Cities Skylines Garbage Disposal Guide – Landfills, Sewers, Incinerators, Traffic Issues

Garbage disposal in Cities Skylines appears to be a much bigger issue than it is in real life. Perhaps it’s done to create global awareness of how important a proper garbage disposal system is to a society, but whatever the reasons behind it are is irrelevant.

In order to tackle this troublesome issue, you’ll need to have a good know how of the service buildings that take care of garbage disposal in the game, what their purposes are, and how you can get the healthiest and best output out of them.

For more help on Cities Skylines, read our Transportation System, Best Power Plants and Pollution Control Guide.

Cities Skylines Garbage Disposal

We have got the tips for you to do that in this guide. First up, let’s take a look at the most basic garbage building: the Landfills.

Landfills are basically large areas of land where you will be able to toss garbage out. However, they come in the form of a City Service ‘building’, and are the most basic garbage disposal buildings in the game.

Each Landfill will have its own number of garbage trucks that will go around to regions which are connected to the landfill via roads, collect garbage, come back, and dump it into the landfill.


However, you have to be very careful with landfills, since they have a limited capacity.

Once they are filled up, landfills can be emptied out. This consumes a surprisingly large amount of time, so you might want to consider emptying them when they are 80% full instead of 100%.

Landfills generally have a very low upkeep cost. However, they produce a lot of ground pollution, reduce the value of the land where they are placed, and can cause sickness to citizens living near them.

Incinerators are advanced garbage disposal buildings that have a dual purpose. Firstly, the act as your regular garbage disposal service building, dispatching garbage trucks to areas they are connected to.

However, instead of accumulating the garbage, Incinerators will burn it to produce electricity. Pretty handy, right? The downside to this is that Incinerators produce a lot of noise and air pollution, which means you’ll have to place them far away from the main city.

Also, Incinerators tend to have a fewer number of trucks as compared to landfills, and a much higher upkeep cost. Despite these downsides, placing a few Incinerators in your city will almost completely get rid of the garbage issues, which is an annoyingly serious problem in Cities Skylines.

You should only replace landfills with Incinerators only when your population reaches around 20,000 and have a profit of more than $15,000. This way, you’ll be able to utilize the upkeep cost of the Incinerators, and have enough garbage to produce a decent amount of electricity from these buildings.

Traffic Issues
A major problem in Cities Skylines with garbage trucks and other service buildings is traffic.

If you do not manage your roads properly, there will be major traffic jams to address. Garbage Disposal trucks will face issues as well if your roads are not designed well.

The best technique to tackle this issue is to create a six-lane, two-way ring road that travels around your main city and also your industrial zones. After that, connect these two ring roads to each other, and connect the industrial zone separately to the highway (for industrial trucks), and the city separately to the highway as well.

This is going to be an expensive investment, but it will pay off a great deal later on when your population rises.

The most important part comes next: connect an isolated two-lane, two-way road to your main city’s ring road, and one to your industrial zone’s ring road. These roads should be far away from the main regions, because it is here you will be placing your landfills and incinerators.

This way, your city will be isolated from the garbage’s land and air pollution, and your trucks will have easy access to various parts of your city through the ring road. As a result, they won’t get mixed up with ambulances, police vehicles, or any other service vehicle in the game.

Placement of Garbage Disposal Buildings
Sometimes you’ll be completely out of options, in which case you’ll have to place your landfills and incinerators next to your residential buildings. This is a very bad idea.

Instead, you should choose to make the sacrifice of bulldozing a building or two to make an extended road that runs out of the city, and place your garbage disposal buildings there.

This is because landfills will create a lot of ground pollution, and incinerators will create a lot of air pollution.

Both of these near cities will make your citizens extremely sick. In my first playthrough, with a population of 75,000, even 5 hospitals in a single district wasn’t enough to keep my citizens healthy because of this reason.

Also, your garbage disposal trucks should have a clear way to and from the landfills/incinerators. If these buildings are within your city boundaries, there will be massive traffic jams right in front of them.

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...