Before you trash that item, ask yourself is it: recyclable, compostable, or divertable? Plug in the item you're disposing of in the Zero Waste Cambridge tool above to find out how to dispose of the item. 

When you do have something that must go into the trash, please review the rules below 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.

  • 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.

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

For questions regarding trash policies or the Refuse & Litter Ordinance, please contact DPW at 617-349-4800. 

If you have a disability-related need for an exemption to the 6PM receptacle removal requirement, please contact:

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