaced by Waste Management. Waste Management and the City of Sparks are not liable for damage to privately owned residential containers that might be used for additional trash.
What do I do if all of my trash won't fit in my cart?
Starting in February 2016, all trash and recyclables must be placed in Waste Management carts. Excess waste contained in 32-gallon bag, box or bundle (not to exceed 3' x 3' x 3' or 50 pounds) can be placed at the curb for collection, using one of the 20 Excess Waste Stickers mailed annually in January. A sticker must accompany each 32-gallon bag, box or bundle. In most cases, proper use of the single-stream recycling program will provide plenty of space for recycling and trash.
What should I do with bulky items or appliances that I want to dispose of?
The Lockwood Landfill, located in Lockwood, off I-80 at Mustang exit 23, accepts bulky items, such as mattresses and sofas, from the residential consumer for free at any time during normal business hours,
(7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday).
The landfill also accepts recyclable items for free, including white metals such as washers and dryers and other metal appliances that do not contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFC).
Refrigerators may be disposed of for free, however please note that there is a charge for CFC removal. These options for free disposal do not apply to commercial customers. Residents should keep in mind that the landfill and transfer stations charge by the rated capacity of a vehicle, so you are always welcome and encouraged to bring a full load.
What do I do with computer monitors or televisions that I need to throw out?
The Lockwood Landfill/Transfer Stations will take one computer monitor or television per residential customer at posted rates.
How do I safely dispose of old car batteries, used motor oil or antifreeze?
Residents may bring these items to the Lockwood Landfill or Reno/Stead transfer stations. The Lockwood Landfill accepts for free the following from each residential customer: up to two automotive batteries; up to 10 quarts of used, uncontaminated motor oil; and up to three gallons of antifreeze.
The transfer stations accept for free the following from each residential customer: up to two automotive batteries; up to five quarts of used, uncontaminated motor oil; and up to two gallons of antifreeze. Residents are urged to use proper containers when transporting any of these items.
How do I safely dispose of house paint?
Water-based house paint is considered hazardous material when wet, but can be put into your normal garbage cart if the paint container lids are taken off and the paint is dried out, or if you can solidify the material with dirt or kitty litter.