Health & Environment

Trash Schedule Reminders for North End and Downtown Boston

It has been a month now with the new schedule of trash and recycling pickups on Mondays and Fridays only. Remember, there is no residential trash pickup on Wednesdays! Public Works and Inspectional Services have been giving mostly warnings, but the time is coming for real tickets if your trash is on the curb at the wrong time. If you’re still confused about the new schedule, here are some helpful reminders.

Trash and recycling should be put out curbside before 7:00 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays. Garbage can be put out starting at 5:00 p.m. the day before pickup, but officials prefer trash to be put out in the morning of pickup. No need to feed the rats and trash scavengers overnight.

The new contractor, Sunrise Scavengers, has reportedly learned more about getting the trash out of the neighborhood. Residents should report trash problems to the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at 617-635-4545 or online at Citizens Connect.

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Residential Trash / Recycling

  • Beginning July 1, 2014, North End residential trash and recycling will be collected on Mondays and Fridays only. Please note the added recycling day. Trash will no longer be collected on Wednesdays.

  • Trash must be placed for collection no later than 7:00AM on the scheduled day. Late placement contributes to missed pick-ups. Trash/Recycling cannot be placed curbside for pickup any earlier than 5:00 PM on the preceding evening. However, residents are urged to place trash out on the morning of pick-up by 7:00am, rather than the night before. This will significantly reduce the opportunity for spillage and rodent foraging.
  • It is illegal to place residential trash at street corners. Trash must be placed on the curbside in front of the residence or in rear alleys for collection, depending on your street’s current collection method.
  • Properly and securely containing your trash and recycling is the most critical component of keeping your neighborhood clean. Trash must be placed in a container with a lid or a sturdy trash bag. Please note that many kitchen trash bags are too thin and not compliant.
  • Beacon Hill has single-stream recycling and all eligible recycling materials can now be co-mingled and placed out for collection in a clear plastic bag. These are available at most retail supermarkets. The City has formally discontinued distribution of the small recycling blue bins and encourages neighbors to use only the clear plastic bags for their recycling.
  • It is illegal to utilize City sidewalk litter barrels or solar-powered compactors for the disposal of residential or commercial trash and carries a fine of up to $1,000 per day. No building or construction materials shall be put out for residential collection.
  • Failure to comply with the above regulations will result in fines issued by the Code Enforcement Division. Offenses may be reported to the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500.
  • Comprehensive trash and recycling guidelines, including a listing of recyclables can be found at

General Cleanliness

  • Residents and merchants are responsible for picking up any loose litter on the sidewalk and gutter areas in front of their properties.
  • Dumpsters must have lids and be closed at all times.
  • Pet owners are responsible for picking up after their pets and following proper disposal methods.

Reporting City Service Requests

Residents can report service requests on a wide variety of maintenance and other City-related issues in your neighborhood.

  • Through the Citizens Connect program, residents can use their mobile phones in five different ways to alert the City of Boston to neighborhood issues such as potholes and graffiti. For application download and to start reporting, please access Citizens Connect at the City’s website at
  • Residents can also call the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500 or report on-line service requests at . All available 24/7/365.

Recycling can be put out on both Mondays and Fridays. It should be separated from regular trash and put out on the curb in clear plastic bags or blue recycling carts. Below is a list of acceptable and unacceptable recycling items.

Acceptable Materials for Recycling
  • Newspaper (with inserts)
  • Magazines/Catalogues
  • Junk mail (remove free samples; plastic envelope window is ok)
  • White & colored paper/brown bags
  • Telephone books
  • Flattened food boxes
  • Paperback books
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Juice/soy milk boxes
  • Flattened cardboard boxes
  • Pizza boxes (empty)
  • Glass bottles/jars. (lids and labels ok)
  • Tin and aluminum cans, foil, and pie plates (lids and labels ok)
  • All plastic containers (caps & lid may stay. No motor oil or chemical containers)
  • NEW! cardboard/spiral cans (potato chip, coffee, nut cans, etc)
  • NEW! rigid plastics (laundry baskets, buckets, toys, etc)
Unacceptable Materials for Recycling
  • Styrofoam
  • plastic bags
  • motor oil containers
  • chemical containers
  • ceramics or dishes
  • light bulbs
  • window glass, mirrors
  • yard waste
  • food waste
  • televisions
  • computer monitors

For more information on how to properly dispose of trash and recycling, see the City’s website.