Weather Changes to Trash Pickup Schedule

Because of dangerous weather conditions which are going to get worse the next couple of days, the City will not be emptying/picking up/delivering commercial or residential roll-offs or dumpsters until temperatures improve on Thursday. If you have something regularly scheduled for Wednesday it will be included with Thursday’s activity and we expect to be caught up by Friday. This all assumes the forecast is accurate and expected weather conditions do not worsen.

Wednesday’s and Thursday’s residential trash pickup will still take place – again, please be sure and have containers available for pickup by 7 a.m.

Thanks and stay in touch with DickinsonAlert and local media for weather information!

Job Opening: Administrative Assistant

The City of Spirit Lake, Iowa is seeking to fill the position of Administrative Assistant. This is a full-time position which includes the following duties:

  • Prepare payroll and payroll reporting

  • Reconcile bank and investment statements

  • Responsible for record retention and management

  • Prepare dumpster invoices

  • Collection of delinquent non-utility accounts receivable

  • Prepares bank deposits, operate cash register, customer service


High school graduate or equivalent and 5 years working experience in office environment serving the public.


Working knowledge of computers using Microsoft Word and Excel programs and a knowledge of other related office equipment. Must be thorough, accurate and detail oriented to carry out multiple tasks.

Address all communications, including current resume, to: Gregg L. Owens, City Administrator, 1803 Hill Avenue, Spirit Lake, Iowa 51360. Email address:

EOE, women, veterans and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Green Waste Site reminder

Just a reminder, as posted previously, the green waste site will remain open until Sunday, November 18 and will be closed for the season after that. Hours remain the same as recently expanded: Sundays/Saturdays 9-5 and Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-5. The last City curbside lawn waste pickup will be Friday, November 16. Temperatures are downright frigid in the upcoming forecast, especially overnight, so thank the guys for being willing to bundle up and help us keep it open until the 18th!

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Starting Sunday, November 4 the green waste site will open on Sundays at 9 a.m. for the remainder of the season. Previously announced hours for other days will remain the same. The majority of leaves around the City are down, and with the colder and wetter weather in the forecast the remainder that “intend” to come down this fall shouldn’t be far behind! The green waste site typically closes as of the Sunday before Thanksgiving (November 18) and the last Friday curbside pickup is expected to be Friday the 16th of November. However, snowstorms have interfered with the ability to offer those services at least two out of the last 4 years, so please keep an eye on the forecast and enjoy the remainder of the fall cleanup!

Click here to follow us on Facebook for the latest news and announcements. 

Green Waste Site Hours Changes

Weekday hours at the green waste site will be changing the next couple of weeks, due to darkness. The green waste site will close at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23, Thursday October 25, Tuesday, October 30 and Thursday, November 1. After that, the green waste site will close on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m.

We still have issues with people arriving early and parking/backing up traffic on the road. There is no reason to be at the green waste site any earlier than when the gate opens – please wait to go until AFTER the gate is open out of courtesy to others needing to use the road, particularly with increased agricultural activity this time of year and out of courtesy for the safety of the attendants who often have to drive around cars to try and open the gate.

Watch Facebook for our latest announcements. 

Recycling Notice!

Please note that next week’s recycling pickup will be on Thursday, July 5 instead of Wednesday, July 4. City pickup of Wednesday’s garbage will also be Thursday, July 5 along with the regular Thursday route – please remember to have containers out no later than 7:00 a.m.

Notice of Public Hearing & Letting for 2018 City of Spirit Lake Seal Coat Project

Public notice is hereby given that the City of Spirit Lake, in Dickinson County, Iowa, will meet on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at 5:30 P.M., at which time and place a public hearing will be held in the Council Chambers in the Spirit Lake City Hall located at 1803 Hill Ave., Spirit Lake, IA 51360 on the proposed plans and specifications, form of contract and estimate of cost for the 2018 City of Spirit Lake Seal Coat Project for said City. Sealed proposals will be received by the Spirit Lake City Administrator for the 2018 City of Spirit Lake Seal Coat Project until 2:00 P.M. on Monday, July 9, 2018, at the Spirit Lake City Hall, located at 1803 Hill Ave., Spirit Lake, IA 51360; at which time the bids will be publicly opened and read. Proposals will be acted on by the Spirit Lake City Council at the aforementioned public hearing or at such later time and place as may then be fixed.

Click here to read the full notice. 

Automated Trash Pickup FAQs

Who will receive the new trash containers?

Residential garbage customers of the City of Spirit Lake, in residential areas.  If a multi-family complex is using a dumpster, it will continue to use a dumpster.

When will I receive my trash container and how much will it cost?

Containers are being delivered during the week of May 29 and are free of charge, but are the property of the City of Spirit Lake.

When may I start using my new trash container?

Commencing the week of June 4, on your regular garbage pickup day. Carts need to be out no later than 7 a.m. on your regular garbage pickup day, and may be placed out the night before.

Where do I place my container?

At the curb or the end of the driveway, but not in the street.  The automated arm on the new truck needs room to “grab” the container, so the container must not be placed adjacent to or behind a parked car, or next to a utility pole or sign.

Will the sanitation department follow the same routes?

Although your pickup day is the same, the truck picks up one side of a street at a time and will travel a route that minimizes the number of times it has to turn around.  As a result, you may see your neighbor’s trash across the street collected and it could be an hour or two before you see the truck come back down your side of the street and collect yours.  Again, your pickup day is the same, but the time of collection will vary, so it is essential your cart be out no later than 7:00 a.m.

What may be placed in the container?

Any garbage that you would have been able to place in your green bag, those rules have not changed.  A list of instructions and suggestions is included with the hard card from Schaefer that will be delivered with your container.

What if I did not receive a container?

Container delivery will be completed by Friday, June 1.  If you have not received a container by then and feel you should have received one, please call City Hall at 336-1871.

City Automated Waste Collection System Ready to Launch

On Friday, May 18 the City of Spirit Lake received delivery of its new automated sanitation truck from Elliott Equipment Co. of Grimes, Iowa.  The truck will be put into use commencing the week of June 4 as the City transitions to residential automated garbage pickup.  The City Council has been studying the benefits of moving to an automated system of garbage collection since the summer of 2016, and since last summer has been working towards implementing the system in June of 2018.  The new system will involve the use of 65 gallon containers (“carts”).  The cart manufacturer, SSI Schaefer, will be delivering the carts to Spirit Lake on Tuesday, May 29 and start delivering the carts to residential solid waste customers and that process may take as little as two to three days.  Schaefer will have instructions for the use of the carts included with the cart upon delivery.  Residents will see the carts appear in front of their residence in the right of way adjacent to the curb as they are delivered, during the week they are delivered residents will still need to use their green bags.

One cart will be provided free of charge to each residential solid waste customer who presently uses the City’s green bags, which will no longer be required of customers who receive carts.  Initially, there will be no change to the days on which residential, or other, customer’s solid waste is collected.  

The City will start using the new truck for collection commencing the week of June 4.  Although the days of collection will remain the same, to use the truck efficiently the City Sanitation Department may follow different routes.  To ensure pickup of garbage, carts will need to be out and ready for collection no later than 7:00 a.m. on the day of pickup, and may be put out the night before.

Carts may be placed at the end of the resident’s driveway adjacent to the street, or in the yard adjacent to the curb. Residents should take care to make sure no vehicles or other obstructions interfere with the ability of the truck to reach the cart.

The Sanitation Department will be studying routes, time saved in collection and feedback from residents over the course of the summer months.  It will also be evaluating the preferences and needs of commercial customers and individuals who live in dwellings or apartments in the downtown commercial district who presently use green bags for solid waste collection and the system will likely be expanded later in the summer, once actual data about how the system works in practice can be evaluated.  Initially, the new system will be implemented only for the approximately 1800-1900 residential customers in residential areas of the City of Spirit Lake.