Frequently Asked Questions

1. What days is my garbage and recycle picked up?  
 See the Link for days and areas and days of pick-up. Recycling pick-up is done on Wednesdays. Residents living South of J Street will have recycling picked up on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. Residents living on J Street (the North and South side) will have recycle picked up on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Residents living North of J Street will have recycle picked up on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.


2. How do I pay my utility bill?

  1. Payments can be made at any time by dropping payment into the payment slot next to the main entrance door at City Hall
  2. Auto payments can be arranged by calling City Hall Staff at 641-585-3574.
  3. Payments can also be mailed to City Hall at PO Box 346, 305 N. Clark Street, Forest City, 50436. 
  4. Credit/Debit card payments are accepted online, by phone or at City Hall.


3What form of payment is used to pay utility bills?
Check, Money Orders, Cash and Credit/Debit Cards are accepted. Direct Payments from bank accounts (ACH) can be set up at City Hall. 


4.  How do I contact City Hall with a question?  
Contact City Hall by calling 641-585-3574 or by email at


5 When is City Hall Open?
Monday – Friday from 8:00 – 4:30 


6. What is the amount of my utility bill? Meters are read the middle of each month. Bills are mailed the last business day of the month. The due date is always the 20th of the month. 


7 Why is the utility bill so high? It depends on how much electricity or water has been used. In summer air conditioning and dehumidifiers contribute to higher usage. In winter, electric heat contributes to higher bills. Swimming pools, watering gardens, malfunctioning toilets or water softeners can contribute to higher water usage 


8Where can garbage bags be purchased?
 Bags can be purchase at City Hall, grocery and convenience stores. 


9. What is the cost for a dumpster, special pickup and appliance pickup?

a. Dumpster: $30.00
b. Large Item (Couch, Large Carpet Rolls): $10.77 
c. Small Item (Chair, Mattress, Box Spring, Toilet, Grill, Bed Frame, Small Carpet Rolls): $10.00 
d. Appliances: $25.00

10. When are City Council meetings? The Council meetings are held the first and third Mondays of the month. The deadline to have a topic included is the Thursday prior to the meeting by 1:00 p.m. 


11. When is burning allowed? The burning ordinance allows residents to burn April 1 – June 1, and October 1 – December 1. YARD WASTE ONLY, from noon to sundown, NOT in street/alley 

12. What is the phone number for the Winnebago County Clerk of Court? 641-585-4520 


13.  How do I sign up for emergency weather notifications?  
Hancock County Emergency Weather Notifications    
Winnebago County Emergency Weather Notifications