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Trash and recycling

Trash Truck
guide

Trash and recycling

Last updated 2/14/17

Find out your trash day, learn the rules in your neighborhood, stay up to date on schedule changes, and learn how to dispose of special items.

Upcoming events

Boston Hazardous Waste Drop Off
May 6

Household hazardous waste dropoff

Recycle your clothing and textiles
May 6

Recycle your clothing and textiles

Paint and motor oil dropoff
May 13

Paint and motor oil dropoff

Paint and motor oil dropoff
Jun 17

Paint and motor oil dropoff

Trash and recycling tips

Contact: Public Works

Place trash and recycling out for collection no later than 7 a.m. on your scheduled day. Keep your neighborhood clean by securing your trash and recycling properly.

Find your collection schedule and more through our trash day app. You can mix your recyclable materials in one container, there is no need to sort or separate. 

HOW TO DISPOSE OF TRASH AND RECYCLING
  • Place trash in a container with a lid or use a sturdy trash bag.
  • Place recycling on the curb in a City-issued, large 64 gallon recycling cart or thick clear plastic bag that is 15-30 gallons in size. Contact BOS:311 to request a new recycling cart, but keep in mind they are not available until March. 
  • Do not use small plastic and paper bags from market or convenience stores for trash or recycling. 

View all guidelines

Timing

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.

GREEN TICKETS

If you don't comply with our regulations, you may receive a "green 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.

Pay green ticket citation

CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS

Do not place building or construction debris out for residential collection. The City will not pick it up. 

Bulk item pickups

Request a bulk item pick up through BOS:311 for refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, televisions (including flat screens) and laptops.

Download the Trash Day app

Contact: Public Works

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.

Yard waste bags

Leaf and Yard Waste

Contact: Public Works

We pick up leaf and yard waste from April to December on scheduled days. Leaf and yard waste will not be collected curbside on non-collection weeks. 

leaf and yard waste schedule

  • 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 7 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 without ornaments or lights.
Boston Hazardous Waste Drop Off

Hazardous waste and composting

Contact: Public Works
household hazardous waste

We hold dropoff days for Boston residents for household hazardous waste four times a year.

Learn more about hazardous waste, and what types of waste we can accept.

Composting in the City

You can compost in your backyard, or even in your apartment.

By composting, you reduce your garbage, save money, and enrich the soil. Don't have your own bin? Try a community compost bin

Tips for composting

Where the yard waste ends up.

Recycling clothing and textiles

At our recycling events, 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.

Upcoming events:

You can find more information on what we will and won't recycle on our event pages.