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Trash and Recycling in Large Residential Buildings

Buildings are considered large residential buildings if they have more than six (6) units. Learn how you can set up zero waste opportunities in your building!

Since January 1, 2003, owners of buildings with more than six (6) residential units have been required by law to provide residents with recycling programs through the purchase, maintenance, and set-out of wheeled carts. These requirements are mandated by the Ordinance Regarding Access to City Recycling Programs for Large Residential Buildings (CBC7-13A).

The City offers curbside trash and recycling collection service to qualifying residential buildings. They are serviced together and picked up in separate trucks. The City of Boston is dedicated to reducing our waste. You can help by participating in our waste reduction programs and by managing your waste responsibly. Remember to think about if an item can be reused, recycled, or donated before you throw it in the trash.

Program Responsibilities

Program Responsibilities

The City of Boston offers curbside trash and recycling collection service to qualifying residential buildings. It is recommended that large residential buildings have at least two trash and recycling collection services a week. If your property is in a neighborhood that only receives collection services once a week, this service should be supplemented by a private hauler.  

Receptacle qualifications:
  • Building owners/managers need to buy trash receptacles that range in size from 64-gallons to 2-cubic-yards. All buildings with more than 12 units must use 2-cubic-yard receptacles for trash.

  • All receptacles must have lids. 

  • All receptacles must be made of metal or durable plastic.

  • All receptacles must be serviced regularly.

  • 2-cubic-yard receptacles must be rear loading. 

  • Receptacles smaller than 2-cubic-yards must have lift pocket and lift bar. 

  • Receptacles must not overfill, this leads to spillage and critters.

  • Receptacles must not exceed 2-cubic yards. Any building that has trash receptacles greater than 2-cubic yards are required to use a private hauling service.

think before you trash
  • Before you choose to throw waste in the trash, find out if it can be recycled, reused, or donated.
  • To learn more about the City’s waste reduction programs, visit our Zero Waste page
  • For the safety of our employees, please do not place medical waste in your trash. Click here to learn where to safely dispose of syringes and needles.
  • The City of Boston does not collect construction debris, automotive parts, plumbing fixtures, fences, water heaters, or fire debris. Please find a local private hauler to collect these items. 
PICKUP OF FURNITURE
  • Furniture can be put out with your normal curbside trash and recycling on your scheduled collection day.
  • Make sure furniture is neatly placed next to trash receptacles.
code violation tickets
  • If you don’t comply with our regulations, you may receive a ticket from our Code Enforcement Division
  • Residents can report offenses to Boston 311.

Appeal a code violation

pay a code violation 

NEED HELP? FILL OUT A SERVICE REQUEST.

The City of Boston offers curbside trash and recycling collection service to qualifying residential buildings. It is recommended that large residential buildings have at least two trash and recycling collection services a week. If your property is in a neighborhood that only receives collection services once a week, this service should be supplemented by a private hauler.

Cart qualifications
  • You need to buy blue recycling carts that range in size from 64 to 96 gallons. You can mix paper, bottles, cans, and plastic containers in the carts. 
  • All carts must have lids, lift pocket, and lift bar.
  • All carts must be serviced regularly.
  • Carts must not be overfilled. This leads to spillage and code violations.
  • Recommended number of 96-gallon carts for purchase
    • 7-10 units: 3 carts
    • 11-15 units: 4 carts
    • 16-20 units: 5 carts
    • 21-25 units: 6 carts, etc, adding 1 more cart for every 5 units.
  • Some cart distributors:
    • All Brands Corporation 
      • Phone: 617-254-6007
      • Address: 319 Washington St Brighton, MA 02135 
    • AJ Equipment
      • Phone: 1-800-354-5623
      • Address: 490 Centre Ave Abington, MA 02351 
    • Select Home Depot Stores
      • South Bay
        • Phone: 617-442-6110
        • Address: 5 Allstate Road Boston, MA 02125
      • West Roxbury
        • Phone: 617-327-5000
        • Address: 1213 VWF Parkway West Roxbury, MA 02132
Recycle right!
  • Use the waste sorting tool on our Trash Day app to learn what you can and can’t recycle.
  • Flatten cardboard boxes to save room in your bin!
  • Plastic shopping bags and black or white trash bags cannot be recycled.
GROUNDS FOR REJECTION
  • Recycling will be rejected if contamination from garbage is found in recycling carts, or failure to put out recycling carts. Garbage pickup may be suspended until recycling issues are corrected. 
  • You may opt out of these requirements by purchasing private waste collection services. 
code violation tickets
  • If you don’t comply with our regulations, you may receive a ticket from our Code Enforcement Division. 
  • Residents can report offenses to Boston 311.

appeal a code violation

pay a code violation

NEED HELP? FILL OUT A SERVICE REQUEST.
  • Building owners and managers are responsible for educating their tenants on their responsibilities as residents. 
  • Affix recycling guides within close proximity to carts to help reduce the risk of contamination.
  • Tell new tenants to download the Trash Day App for collection day reminders and to use the waste sorting tool.
  • Trash and recycling must be curbside by 6am on collection day. We will not pick-up on private property. 

  • Wait until after 5 p.m. the evening before your collection day to bring containers curbside to avoid spillage and code violations.

  • Trash receptacles and recycling carts must not block pedestrian pathways or active roadways.

  • Take trash receptacles and recycling carts off the curb as soon as possible after pickup.

  • You are responsible for keeping trash receptacles and recycling carts maintained, broken containers must be replaced.

  • All trash materials must be bagged correctly in 2 ply or .9 millimeter or greater plastic material.

  • Kitchen bags, grocery bags, or cardboard boxes cannot be used as trash bags.

  • If the number of carts is not enough to contain the building's recycling, you must provide an adequate number.

  • You must get approval if you plan on adding any additional trash receptacles or recycling carts to your building. Send an email to get approval. 

Trash and Recycling Collection Services Request

If you are interested in receiving trash and recycling collection services for your large residential building, please fill out the form below. Make sure you have read the program responsibilities before completing this form. 

trash and recycling for large residential building request

Mattress Recycling

Recycling mattresses is a state (Department of Environmental Protection) requirement as of November 1, 2022. The City of Boston does not collect mattresses for buildings with more than six (6) units. To dispose of a mattress, you need to contact a mattress recycling hauler.

Here are some local mattress recyclers:

Location Address Phone Collection Type Notes:
Casa Blanca Services Inc.

82 Herbert St. Framingham, MA 01702

4 Bennett St. Everett, MA 02149

508-271-5655 Pick-up

Use the form on their website to schedule pick-up service

HandUp Mattress Recycling & Upcycling 127 Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02744 774-271-8744 Pick-up, drop-off Drop-off option available at both locations for $35 per mattress or box spring. Learn more about their curbside mattress pick-up here.
Classic Cleanouts   781-558-2626 Pick-up Visit their website for a free quote.
Green Mattress 144 Field Street, Brockton, MA 02302 781-720-9855  Pick-up, drop-off Drop-offs can be made directly at their Brockton facility. Schedule curbside pick-up here
Raw Material Recovery Corp. 461 West Broadway, Gardner, MA 01440 978-730-8266 Drop-off Drop-off center open to the public. View their monthly price sheet
Tough Stuff Recycling

145 Authority Drive, Fitchburg MA 01420

978-307-4114 Pick-up, drop-off

Commercial and residential curbside pick-up service. Pick-up costs $75 per mattress or box spring. Drop-off costs $25 per mattress or box spring, must show proof of Boston residency or business.  Click here to schedule online.

Hotel and College cleanout services.  

Are you a mattress hauler who services large residential buildings? Email us and we will post your service!  

You can search for more local mattress recycling haulers using the Beyond the Bin search tool.

Keep in mind!

The City of Boston provides many additional ways to help you reduce your waste! Before throwing something away, find out if it can be recycled, reused, or donated.

COMPOST YOUR FOOD WASTE
  • The City of Boston does not currently collect curbside food waste for buildings with more than six units.
  • Project Oscar is Boston's 24-hour community compost pilot program. Find a drop-off location where you can bring your food scraps!
  • Here are some local compost haulers who service large residential buildings:
CLOTHES AREN'T TRASH
  • As of November 1, 2022 and in compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s policy the City of Boston does not accept clothing and textiles in curbside trash. 
  • Donate your clothing and textiles at one of the City's drop-off locations or by scheduling an appointment for curbside textile collection. 
CALL 311 FOR SPECIAL ITEM COLLECTION
  • If your building receives trash and recycling collection service from the City, we will collect your special items with a scheduled appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 311.
  • Special Items: Fridges (Doors must be removed), Televisions, Ice makers, Laptops, Air conditioners, TV Monitors, Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers
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