Frequently Asked Questions
Public Works - Frequently Asked Questions
  • Garbage, Yard Waste & Recycling
    • How; How do I; How can; How . . .?
      • Q: How do I find out which day my garbage, recycling, or yard waste is picked up?
        • A: To find out which day your garbage, recycling, or yard waste is collected or to find out about guidelines for collection, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.

        • Pickup Day by Address
      • Q: How do I find out what I can put in my blue recycling bin?
        • A: Green recycling bins are provided for the collection of:
          Newspapers Magazines Old mail Catalogs Paper of any color (not contaminated by food or waste) Materials like cereal, cracker and tissue boxes Clear glass (throw away lids) Brown paper sacks Tin/aluminum cans (labels on, lids off)#1 and #2 plastics like milk, 2 liters, laundry detergent, bleach and shampoo bottles Flattened cardboard. For additional information about recycling, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.
          Or contact the Metro Waste Authority at (515) 244-0021.

        • Metro Waste
        • What Goes in Collection Carts
      • Q: How do I dispose of yard waste?
      • Q: How do I get my Christmas tree picked up?
        • A: Christmas trees can be placed out for collection and will be picked up beginning the last week of December.
          In order to have your Christmas tree picked up you must first attach a "compost-it" sticker, make sure all tinsel is removed, and it cannot be in a plastic bag.
           
          For additional information or to purchase a sticker, contact the Metro Waste Authority at (515) 244-0021.

        • Metro Waste
    • What; What do I; What is; What . . .?
      • What can I do if sewer is backing up in my property?
        • You can report a sewer back up on your property online or by calling the Public Works 24 Hour Customer Service Center at (515) 283-4950.

        • Report a Sewer Problem
    • Where, Where do I; Where can; Where . . .?
      • Q: Where can I purchase extra trash stickers?
  • Neighborhood Management
    • Who; Who do I; Who can; Who . . .?
      • Q: Who is responsible for maintenance and snow removal on the sidewalk in front of a home or business?
        • A: Responsibility falls on the abutting property owner as stated in the Municipal Code, 102-42, "Maintenance of Sidewalks", and "Removal of Snow and Ice From Sidewalks", sections 102-12 through 102-136. Search the City Code.

        • City Code
      • Q: Who do I call about diseased, dying, or dangerous trees in the City’s Right-of-Way?
        • A: Call the City's Forestry Department at (515) 283-4194.

  • Report a Problem
    • What; What do I; What is; What . . .?
      • What can I do if sewer is backing up in my property?
        • You can report a sewer back up on your property online or by calling the Public Works 24 Hour Customer Service Center at (515) 283-4950.

        • Report a Sewer Problem
  • Request Information or Service
    • How; How do I; How can; How . . .?
      • Q: How do I find out which day my garbage, recycling, or yard waste is picked up?
        • A: To find out which day your garbage, recycling, or yard waste is collected or to find out about guidelines for collection, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.

        • Pickup Day by Address
      • Q: How do I find out what I can put in my blue recycling bin?
        • A: Green recycling bins are provided for the collection of:
          Newspapers Magazines Old mail Catalogs Paper of any color (not contaminated by food or waste) Materials like cereal, cracker and tissue boxes Clear glass (throw away lids) Brown paper sacks Tin/aluminum cans (labels on, lids off)#1 and #2 plastics like milk, 2 liters, laundry detergent, bleach and shampoo bottles Flattened cardboard. For additional information about recycling, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.
          Or contact the Metro Waste Authority at (515) 244-0021.

        • Metro Waste
        • What Goes in Collection Carts
      • Q: How do I dispose of yard waste?
      • Q: How do I set up water service in Des Moines?
        • A: Des Moines Water Works is a municipal utility providing drinking water to more than 300,000 people in the Des Moines metropolitan area.
           
          The utility is located on the banks of the Raccoon River, its primary source of untreated water. Additional water is pumped from the Des Moines River and infiltration gallery. The utility operates Water Works Park, about 1500 acres of land near downtown Des Moines. Maffitt Reservoir, located southwest of the metropolitan area, was constructed as a reserve water supply. Located on 600 acres of land, the wooded area is a popular place for fishing and hiking.
           
          Des Moines Water Works' Customer Service Department at 2201 Valley Drive is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Phones are answered 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. For assistance, call (515) 283-8700.
           

        • Des Moines Water Works
      • Q: How do I report a street or intersection that needs to be sanded?
        • A: To check on the status on ice control operations or if you want to report a street or intersection that is in need of attention, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.

        • Report Snow or Ice Issues
      • Q: How do I get my street plowed?
        • A: To check on the status on snow plowing operations or if snow operations are complete and your street is still in need of attention, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.

          When snow accumulations exceed one inch, plowing is initiated on streets in the snow route system. Designated snow routes are given first priority for snow and ice control. Clearance of snow from the snow routes normally takes from 24 to 36 hours after the snowfall ends.
           
          When snow accumulations exceed four inches, residential plowing will begin after the completion of snow route plowing. Clearance of snow from the residential streets normally takes an additional 36 hours. If you live on or near a cul-de-sac or dead end, special equipment is used to plow these areas.

        • Report a Street Plow Request
      • Q: How do I report a dead animal?
        • A: To report a dead animal, please call the Animal Control Unit at (515) 242-2720 during regular business hours. (M-F 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
           
          After hours or on weekends, call the Des Moines Police Department Non-Emergency Dispatch line at (515) 283-4811.

    • Who; Who do I; Who can; Who . . .?
      • Q: Who do I call to report a sidewalk that isn't shoveled?
        • A: To report a walkway where snow or ice has not been property removed, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.

          To help ensure that sidewalks are safe during the winter, City ordinance requires residents to remove snow and ice from sidewalks within 48 hours following the end of the snowfall. Property owners who do not comply are subject to a civil citation.

        • Report a Sidewalk needing Repair
  • Streets and Sidewalks
    • Who; Who do I; Who can; Who . . .?
      • Q: Who do I call to report a sidewalk that isn't shoveled?
        • A: To report a walkway where snow or ice has not been property removed, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.

          To help ensure that sidewalks are safe during the winter, City ordinance requires residents to remove snow and ice from sidewalks within 48 hours following the end of the snowfall. Property owners who do not comply are subject to a civil citation.

        • Report a Sidewalk needing Repair
    • How; How do I; How can; How . . .?
      • Q: How do I report a street or intersection that needs to be sanded?
        • A: To check on the status on ice control operations or if you want to report a street or intersection that is in need of attention, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.

        • Report Snow or Ice Issues
      • Q: How do I get my street plowed?
        • A: To check on the status on snow plowing operations or if snow operations are complete and your street is still in need of attention, call the Public Works 24-hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950.

          When snow accumulations exceed one inch, plowing is initiated on streets in the snow route system. Designated snow routes are given first priority for snow and ice control. Clearance of snow from the snow routes normally takes from 24 to 36 hours after the snowfall ends.
           
          When snow accumulations exceed four inches, residential plowing will begin after the completion of snow route plowing. Clearance of snow from the residential streets normally takes an additional 36 hours. If you live on or near a cul-de-sac or dead end, special equipment is used to plow these areas.

        • Report a Street Plow Request
      • Q: How do I report a dead animal?
        • A: To report a dead animal, please call the Animal Control Unit at (515) 242-2720 during regular business hours. (M-F 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
           
          After hours or on weekends, call the Des Moines Police Department Non-Emergency Dispatch line at (515) 283-4811.

      • Q: How do I report a pothole?
        • A: Call the Public Works 24-Hour Call Center at (515) 283-4950 or report online using the Pothole Report Form. To more accurately find the pothole needing repair we need to have the intersection or street, block number, and lane direction.

        • Pothole Report Form
      • Q: How do I report a broken concrete curb or sidewalk?
    • What; What do I; What is; What . . .?
      • Q: What is the street sweeping schedule?
        • A: There is not a formal schedule. We sweep the entire cities paved surfaces a minimum of four times each year.