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The Sanitation Division provides weekly residential curbside trash collection for residential dwellings of six units or less. Each single-family residential unit is limited to a maximum of four 32‐gallon containers or eight 32‐gallon trash bags. The resident is responsible for providing the collection containers; there are no City provided containers. Trash collection is performed with public employees using rear‐load compactors. Approximately 530,000 residential units are served.

The more you know about the DOs and DON’Ts of trash collection and recycling – as well as practical information, like collection schedules – the easier it is to do your part to keep our city clean. Here’s a list of important information that can help: 

Trash and Recycling Collection Day


Trash and Recycling Setout Times

Collection Schedule

October 1 through March 31: Trash and recycling should be set out between 5:00 PM the night before and 7:00 AM the day of collection at your regularly authorized pickup site.

April 1 to September 30: Trash and recycling should be set out between 7:00 PM the night before and 7:00 AM the day of collection at your regularly authorized pickup site.

Vine St. to Bainbridge St., from Schuylkill River to Delaware River

October 1 through March 31: Trash and recycling should be set out between 6:00 PM the night before and 6:00 AM the day of collection at your regularly authorized pickup site.

April 1 through September 30: Trash and recycling should be set out between 8:00 PM the night before and 6:00 AM the day of collection at your regularly authorized pickup site.

Full Holiday Schedule 

HAVING A PROBLEM? To report an issue with sanitation pickup, Click here if you did not receive collection on your scheduled collection day and your setout is within the regulations of the Sanitation Code.

Recycling INS and OUTS

Get behind recycling – the right way!

In the past few years we have made tremendous strides in curbside recycling, and the residential curbside recycling rates are at an all-time high. Even with all of your great efforts, some unaccepted items are still ending up in recycling bins, which can damage recycling machinery and slow down the process.

Learn the recycling INS and OUTS

Proper Containers for Setout

Place all trash in metal or other non-corrodible personal trashcans or sealed plastic bags, filled only to the 40 pound limit.

For recycling, you can use any sturdy plastic or metal container that holds 32 gallons or less and just mark it with the word "RECYCLING" on its side. If one bin is not enough to hold all recyclables, simply add another one.

NOTE: Cardboard boxes may never be used as containers for trash/recycling, regardless of who collects it!

Use your own containers to set out trash. City litter baskets are for pedestrian use only. Do not use them to dispose of your household trash.

Weekly Limits for Trash

  • Each single-family household is allowed a maximum of four (4) 32 gallon containers or eight (8) 30 – 32 gallon bags of trash each week
  • Apartment buildings with 2 – 6 units and businesses, up to six (6) 32-gallon containers or twelve (12) 30 – 32 gallon bags
  • The weight limit for a bag or can is 40 lbs. The total weight should not exceed 240 lbs
  • Wood and broken tree pieces should be broken down into small bundles cut down to 4 foot pieces per item. Items should be bundled and tied.
  • Grass trimmings/clippings can be set out for trash collection or mulched into the lawn. For recycling, grass must be collected by private landscaping/collection companies. This service is not offered by the Streets Department.

What the City Does Not Collect

The following refuse may not be set out for curbside collection, but may be taken to a Sanitation Convenience Center:

  • Computers, monitors, televisions
  • Bulk items, or items that contain significant amounts of metal and are too large to fit in a 32 gallon trash receptacle, such as refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, metal furniture, etc.
  • Household Hazardous Waste. For information, click here.

The following refuse is not collected by the City and shall not be set out for collection nor taken to a Sanitation Convenience Center:

  • Highly flammable substances, explosive or radioactive materials, toxic or corrosive substances, or otherwise hazardous material which shall be disposed of as prescribed by the Fire and Health Departments.
  • Pathological wastes from medical offices and clinics, which shall be disposed of as prescribed by the Health Department.
  • Construction Materials - Any waste materials from construction, demolition or remodeling, including but not limited to, stones, bricks, rocks, concrete, gravel, earth, wood, metal, ceramics, drywall and cinder or concrete block.

Customer Service Standard

Trash & Recycling Collections

  • On-time collection
  • Redress: The Streets Department will pick-up any missed collections on the next day.

NOTE: Property owners are responsible for informing tenants of these regulations.

PHILADELPHIA STREETS DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS:  Click here to view and/or print the Philadelphia Street Department Regulations Governing Municipal and Private Collection of refuse.