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Trash Collection Service Guidelines

  • Set the black trash cart out by 7 AM on your collection day.
  • Place the trash cart at least 2 feet from obstructions such as garage overhangs,cars, fences, poles,overflow trash, large items or other collection containers that may prevent the automated truck from emptying it.
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.

  • Prevent litter by bagging all trash and keeping the trash cart lid closed whenever possible.
  • Do not put construction debris, sod, dirt or branches in the trash cart.
  • Store the black trash cart on your property, out of public view, in between collection days.
  • If your trash day and street sweeping day occasionally coincide, visit Trash Collection and Street Sweeping for instructions.


  • During your scheduled Extra Trash service collection week, your extra trash must be set out by 7 AM on your normal trash collection day.
  • Extra Trash is any material left outside of your City-issued black trash cart. Only trash inside the black trash cart is collected weekly.
  • Extra trash should not be stored at the curb on non-collection days. Store your trash on your property, out of public view, until your scheduled collection day.
  • A maximum of 10 bags and 5 large items will be collected from each home per extra trash collection (every 4 weeks).
  • Use your black trash cart to full capacity. Heavy items should be placed in the bottom and the lid may be open to a 45 degree angle. The lid must not exceed 45 degrees and trash must not be placed on top of the cart lid.

Keep area around dumpsters clear, place large items and recycling carts at least 2 feet from dumpsters.
  • Prevent litter by bagging all trash and always keeping dumpster lids closed.
  • Tie loose branches in bundles no longer than 4 feet and weighing no more than 50 pounds. Branches may not exceed 4 inches in diameter.
  • A maximum of 5 branch bundles may be placed in a dumpster per week. Hold extra branch bundles over until the next week or set bundles and bagged yard debris (weighing no more than 50 pounds) out on your Extra Trash service week.
  • Do not put furniture,construction debris, sod or dirt in dumpsters.
  • Maximize space in the dumpster by placing items in the rear of the dumpster first. If the closest dumpster is full, then place your trash in any of the other dumpsters in your alley.
  • Report illegal dumping by calling 311 and providing a license plate number. Please do not confront illegal dumpers.
  • Call 311 to report damaged dumpsters (missing or broken lids or rusted bottoms) or graffiti on dumpsters.

  • Set your trash out by 7 AM on your collection day.
  Put trash in containers or bags no larger than 32 gallons and weighing no more than 50 pounds, or it cannot be collected. Do not set trash out in cardboard boxes.
  • Do not overfill trash containers or bags.
  • Do not put construction debris,sod or dirt in your trash.
  • Place your trash at least 2 feet from obstructions such as cars, fences, poles, large items or other collections containers that may prevent collection crews from seeing or reaching your trash.
  • Set your trash as close as possible to the curb or the flow line of the alley.
  • Prevent litter by bagging all trash.
  • Protect trash collectors by not putting dangerous liquids,sharp objects, medical waste or unbagged pet waste in your trash.
  • Store your trash containers on your property, out of public view, in between collection days.
  • Tie loose branches in bundles no longer than 4 feet and weighing no more than 50 pounds. Branches may not exceed 4 inches in diameter.
  • A maximum of 10 items (bags,containers, branch bundles) and 5 large items (furniture, etc.) are permitted each collection.

Denver Solid Waste Management collects extra trash bags and large items every four (4) weeks from your neighborhood. Please use the directions below and the calendar to ensure proper use of the program and to help keep your neighborhood clean.

  • Check the calendar and map to find your scheduled Extra Trash service week.
  • maximum of 10 bags of trash and 5 large items(furniture, etc.) will be collected from each home per Extra Trash collection (every four weeks).
  • Place your items out by 7 AM.
    • Cart and Manual Customers: Place items out on your normal day of trash service during your scheduled Extra Trash service week.
    • Dumpster Customers: Place items out on Monday of your scheduled Extra Trash service week.
  • Make sure the items are visible and placed at least 2 feet away from your trash and recycling container, cars, poles and other obstructions.
  • Only set out large items during your scheduled Extra Trash Service week.  Setting items out on other times is considered illegal dumping.

More Trash Service Guidelines

Denver 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

Approximate cart measurements are as follows:

35 gallon= Weighs 25 lbs

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

65 gallon=Weighs 32 lbs

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

95 gallon=Weighs 40 lbs

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

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

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.

Non-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.

Remaining 2015 Holidays:

  • Christmas Day:  Friday, December 25, 2015

2016 Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day: Friday, January 1
  • Martin Luther King Day: Monday, January 18
  • Presidents’ Day: Monday, February 15
  • Cesar Chavez Day: Monday, March 28
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 30
  • Independence Day: Monday, July 4
  • Labor Day: Monday, September 5
  • Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 24
  • Christmas: Monday, December 26
NOTE: Veterans' Day Holiday: Normal collections will occur on Friday, November 11, 2016.

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.

Solid 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.

There 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 for 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.


  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.

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).

Follow these guidelines when setting out branches and yard waste:


TRASH CART and MANUAL Service Customers
  • Tie loose branches in bundles no longer than 4 feet in length and in bundles weighing no more than 50 pounds. No branches may exceed 4 inches in diameter.  A maximum of 10 branches bundles per household will be collected per scheduled Extra Trash service collection (every 4 weeks).
  • Do not place branches in your city issued black trash cart and place at least 2 feet away from black barrels when setting bundles out for collection.
  • Leaves and yard clippings must be in bags or containers and weigh no more than 50 pounds each when full.  Learn when and where you can take leaves to be recycled with LeafDrop.


DUMPSTER Service Customers
  • Tie loose branches in bundles no longer than 4 feet in length and in bundles weighing no more than 50 pounds. No branches may exceed 4 inches in diameter.  A maximum of 5 bundles of branches or five bags of leaves per week can be placed in dumpsters.
  • Leaves and yard clippings must be in bags or containers and weigh no more than 50 pounds each when full.  Learn when and where you can take leaves to be recycled with LeafDrop.
  • When placing out large volumes of branches and/or bags of leaves, please follow the Extra Trash service collection schedule for your neighborhood. Place items in back of your home in the alley.
  • Do not place items within 4 feet of the dumpsters.

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.

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 or damage, and misuse or vandalism to the carts
  • 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
It is your responsibility to manage and care for your city-issued carts. Take pride in your neighborhood and bring your carts back.






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:

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).


Contact Us

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

TTY Service: 720-913-8479

Trash Guide Booklet

Making the Most of Your Solid Waste Services

Click on image above to download (3.91 MB)

Items NOT Accepted in Trash

Do not place any of the items listed below in your trash cart or set out for Extra Trash collection:

  • Construction and building materials
  • Wood boards or drywall sheets
  • Automotive fluids, parts or materials
  • Car tires or batteries
  • Electronics (televisions, computers)
  • Commercial, industrial or medical waste
  • Hazardous waste or chemicals
  • Appliances (refrigerators, A/C units, stoves, washers)

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