There is a great interest in the removal of heavy metals from aqueous media by various biomass. In this study, the potential of using live and dead cells of Variovorax paradoxus and Arthrobacter viscosus bacteria for the removal of Zn(II) were investigated for the first time. The bacteria were isolated from the ceramic industry sludge. Remaining concentrations of Zn(II) in the metal solutions after biosorption by bacteria were measured by ICP-OES. The removal of Zn(II) from aqueous solution increased with increasing pH and initial ion concentration. The maximum removal efficiency of V. paradoxus live and dead cells was calculated as 92.7 and 91.3%, respectively, whereas the maximum removal efficiency of A. viscosus live and dead cells was calculated as 89.4 and 90.8%, respectively. The experimental data was found to comply with the Freundlich isotherm model and the biosorption mechanism was expressed with the pseudo-second-order model.