Trash Requirements

Recycling is mandatory in Cambridge, and easy! You can reduce your trash by at least 50% to help protect the environment and save the City money. Check out our Get Rid of it Right list with details on how to recycle, donate or dispose of just about anything. Click here to sign up for our monthly eNewsletter.

Please comply with these requirements to help reduce rodents, protect public health and ensure cleaner streets and waterways:

  • Trash barrels and plastic bags cannot exceed 50 gallons or 50 pounds. No trash in cardboard boxes.

  • Trash must be in rodent-resistant barrel with a tight-fitting lid, when stored on private property and when set at the curb for collection. Barrels may be placed at the curb after 6pm the night before collection or by 7am on collection day.

  • Trash in plastic bags may be placed at the curb on the day of collection, not the night before. Only heavy duty bags accepted. No thin grocery or kitchen bag
  • Receptacles must be removed from the curb by 6pm on the day of collection.
  • Please try to donate/sell furniture in good condition. One piece of furniture per week. 

Public Works has two compliance officers who check the collection routes on a daily basis to ensure compliance with the Refuse & Litter Ordinance.

Exemptions for Persons with Disabilities

For residents with disabilities who have difficulty waiting until 6pm to put their trash out on the curb for pickup, as required by City Ordinance, please submit an application for an exemption to:

Commission for Persons with Disabilities
51 Inman Street, Second floor
Kate Thurman
617-349-4692 (voice)
617-492-0235 (TTY)

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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