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Trash Collection Service Types and Guidelines

Visit any tab below to learn more about the Trash Collection Service types offered as well as their associated guidelines.

Dumpster trash service customers are provided with dumpsters in the alley behind their homes for the disposal of household trash only. Automated trucks are used to lift and empty the dumpster. Generally, one dumpster is provided for every four households to share, but residents may use any dumpster in their alley.

Dumpster Service Guidelines

  • Keep area around the dumpster clear of trash and large items at all times.
  • Do not place items next to or within 4 feet of the dumpsters.
  • Bag all of your trash in heavy-duty bags.
  • Always keep the dumpster lid closed to reduce litter and pests.
  • Place recycling carts at least 4 feet away from dumpsters.
  • If the closest dumpster is full, please take your trash to the next closest dumpster that has space available.
  • Do not place furniture, construction debris, sod or dirt in dumpsters.
  • Maximize space in your dumpster by placing items in the rear of the dumpster first.
  • Report illegal dumping by calling 311 (720-913-1311) as soon as possible. Record a license plate number and state of origin, description of the vehicle and a description of the person(s). Please do not approach or confront the person(s).

Trash cart collection service is provided on a scheduled collection day once per week. Trash cart service customers are provided with one large black trash container with wheels (approximately 95 gallons in size). City crews collect the trash from these trash carts in automated trucks equipped with a specially designed arm that grasps and empties the container.

Trash Cart Service Guidelines

  • Set your black trash cart out for collection by 7 AM on your collection day, but no earlier than 7 PM the night before. Collection vehicles will not be able to return for late set outs, as service resources are extremely limited.
  • Allow 2 feet of clearance on all sides of your black trash cart. Obstructions such as cars, fences, poles, overflow trash, LIP items or other collection containers may prevent the automated trucks from emptying your trash cart.
  • CURB SET OUT: Set your black trash cart in the street with the wheels against the curb and front facing the street. The automated trucks cannot service containers set out backwards.
  • ALLEY SET OUT: Set your black trash cart in the flow line of the alley and the front facing the alley. The automated trucks cannot service containers set out backwards.
  • Be sure to set your  away from any garage overhangs or obstructions above the trash cart.
  • Keep your trash cart lid closed whenever possible.
  • Put trash in heavy-duty bags to help prevent litter.
  • Use your black trash cart to full capacity, but do not overfill the cart. The bags and trash in your black trash cart should be loose enough to come out when tipped during servicing. Tightly compacted bags or trash inside the trash cart may not come out when serviced.
  • Do not place unacceptable items in your black trash cart.  Trash carts containing tree limbs, branches or wood boards cannot be emptied, as they cause damage to the collection vehicles.

    Manual trash collection service is provided on a scheduled collection day once per week. Manual service customers are responsible for providing their own personal containers and trash bags. Manual service customers are located in areas where automated collection equipment cannot operate safely due to narrow alleys, or other service obstacles.

    Manual Service Guidelines

    • Set your trash out for collection by 7 AM on your collection day, but no earlier than 7 PM the night before.
    • Allow 4 feet of clearance on all sides of your trash. Obstructions such as cars, fences, poles, LIP items or other collection containers may prevent collection from occurring.
    • Set your trash as close to the curb or flowline of the alley as possible.
    • Containers or bags must be no larger than 32 gallons in size and weigh no more than 50 pounds. Containers or bags exceeding 32 gallons or 50 pounds cannot be collected. Up to 10 bags or containers (32-gallons or less) or a combination of both, may be set out each collection.
    • Help protect trash collectors by not putting dangerous liquids or sharp objects in your trash. Bag all of your trash in heavy-duty bags.
    • Broken glass or broken porcelain pieces should be properly secured and not left loose in personal containers or in bags.
    • Do not overfill individual containers or bags and please double bag pet waste.
    • Remember to return your trash containers to your property on non-collection days and set out of public view.

    Additional Trash Cart Information

    As Solid Waste Management continues to expand cart-based trash service to Denver neighborhoods, it’s a good time to start thinking about what trash cart size best fits your home. Solid Waste Management now offers three different trash cart sizes:

    • 35-gallon: Holds 2 to 3 tall kitchen bags of trash per week                                               
    • 65-gallon: Holds 4 to 5 tall kitchen bags of trash per week                                                                 
    • 95-gallon: Holds 7 to 8 tall kitchen bags of trash per week                                   

    The default delivery size is the 95-gallon cart, but since many families don’t need this much capacity we encourage residents to right-size their carts by requesting smaller trash carts leading up to the start of their cart-based trash service. Residents can request different sized carts six weeks prior to their neighborhood being changed to cart-based trash service by calling 311 (720-913-1311).

    Maximizing recycling opportunities offered through the Denver Recycles program can help make a smaller trash cart possible. Residents that are not already participating in the recycling program are encouraged to take advantage of this service.

    Existing recyclers are encouraged to look further to maximize recycling efforts by making sure they are capturing all the recyclables they can. Recyclers with the original 65-gallon recycle cart can upsize to a 95-gallon cart if more capacity is needed, or even get a second recycling cart.

    The standard issue will be a 95-gallon cart that can hold 7-8 tall kitchen trash bags a week.  The City will also offer smaller carts to those who need less capacity. There is a 65-gallon cart that holds 4-5 bags per week and a 35-gallon cart that holds 2-3 tall kitchen bags per week.  Only one trash cart per household.

    Cart dimensions are as follows: 
    • 35 gallon: H = 40”, W = 21”, D = 23”
    • 65 gallon: H = 41”, W = 27”, D = 28”
    • 95 gallon: H = 46”, W = 29”, D = 34”


    Contact Us

    Call 311 (720-913-1311), visit online at 311 Help Request or email DenverRecycles.

    TTY Service: 720-913-8479

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