The enticement and welcome portal for Alachua County, Florida

Welcome Guide

    Your local source for everything Gainesville, Florida


    Q: Where will my children attend school?

    A: New residents should first call the School Zoning Office at (352) 955-7700 to find out. Visit the website of the Alachua County School Board for information about Magnet Programs, transportation, school lunches, and many other topics.  See our page on educational options in Alachua County.

    FYI: Alachua County has 30,000 students in 44 schools and centers, all accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The district has the highest percentage (60%) of instructional staff with advanced degrees in Florida.


    Q: How do I arrange for utility hookups such as water, power, and natural gas?

    A: If you are in the city limits of Gainesville or the City of Alachua, GRU (Gainesville Regional Utilities) provides electric, gas, water, wastewater, trash and recycling. Call GRU at (352) 334-3434 or visit the GRU website.  Towns and rural areas in Alachua and surrounding counties are serviced by GRU, Clay Electric or Progress Energy.

    Q: How do I get trash and recycling pick-up?

    A: If you are in the city limits of Gainesville or in the Curbside Collection Areas of Alachua County, the City of Gainesville handles curbside trash and recycling pick-ups on a one-day per week basis. GRU customers will be billed for this service on your utility bill. You must use the wheeled trash receptacles provided. You have a choice of four sizes, and you pay monthly according to the size you select. You may not put out more trash than fits in your container, but you can buy additional bags to put out extra trash. There is also pickup of yard waste if it’s cut into manageable lengths and bundles.

    RECYCLING: A wide variety of items can be recycled and should be sorted into the orange and blue bins that GRU provides to each residence: plastic, glass, cans, batteries, aerosol cans, all types of paper and cardboard. Learn more about residential curbside pickup: City of Gainesville | Alachua County. Learn more about recycling in our small cities and towns.

    If you live in an apartment complex, trash pickup and recycling are provided by the apartment management.

    If you live in rural areas of the county, you must take your trash and recycling to a Rural Collection Center.  Unauthorized dumping of trash is illegal and environmentally hazardous.

    If you are outside the city limits of Gainesville, call Alachua County Office of Waste Collection (352) 338-3233.

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    Q: How do I safely dispose of hazardous waste such as paint, chemicals and computers?

    A: Alachua County has a vigorous program to safely dispose of hazardous waste and ethically recycle all electrical and computer components without shipping any items to illegal or overseas dump sites. Please visit the website for disposal methods and sites.


    Q: How do I arrange for my digital and communications needs?

    A: Cox Communications (888) 269-9693. Visit Website
    BellSouth (888) 757-6500 or, if out of region, (800) 753-0710. Visit Website
    Dish Network, (866) 942-9155. Visit Website
    AT&T. Visit Website
    Comcast (866) 774-3128. Visit Website

    Mobile phone service can be arranged through all national and state carriers.

  • PETS

    Q: I’ve got a dog and a cat. Any special rules for them?

    A: They need to be licensed and in order to be licensed, you must have proof of rabies vaccination. Contact the Department of Animal Services at (352) 955-2333 or visit   Visit our page about other resources for pet owners.


    Q: How do I get a Florida driver’s license and a license plate for my car?

    A: Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles advises new residents to:  (1) Obtain your Florida driver’s license; (2) Then obtain automobile insurance from a company licensed to do business in Florida; and finally (3) Title and register your vehicle (obtain Florida license plate). Call (352) 955-2111 or visit for Driver’s License and Motor Vehicle Service Center phone numbers and office locations.


    Q: How can I find a home to rent or own?

    A: There are many reputable companies that can assist in your search for a home, whether you want to own or rent. To get started, read our overview of different Towns and Neighborhoods. The Gainesville/Alachua County Association of Realtors® (GACAR) provides many helpful tools to get you started, including a list of agents.


    Q: If I have a medical emergency, a fire breaks out, or someone is breaking in, what do I do?

    A: Dial 911 in any of those situations, and have your new address ready. The entire county is served by the Alachua County Consolidated Communications Center next to the Sheriff’s Office at 2621 SE Hawthorne Road. Response will come from the appropriate city or county fire rescue or law enforcement unit.

    You can visit them online, too, for non-emergency information:
    Gainesville Fire Rescue at
    Alachua County Fire Rescue at
    Gainesville Police Department at
    Alachua County Sheriff’s Office at