Appliance Large or Bulky item disposal

Public Works

Large TV on a sidewalk

Some appliances, large or bulky items require a permit for disposal. Residents must purchase permits from Public Works in advance to schedule pickup of the items, one permit per item. The cost of each permit is $25, or $20 for senior citizens (62+). Most items are scheduled for Wednesdays and large TVs/monitors/printers are scheduled for Thursdays. Place items close to curb edge with permit facing street. No commercial or industrial items. Metal items listed as free have to be scheduled for pickup, please call 617.349.4800 to do so.

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Tips and FAQs

How can residents purchase a permit?

  1. Submitting the Online Appliance/Large Item Disposal Permit application.  (if you experience difficulty with the online permit see the Troubleshooting Tips page);
  2. In person at 147 Hampshire Street during business hours (Monday: 8:30am-8pm, Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm, or Friday: 8:30am-12pm). Payments in person can be made by check, money order, cash or credit card;
  3. Mailing a check or money order made payable to the ‘City of Cambridge’ to: Department of Public Works, 147 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139. Please list the item(s) to be picked up; each item requires a permit. The permit(s) will be mailed or emailed back with a scheduled pick up date.

What appliances or large items require a permit?

  • Air Conditioners*
  • Clothes Washers & Dryers
  • Copiers & Printers (More than 40 lbs)
  • Dehumidifiers*
  • Dishwashers
  • Exercise Equipment (small) & Bicycles (free, call ahead to schedule pick-up)
  • Larger Exercise equipment (motorized)
  • Lawnmowers (free, call ahead to schedule pick-up, must remove gas)
  • Metal Filing Cabinets & Desks (free, call ahead to schedule pick-up)
  • Radiators (free, call ahead to schedule pick-up)
  • Refrigerators* & Freezers* (must remove doors, non-commercial)
  • Snow Blowers (free, call ahead to schedule pick-up, must remove gas)
  • Stoves
  • TVs & Computer Monitors (Over 20" diagonal screen length)
  • Trash Compactors
  • Water Coolers & Heaters

*Freon (chlorofluorocarbons) is removed from air conditioners, dehumidifiers, freezers, and refrigerators in order to meet the Clean Air Act. All appliances are then sent to a local scrap metal recycling facility.

Are there any large or bulky items that do not require a permit?

  • Carpet or lumber (residential only, up to 3 tied bundles, 3' x 3' x 1')
  • Electronics (microwaves, stereos, box fans, small printer or fax machine)
  • Furniture (couches, mattresses, box springs, tables). Note that beginning September 2014, the Coalition for the Homeless will schedule free pickups of furniture in good condition from your home in Cambridge for the last Friday and the first Monday of every month, except holidays. Residents are allowed to put one piece of furniture out per week on trash day.
  • Toilet or Sink (one per household on collection day)
  • Small TVs & computer monitors (20" or less diagonal screen length). Place small TVs / monitors close to curb edge by 7am on your regular collection day.
  • You may include the hard drive, keyboard, mouse and small printer or fax machine.

How to dispose of appliances, furniture, large items or hazardous products

Check out our Get Rid of it Right page,, with details on how to recycle, donate or dispose of just about anything, including furniture, appliances and electronics. Note that beginning September 2014, the Coalition for the Homeless will schedule free pickups of furniture in good condition from your home in Cambridge for the last Friday and the first Monday of every month, except holidays.

Remember that recycling is mandatory in Cambridge. Please make sure to recycle glass, metal, & plastic containers, paper, cardboard, and yard waste. Do not place hazardous products in the trash and never pour them down catch basins or drains. Bring hazardous items to an upcoming hazardous waste collection day. Items accepted include paint, chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, fuels, tires, car batteries, propane tanks. Alkaline batteries may be disposed of in the trash.

Items not accepted

Items not accepted
  • No TRASH
  • No PLASTIC BAGS (learn about the City's Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance)
  • No Ceramics, Dishes or Glassware
  • No Clothes Hangers
  • No Electronics or Appliances
  • No Household Hazardous Waste
  • No Light Bulbs
  • No Paint Containers
  • No Paper Towels or Napkins
  • No Photographs or Blueprints
  • No Pots, Pans or Scrap Metal
  • No Plastic Utensils
  • No VCR or Cassette Tapes
  • No Windows, Plate Glass or Mirrors
  • No Yard Waste

Items that can be put out for recycling pick up

  • Aerosol Cans (empty)
  • Aluminum Cans, Trays & Foil
  • Glass Bottles & Jars
  • Metal Cans
  • Milk Cartons & Juice Boxes
  • NEW! Large Plastics (buckets, laundry baskets, toys)
  • Stiff Plastic Containers
  • NEW! Spiral Cans (potato chip, nut cans)
  • Books (Rip off hard covers. But, please donate books, reuse is better than recycling.)
  • Cardboard Boxes (Flatten / nest when possible)
  • NEW! Coffee Cups (empty, no Styrofoam)
  • NEW! Frozen Food Boxes (if it rips)
  • Paperboard (cereal boxes, paper towel rolls)
  • Phone Books & Junk Mail (remove free samples)
  • NEW! Pizza Boxes (empty, no food)
  • Newspapers & Inserts
  • Magazines & Catalogs
  • Paper Bags
  • Shredded Paper (in clear plastic or a paper bag)
  • White & Colored Paper (staples, paper clips, spirals OK)
  • Wrapping Paper

Street Cleaning Schedule

Here is the street cleaning schedule

If you think your car has been towed, you can search our online tow database.  As a last resort, call the Police Department at 617.349.3300. You should only park on the street after the posted time on the street sweeping sign.  Even though you may have seen the sweeper go by once, it may need to go by for a second pass.  Also, the City's catch basin cleaning program is closely coordinated with monthly street sweeping in order to reduce additional parking disruptions, and that equipment may be scheduled during the same posted time period.

Page was last modified on 5/10/2018 2:12 PM
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