Garbage disposal in Cities Skylines

In today’s special, we will take a closer look at garbage disposal in Cities Skylines. If you have a “vanilla” game, just build a few landfill sites. However, if you have the Sunset Harbor DLC, you can afford to be more “creative” and handle the garbage with grace!

How do I manage garbage in my cities?

The garbage always comes after the first milestone is reached. In my cities, I usually wait for the garbage can icons to appear above buildings. When you see these icons, it means that people’s bins are full and the buildings are waiting for garbage collection…

As the picture shows, the buildings have problems with garbage

…if you click on the detail of your Factories > Garbage, you will see that each building has its own status with bins. If the garbage is not collected in time, buildings can be abandoned. So I usually wait for the game to look like this…

Problems with garbage on a map

…or similarly in residential zones…

Problems with garbage in residential zones

…after the first problem like this occurs, I build the first Landfill sites. In my city, it only takes one landfill site to reach the Big Town milestone. Landfill sites are based on the Incineration Plant that processes the trash and produces some energy from it. Thanks to that, the landfill sites can increase my city’s electricity production.

In the late game I always have some landfill sites to collect garbage. If possible, I take the garbage to the Incineration Plant where it is burned.

Where to build landfill sites?

Choosing the right landfill site place is very important. In my first games, I was used to building them in industrial zones, however, as the article on criteria for expansion of industrial zones shows, I now know that pollution is a negative factor. Is it pollution that can negatively affect the upgrading process, and Landfill sites produce large amounts of pollution…

Landfill site

… because of that, I decided to build it carefully far away from other zones. In the image below, you can see that the “negative” purple circle (indicating previously mentioned pollution) shows that it can be problematic for some buildings in the vicinity. At an advanced stage of the game, I wouldn’t chose this place.

Where I build landfill sites

About garbage processing in Cities Skylines

In a “vanilla” game, you must combine the Landfill site and the Incineration Plant which burns collected waste. In short, you must process the garbage to remove it from your city. If you don’t want to burn your waste, then you must build more and more Landfill sites. Both ways (storing/burning) produce pollution but it solves your problems with garbage at the same time…

Detailed garbage stats

… if you have the Sunset Harbor DLC, you can use more detailed garbage processing features such as Waste Processing Complex and Waste Transfer Facility. These can’t collect waste from buildings/zones but on the other hand, they can collect waste from the previously mentioned Landfill sites and process it.

That means that you can have a few Landfill sites (which will collect waste and generate some small pollution) or you can build Waste Processing Complex. This will remove the waste in a clear way.

Cost per processing unit in Cities Skylines

If you have all the Cities Skylines DLCs, there is a comparison of the methods you can use. As the table below shows, you can compare the price, processing capacity and cost per processing unit.

Building nameCost (₡)Processing / weekCost per processing unit
Eco-Friendly Incinerator Plant50 00048 000 units1,041 ₡ per unit
Incineration Plant30 00048 000 units0,625 ₡ per unit
Recycling Center16 00024 000 units0,666 ₡ per unit
Ultimate Recycling Plant750 000480 000 units1,562 ₡ per unit
Waste Disposal Unit30 00048 000 units0,625 ₡ per unit
Waste Processing Complex100 000192 000 units0,520 ₡ per unit

The best cost per process unit is around 0,520 ₡ for one Waste Processing Complex. That’s why I recommend you build these waste processing units.

How to burn waste collected in Landfill sites?

Every landfill site has a maximum capacity of 8 000 000 units. And after you reach the maximum you will burn collected waste. When you see an icon that the Landfill site is full you must click on the building and select the emptying option.

Where to click to empty waste from the Landfill site

Trucks will then drive along to your Incineration Plant, where the waste will be burned.

Is recycle centre worth it?

In case you have the Green Cities DLC, you can build a recycling centre that processes 24 000 units per week and which will cost you ₡16 000. The efficiency of this building is ₡0,66 per one processing unit.

As you can see above, I have a city that produces 30 500 units / week in the early stages of the game. For this reason, the recycling centre is unable to solve the garbage problem once it is operating on its own.

The recycling centre in detail
It has 15 trucks for collecting waste
About article
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I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!