Permits and Fees


Permits may be purchased only by Tompkins County residents and businesses to dispose of all garbage and certain recyclables at the Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste Center (RSWC).

Permits can be obtained at the Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management office, online, or through the mail.

Click here for our Permits and Fees Frequently Asked Questions.

Items Needed to Obtain a Permit Sticker:

  1. A current vehicle registration. If the vehicle is registered outside of the County, then proof of Tompkins County residency (electric bill, etc.) is also required.
  2. Come to the Recycling and Materials Management office, shop online, or fill out and mail a Permit Application; AND
  3. Payment for Permit – by cash, check (made out to Tompkins County), credit account (commercial only), or accepted credit cards

Permit stickers must be placed on the vehicle’s driver side window to be valid -not the windshield.

Permit Types & Cost

*Fees updated for 2024

Type1st Vehicle Permit FeeAdditional Vehicle Permit Fee
Residential$30No charge for a second vehicle permit
Commercial – Businesses & Organizations$50$30, if purchased in same year

NOTE: All permit stickers are valid for 1 year. Permits may be revoked for non-payment of fees or failure to abide by the regulations governing disposal at the RSWC.

**If your permit has not expired and you change vehicles, you can acquire a replacement permit free of charge at the Recycling and Materials Management office.**

Hauler Licenses

Vehicle Sticker$25

NOTE: All Hauler Licenses expire on April 30th. Licenses may be revoked for non-payment of fees or failure to abide by Chapter 140 of the Tompkins County Charter and regulations governing disposal at the RSWC.

To become a licensed hauler download, print, and fill out a Hauler’s License Application and submit by mail, email, or in person to TCRMM.

Hauler Vehicle Stickers must be affixed to the driver’s side of the vehicle to be valid.

Hauler Vehicle Stickers are available for purchase at TCRMM office only.

Trash Disposal Options

A valid solid waste permit is required to purchase punch cards and coupons or pay by weight for trash disposal.

Disposal Punch Card5 punches – each punch is for one 35 lb. garbage bag/can; use for any vehicle.$15 (5 punches)
Disposal Coupons
Category 1
1 load of garbage – Sedan Vehicles: 2 and 4 door$10
Disposal Coupons
Category 2
1 load of garbage – Larger capacity vehicles: Wagon, SUV, & Mini Van$15
Trucks/Altered Load/Other/HaulerVehicle weighs in and out at the scales. 3 Tier Flat Fees
• 0-333 lbs. $15
• 334-666 lbs. $30
• 667-999 lbs. $45
• 1,000 lbs. or greater $96/ton

NOTE: Tompkins County is not responsible for loss of Disposal Punch Cards and Coupons. Prices are subject to change without notice. No refunds.

Disposal Punch Cards and Coupons can be purchased at:

  • The Recycling and Materials Management office
  • Ithaca Wegmans – customer service desk
  • Our Shop Online page

Recycling Fees

If a material has an associated fee, a permit is required.

Freon® Units $20 per unit
Fluorescent Light Bulbs and Tubes – Non-Residential $1.25-$18.42/lbs based on type
Tires (with or without rims) $4 per tire (limit 10)
Tires (with or without rims) $300 per ton (limit 25)
Yard Waste Punch CardIn bags or cans$12 (6 punches)
Yard Waste Coupon$8 per vehicle load (residential cars, pick-up trucks, and SUVs only)
Yard Waste – Commercial Loads $90 per ton ($15 minimum)


Earth Machine Compost Bin$68
Compost Bin – Base/Aerator$27
Food Scraps Transport Container6 gallon – $13
GEOBIN Compost System$30
Recycling Bin18 gallon – $11
22- 24 gallon – $14


Illegal Dumping – Civil Penalty$50 minimum
Returned Check$20 per check
Uncovered Load$10 – 1st Offense
$20 – 2nd Offense
$40 – 3rd & Additional Offenses

NOTE: All fees are subject to change.

­Permits and Fees Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to dispose of trash at the Recycling and Solid Waste Center?

First, a valid solid waste permit is required. Second, users can pay for trash disposal with punch cards, coupons, or by weight.  To obtain a permit you will need your current vehicle registration. If registration doesn’t show a Tompkins County address, a piece of mail showing a local address is also required.

What is a Solid Waste Permit used for?

A solid waste permit gives users access to drop off trash, yard waste, tires, Freon units, and other materials that have an associated fee. A valid permit also allows users to sign up for Household Hazardous Waste events.

Do I need a permit to drop off recycling?

No. Solid waste permits are required to drop off materials that have an associated fee and to participate in Household Hazardous Waste events. They are not required to drop off single stream recycling, food scraps, and other materials without associated fees.

How do I transfer my permit to a new or different vehicle?

Users can get a replacement for their valid permit free of charge. Visit the Shop Online page and select “Solid Waste Permit Replacement, or visit the Recycling and Materials Management office. The registration of the vehicle receiving the new permit is required.

How do I get a permit for a borrowed or rented vehicle?

Users with a valid solid waste permit can get a one day pass free of charge to use with a borrowed or rented vehicle.

Should I pay for my trash with a punch card, coupon, or by weight?

Punch cards are the best option for disposing of a small amount of trash in bags or cans. Punch cards are $15 and include 5 punches. Each punch allows for the disposal of one 35 pound bag or can of trash.

Coupons are for vehicle loads of trash, and cost $10 for sedan-sized vehicles (Category 1) and $15 for SUVs, vans, and other large vehicles (Category 2). This is a great option for disposing of a large amount of trash contained inside the vehicle. Pickup trucks cannot use coupons.

Paying by weight is a good option for bulky items such as mattresses and couches, or truck and trailer loads. The tiered rates and per ton fee for trash disposal are listed above.