Download trash and recycling guide
For 2020, we created an updated, downloadable version of our trash and recycling guide for Boston residents:Download the guide
Trash and recycling tips
HOW TO DISPOSE OF TRASH AND RECYCLING
- Place trash in a container with a lid or use a sturdy trash bag. If you use a barrel, it can be any size up to 96 gallons. If you use a barrel that's bigger than 32 gallons, there must be a grab bar on the barrel so that our trucks can lift it up.
- Place recycling on the curb in a City-issued, recycling cart. Contact BOS:311 to request a new recycling cart.
- Do not use small plastic and paper bags from market or convenience stores for trash or recycling on your curb.
- You can turn a trash can into a recycling bin with a sticker from 311. The bin should be smaller than 32 gallons, and needs to have a lid.
You can place trash and recycling out as early as 5 p.m. on the night before your collection day, but we urge you to place your trash out in the morning. This reduces spillage and scavenging.
Code violation TICKETS
If you don't comply with our regulations, you may receive a ticket from our Code Enforcement Division. If you have been issued a ticket in error, you can appeal the citation. Residents can report offenses to BOS:311.
Don't use City sidewalk litter barrels or solar-powered compactors to get rid of your household trash. It's illegal, and carries a fine for each day you leave your trash.
Do not place building or construction debris out for residential collection. The City will not pick it up.
Request a pickup through BOS:311 for refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, televisions (including flat screens) and laptops. Please note: you can place furniture out with your regular trash.
To learn more about what we will and won't pick up, search our trash and recycling directory.
Trash service requestsRequests
Download the Trash Day app
Never miss yard waste collection again.
With our free Trash Day app you can view a calendar for your home's collection dates, set reminders, and get notifications of schedule changes. You can also search a directory of hundreds of household items to find out the right way to dispose of them.
Leaf and Yard Waste
We pick up leaf and yard waste from April to December on scheduled days. We also hold leaf and yard waste drop-off events throughout the year.
- Place leaves and yard debris in large paper bags or open barrels labeled YARD WASTE. Do not use plastic bags.
- Tie branches with string. The maximum size for branches is three feet with a one-inch diameter. Do not put branches in barrels.
- Place barrels, bags, and branches curbside by 6 a.m.
- If you have two recycling days each week, yard waste collection is on the first recycling day of the week.
- Christmas trees are picked up during the first two weeks of January on your first recycling day and shredded for compost. The trees should be placed on the curb by 6 a.m. without ornaments or lights.
Hazardous waste drop-offs
We hold household hazardous waste drop-off days for Boston residents four times a year.
At these events, you can also recycle electronics, clothing, and textiles. Learn more about hazardous waste, and what types of waste we accept:
Due to the public health emergency, we have postponed our June hazardous waste drop-off. For future events, there are certain restrictions in place:
- You will need to stay in your car at all times during our dropoff events.
- To limit contact, we will not return containers back to you.
- All waste must be in the trunk of your car or in the bed of your truck.
- If your waste is inside your car when you arrive — instead of your trunk or the bed of your truck — you will be given the option to leave the line of cars, place your waste in the trunk or bed, and then come back through the line.
If you are a Boston resident, you can also recycle your electronics at our drop-off events. We don't take commercial material from businesses. Learn more about what we will and won't take at our events.Recycling clothing and textiles
We take everything, including pants, coats, hats, and suits. Please keep in mind: we will not take carpets, rugs, oil rags, mattresses, or wet or mildewed items. Learn more about the clothing items we take.Paper shredding
We offer paper shredding at all of our events. We will shred up to 10 copy paper size boxes or containers of your personal documents.