My trash was not picked up on my regular collection day.

All material must be set at the curb by 7am on collection day or after 6pm the night before. If you think your recycling, trash or yard waste was missed, please call DPW at 617-349-4800 with your address, a return phone number and what was missed.

If you have reported missed recycling, yard waste or trash by 12 noon the day following collection, you can expect pickup no later than the next collection day. Typically, collection trucks go back for missed pickups after completing the current day’s route. Please leave the missed items at the curb to ensure collection. 

What size trash barrel or trash bag can I use?

Trash barrels and bags cannot exceed 50 gallons or 50 pounds.  Trash bags must be heavy duty, no thin grocery or kitchen bags allowed.  Barrels larger than 50 gallons will be rejected. 

City Ordinance limits the weight and size of trash barrels to 50 pounds to protect rubbish workers from injury. The large recycling toters on wheels provided by the City are allowed because the recycling trucks mechanically lift and empty them into the truck.

I'm aware that the City requires trash barrels to have tight-fitting lids, but my lids "disappeared" after trash collection.

Public Works Managers will continue to work with rubbish workers to ensure that trash barrels and lids are put back in front of the property where they were set out.

You may also attach the handles of your lid and barrel with a piece of rope. Local retailers also sell trash barrels with attached lids.

Why did I get a ticket for putting out my trash too early…what is the rule?

Trash in barrels with tight-fitting lids cannot be placed on the curb until 6pm the night before collection. Trash in plastic bags can only be placed at the curb on collection day, no later than 7am. Only heavy duty plastic bags are accepted. Emptied receptacles need to be removed from the curb by 6pm on the day of pickup.

What types of items can I put out for trash pickup?

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. 

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 including paint, chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, fuels, tires, car batteries, propane tanks. Alkaline batteries may be disposed in the trash.


How do I get rid of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?

Do not place hazardous products in the trash and never pour down any catch basin or drain.  The City sponsors several annual household hazardous waste collections where we accept car batteries, chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, fuels, paint, propane tanks, and tires.

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Recycling Center Hours
Tuesday & Thursday: 4:00pm-7:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm

Ms. Randi Mail
Director of Recycling