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image of city issued black trash cartTrash 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.

  • 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.
  • Be sure to set your cart 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 can cause damage to the collection vehicles.

Using Your Black Trash Cart


In order for the automated collection trucks to be able to safely empty your cart, it must be set out in the correct location.



image of recycle and trash cart set out two feet apart image of recycle and trash cart set out two feet apart

Set your cart in the street with the wheels against the curb with the front facing the street. The automated trucks cannot service containers set out backwards. Leave at least 2 feet from any obstructions.



Set your cart in the flow line of the alley with the front facing the alley. The automated trucks cannot service containers set out backwards. Leave at least 2 feet from any obstructions.
Place your cart on the specified side of the alley (East, West, North or South) as instructed. Do not block access to your neighbor's driveway, gate or garage.

To learn where to set your cart out on your service days visit View My Service Schedule or call 311 (720-913-1311).

Trash Cart Service Guide Booklet

Cleaner, Greener, Safer

image of cover of trash cart booklet cover

Click on image above to download (4.32 MB)

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:

info-graphic on how many bags of trash will go in various cart sizes

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.

Many household don’t need the largest cart size and we encourage residents to right-size their carts by requesting smaller trash carts. Residents can request a different sized cart by calling 311 (720-913-1311).

Approximate cart measurements are as follows:

35 gallon = Cart weighs 25 lbs. empty

       Height = 40”, Width = 21”, Depth = 24”

65 gallon = Cart weighs 32 lbs. empty

      Height = 42”, Width = 27”, Depth = 32”

95 gallon = Cart weighs 40 lbs. empty

       Height = 46”, Width = 30”, Depth = 36”

All trash, recycling and compost carts must be stored on your property in between collections. You may set your carts out as early as the night before your collection day and then return your carts to your property within a day after collection occurs.

image of service carts set out for collection in alley

Keep carts out of the alley and off the streets will:

  • Ensure each neighbor takes responsibility for their own waste and carts
  • Ensure each neighbor has access to the public right-of-way
  • Improve the appearance of the alley
  • Prevent cart loss, damage, misuse and vandalism
  • Minimize recycling and compost contamination (non-acceptable items can contaminate entire loads)
  • Reduce litter and the potential for illegal dumping
  • Discourage waste scavengers in your neighborhood
image of service carts removed from alley on non-collection dayIt is your responsibility to manage and care for your city-issued carts. Take pride in your neighborhood and bring your carts back.
Solid Waste Management reserves the right to remove recycling carts that are improperly used. Improper use includes trash in carts, carts left in the public right-of-way (including the alley), abuse or destruction of carts outside of normal wear and tear, and other uses deemed inappropriate by the City.


image of confused woman in red shirtThere are a number of reasons that your trash, recycling and/or composting might have been missed.

  • HOLIDAY WEEKS: During holiday weeks, the collection schedule is delayed by one day following the holiday. Check the Holiday Collection Schedule below.
  • BLOCKED OR IMPROPER SET OUT: Sometimes trash or recycling can’t be collected because containers are blocked or containers were set out incorrectly. Check the trash service guidelines or recycling service guidelines to make sure your containers were set out correctly.
  • EXTRA TRASH SERVICE WEEKS: Extra Trash collection service follows a 4 week collection cycle.
If your trash or recycling was missed (and not for one of the above reasons), please call us at 311 (720-913-1311) to report the missed collection and/or find out if there was another reason for the missed collection.

image of alarm clock at 7 AMThe time a driver arrives to empty your cart depends on many factors and may not always be  the same. This is why it is important to set out your cart by no later than 7 AM, as it ensures your cart will be ready for collection no matter what time in the day the driver comes.  Carts may be set out as early as the night prior to your collection day and should be returned to your property within a day after collection has occurred.

Call 311 (720-913-1311) or visit View My Service Schedule to determine your recycling collection schedule.

DAMAGED CART:  If your cart is damaged, please call 311 (720-913-1311), visit online at 311 Help Request or PocketGov.

LOST OR MISSING CART:  If your cart has gone missing after your collection:
Please check the service area to make sure your cart has not simply rolled away from your normal collection point.
  1. You may use your assigned cart's serial number to help locate which cart is yours.
  2. Check with your neighbors to see if they have mistakenly pulled in your cart.
  3. Call 311 to let us know your cart is missing so we can order you a replacement cart.
To find out your cart serial number, please call 311 (720-913-1311), visit online at 311 Help Request or PocketGov.

What do I do when my collection is on the same day as my scheduled street sweeping?

When your collection day and street sweeping day are both scheduled for the same day you have three options for setting out your containers.

image of a street sweeper
Option 1: Set your containers on the apron (edge) of your driveway.
  • Your containers should be placed on the apron of the driveway only when collection days conflict with designated street sweeping days.
  • Make sure that containers are as close to the street as possible and not on the sidewalk.  If containers are placed too far away from the street the automated collection trucks will not be able to reach them.
  • The handle of the container should be facing away from the street.
  • Make sure that your containers are at least 2 feet from any obstructions such as other containers, lampposts, trees or mailbox posts.
image of trash cart at end of driveway

Option 2: Set your containers off the street on the edge of the curb-line.

  • Your containers should be placed off the street only when collection days conflict with designated street sweeping days.
  • Make sure that containers are as close to the street as possible and not on the sidewalk.  If containers are placed too far away from the street, the automated collection trucks will not be able to reach them.
  • Make sure that containers are at least 2 feet from any obstructions such as other containers, lampposts, trees or mailbox posts.
image of recycle cart and trash can off curb

Option 3: Set your containers on the opposite side of your street.

  • Your containers should be placed on the opposite side of your street only when collection days conflict with designated street sweeping days.
  • Container wheels should be against the curb and the handle of the container should be facing away from the street.
  • Make sure that your recycling containers are at least 2 feet from any obstructions such as other containers, lampposts, trees or mailbox posts.
  • Collection trucks will run both sides of the street on overlapping collection/street sweeping days.
image of recycle and trash cart curbside
Moving your containers off the street on sweeping days will reduce the in & out "snaking" by the sweepers and enable Public Works to keep your street clean.

Residents are responsible for:

  • Maintaining a minimum height clearance for our trucks of 13 feet for tree branches and wires stretching out from your property into the alley or street.
  • Resolving tree branch clearance issues contact the City’s Forestry Division for a list of licensed contractors at 720-913-0651 or online.
  • Resolving downed or low-hanging wires and lines contact:
    • Power lines, Xcel at 1-800-628-2121
    • Phone lines, Qwest at 1-800-573-1311
    • Cable lines, Comcast at 303-930-2000
  • Properly disposing of unacceptable items. For a list of registered hauling companies, call 311 (720-913-1311) or visit online at Registered Trash Haulers.
  • Dead animal removal in streets or alleys, please call 311 (720-913-1311).

Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments remind homeowners that they are responsible for trees on the public right-of-way. If a Public Right-of-Way (PROW) tree or tree part is blocking a roadway, it must be removed immediately. Removal can occur one of three ways:

  1. Homeowner removes the obstruction on their own;
  2. Homeowner contracts for the removal of the obstruction; or
  3. The City contracts for the removal of the obstruction and the homeowner is then responsible for any associated costs incurred by the City.

Residents are responsible for the removal and disposal of tree stumps and all branches over 4 inches in diameter and/or 4 feet in length. A list of registered haulers is available on this page. These are private companies and fees are charged.

Additional Trash Service Information


image of old refrigerator and ovenDenver residents serviced by Solid Waste Management may schedule a FREE appliance collection by appointment. Appliance collections are done by the city's contractor (EcoProjex) to ensure that metals are recycled and Freon gases from refrigerated appliances are handled in an environmentally safe manner. For more information on this program and to schedule an appliance collection appointment visit FREE Appliance Collection.

For  Non-SWM customers: Contact  EcoProjex or another private appliance recycler ( Recycling Directory) to set up a collection appointment   These are private companies and all fees are the responsibility of the resident


Dead animal removal in streets or alleys, please call  311 (720-913-1311) or go to online to  311 Help Center.

Below is a list of private trash drop-off facilities in the metro-Denver area in which the general public may dispose of household trash and large items (furniture, mattresses, etc.) for a fee. Recycling drop-off sites can be found in the online Recycling DirectoryCall ahead to check hours and fees.

North Denver

Waste Management, Inc. - D&R Transfer Station
6091 Brighton Blvd.
Commerce City, CO
(303) 288-5115, Hours: Mon.–Fri. 5 AM – 6 PM, Sat. 5 AM – 2 PM

All Recycling North Transfer Station
5350 Washington St.
Denver, CO‎
(303) 293-3333‎, Hours: Mon.-Fri 5 AM – 5 PM, Sat. 7 AM – 3 PM

Allied Waste Tower Road Landfill
8480 Tower Rd.
Commerce City, CO‎
(303) 459-8740, Hours: Mon.-Fri. open 24 hours, Sat. closes at 3 PM

South & Southwest Denver

Waste Management, Inc. - South Metro Transfer Station
2400 W. Union Ave.
Englewood, CO
(303) 797-9085, Hours: Mon.–Fri. 5 AM – 6 PM, Sat. 5 AM – 2 PM

Waste Connections of Colorado - Jordan Road Transfer Station
7120 S. Jordan Rd.
Englewood, CO
(303) 766-9219, Hours: Mon-Fri. 7 AM - 5 PM, Sat. 7 AM - Noon

East Denver

Waste Management, Inc. - Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site (DADS) - Landfill
3500 S. Gun Club Rd.
Aurora, CO
(303) 690-4303, Hours: Mon.-Fri. 6 AM to 7:30 PM, Sat. 7 AM – 5 PM


As of July 1, 2013, in accordance with Colorado’s Electronic Recycling Jobs Act (SB 12-133, 4/20/12) which bans the disposal of electronic waste in Colorado landfills, the City can no longer accept electronic devices in the trash.

image orange service stickerNon-acceptable electronic devices set out for collection will have an orange sticker placed on them and left uncollected by service crews.  It is the resident's responsibility to remove the non-acceptable electronic material from set out and arrange proper recycling of the materials.

Denver Recycles offers resources like an E-cycle Coupon and special collection events to assist you with recycling your unwanted electronics. There are also free and low cost recycling options through local retailers and manufacturers.  For more details on properly recycling your old electronics visit Electronics Recycling.

Below is a list of the holidays observed by Solid Waste Management.

If your service falls ON or AFTER a holiday, your collection will be delayed one day for the rest of that week.

For example, for a Monday holiday, collections will be on Tuesday, Tuesday's collection on Wednesday, etc., etc., with Friday's collections on Saturday for that week only.

2017 Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day - Monday, January 2 (observed)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Monday, January 16
  • Presidents’ Day - Monday, February 20
  • Cesar Chavez Day - Monday, March 27 (observed)
  • Memorial Day - Monday, May 29
  • Independence Day - Tuesday, July 4
  • Labor Day - Monday, September 4
  • Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, November 23
  • Christmas Day - Monday, December 25

Veterans Day Holiday: Normal waste services will occur on Veterans Day, Friday, November 10 (observed).

Enforcement of Rules and Regulations - every attempt shall be made by an authorized agency representative to contact the violator and seek resolution of the violation.  Conflicts and disputes arising from the enforcement of the rules and regulations shall be resolved by the Manager or an authorized representative.  Repeated or gross violations may result in the issuance of a notice of violation up to and including a court summons.
  • To report Illegal Dumping call 311 (720-913-1311).
  • Do not confront person doing the dumping.
  • Obtain as much information as possible, make/model of vehicle, license plate number and description of the person(s) involved.
  • An inspector will follow up on this information.

The private companies listed below provide hauling service within the City & County of Denver and have been certified throught the City's Hauler Licensing Program. Hauling and disposal fees are determined by the individual company.

image of Denver Public Works logoSolid Waste Management is an agency of the City & County of Denver's Public Works Department.  The  Public Works Manager's Rules & Regulations
for Trash Collection services only authorized Solid Waste Management to provide services to residential homes of seven or fewer units and municipal facilities.


  1. Find out your trash and recycling service information with the View My Service Schedule tool.
  2. Sign up for recycling services with our New Customer Signup tool.  Be sure to check the box if you already have a recycling cart at your address and do not need one delivered.
  3. There is no charge for trash and recycling services provided by Denver Solid Waste Management, with the exception of the composting collection service (green carts) which is a fee based program.
  4. If you have a large amount of leftover moving boxes, please contact us to make arrangements for a special cardboard recycling collection.


  1. Contact us prior to your move so we can update the account information.
  2. Leave any City issued containers behind.  Black trash barrels, purple recycling carts, and green composting carts are the property of the City & County of Denver.  Each barrel and cart is assigned by serial numbers to an exact address.
  3. Bring all containers back onto your property before you move.  Do not leave containers in the street or alley.
  4. Take any personal trash containers with you.

Please note that Denver Solid Waste Management only services residential homes of seven or fewer units that are located in the City and County of Denver.  If you reside in a larger apartment or condominium property, please contact your landlord or HOA for collection information.

NOT Accepted for Extra Trash or Trash Collection

Construction materials:

  • Building materials, such as insulation or drywall
  • Concrete or bricks
  • Windows
  • Wood boards or fencing

Automotive materials:

  • Automotive parts or fluids
  • Car tires or batteries

Yard debris:

  • Dirt or sod
  • Rocks
  • Tree stumps
  • Branches larger than 4 inches in diameter or  4 feet in length

Hazardous materials:

  • Paints & chemicals
  • Electronics (televisions, computers, etc.)
  • Liquids
  • Hot ashes
  • Medical waste
  • Propane tanks


  • Freon-containing appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners
  • Large metal appliances, such as stoves, dryers and washers
  • Tubs, hot tubs or spas


  • Commercial or industrial waste

Visit the Recycling Directory to find collection or drop-off alternatives for these materials.