Frequently Asked Questions


Q: When should I put my garbage by the curb?
A: Crews start routes promptly at 7:00 a.m. We urge customers to place their garbage by the curb the night before your scheduled pick-up day. You can put it out in the mornings, but keep in mind the garbage and recycling must be out by 7:00 a.m. to ensure that it gets picked up. Our employees strive to get everyone’s garbage. It is extremely rare that a customer’s garbage or recyclables gets missed if they have it out before 7:00 a.m.

Q: What day is the recycling picked up?
A: Recycling is picked up the same day as your garbage but it is every other week.

Q: What day do they pick up bulky items?
A: We pick up bulky items the same day that we pick up the garbage; however it is a different truck. We ask that you put bulky items out no sooner than the day before, but no later than 7:00 a.m. on your scheduled day.

Q: What if I need another roll-out trash cart?
A: First you will need to go to Consumer Billing (303 West Church St.) and pay a one time fee of $55. Consumer Billing will then call Public Works to inform us to bring you a cart.

Q: What if my roll out trash cart gets stolen?
A: First you will need to go to the Police Department and fill out a police report for the stolen cart. Then bring a copy of the police report to Public Works. We will assign you a new roll out cart.

Q: What day does the City pick up leaves and limbs?
A: There is not a specific day as we are on a route system. As soon as the trucks get through the route, we start all over. Most of the time this will be once a week, but during peak seasons, it could take longer to finish the route.

Q: Will the City pick up trees that have been cut down?
A: If a tree has fallen because of a storm, the City will pick up the tree. However, if a customer cuts down a tree, the City will not pick up cut trees.

Animal Control

Q: Who picks up the dead animals?
A: Animal Control does NOT pick up dead animals. That is the responsibility of the Sanitation Department. We can only pick up dead animals if they are on or close to the road. We do not go on private property.

Water Distribution/Sewer Collection

Q: What if I have an emergency with my water, sewer or electric after hours?
A: Call the 911 center only if you have an emergency after 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or on the weekends. The Police Department will contact the appropriate on-call personnel.

Q: What if I have good water pressure on one side of the house, but not the other side of the house?
A: You need to call a plumber. The City supplies water to the meter. If you are getting plenty of water from any one of your faucets, we are supplying plenty of water through the meter. You may have a busted water line or a clogged faucet.

Q: What procedure should I follow if my sewer is backed up?
A: First, you should look outside to see if you have a clean out (a PVC pipe sticking out of the ground usually close to the road). The top could have been buried under the ground over time so you may have to search for it. If you have a clean out, take the top off and look inside. If it is full of water, it is a City problem and you need to call Public Works to take care of it. If there is no water in the clean out, your sewer is stopped up somewhere close to your house. You will need to call a plumber. If you do not have a clean out you need to call a plumber to install one for you. This is how the City gets into the lines to clean them out.

Q: How do I know if I am hooked up to City sewer?
A: First, find your clean out (a PVC pipe sticking out of the ground close to the road). The top could have been buried under the ground over time so you may have to search for it. Take the top off the clean out and have someone flush a toilet. If you hear water running through the bottom of the clean out, you are on City sewer.


Q: What do I do if my electrical line and box have been torn from my house?
A: Call Public Works and we will come out and cut off the service. You will need an electrician to replace the box. Once it has been inspected by Scotland County Inspections Department, we will come out and hook the power back up.

Q: What if I have power in only part of my house?
A: Call Public Works and we will send someone out to check your service.

Q: I’m in the City limits, why can’t the City repair my area and or street light if I have power with another company?
A: Although you are in the City limits, the City cannot repair area or street lights owned by another power company. If you pay your electric bill to another company, then that company has the authorization to repair a street light or area light. The City will, however, call the power company if you have the pole identification number from the pole for them to repair the light.

Ditch Cleaning/Right-Of-Ways

Q: My ditch will not drain and or my driveway tile is stopped up. What should I do?
A: We will check your driveway tile and if it needs cleaning, we will do so. We will also make improvements to the ditch so that it will drain better.

Q: How often does the City clean big ditches?
A: We strive to clean the ditches throughout the City at least once a year but it is not guaranteed that all ditches will get cleaned. If you have vegetative growth near a ditch then you have the responsibility to keep the brush cut down in between the times the City cleans the ditch.

Q: If I call Public Works to report the grass is high next door why can’t the City cut it right away?
A: We have procedures to follow that protect the City and the property owner. We will inspect the property and send a certified letter to the property owner. The property owner has 10 days to respond. If they do not respond we will cut the lot and send them a bill.

Q: Can I get dirt or mulch from the City?
A: We do not give away dirt; however, we do have plenty of mulch that is free. If you would like to come get mulch, we ask that you call Public Works in advance. We do not deliver. We purchase the dirt that we use to repair right-of-ways, and complete other projects. If you need dirt to build up your right-of-way, call Public Works and someone from the Street Department will come out and determine what is needed. If you need dirt for your driveway or other private property, you will need to purchase it from another company. We do not sell the dirt we have.

Q: What if I need to dig in my yard or close to the road?
A: First you need to call Public Works. We will come out (free of charge) and locate any of our lines that may be in the path of your digging. This will include water, sewer, storm drains, and electric lines. The next thing you need to do is call the North Carolina One Call Center by dialing 811 on your home phone. They will send out the other utility companies such as Progress Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, Time Warner, and AT&T to mark their lines. Although it may take up to 48 hours for all the companies to come locate their lines, it could save you a lot of money in the long run. Hitting utility lines can be very costly and very dangerous.