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Collection Set-Out Guide

To ensure collection of your materials, make sure you follow trash, single stream recycling, and yard materials regulations. In all cases, please place the material at its designated curbside or alley collection point after 6 p.m. on the night before scheduled collection.

Notice: Baltimore County does not replace cracked trash or recycling containers. Plastic develops cracks from normal wear and tear and exposure to cold temperatures. You can minimize cracking with these simple steps:

  • Buy sturdy plastic containers made for outdoor use
  • Look for containers made of HDPE (number 2) plastic, which is stronger than other types of plastic
  • Limit plastic containers' exposure to cold
  • Don't overfill containers

For additional collection information, view/download the Baltimore County program guide (PDF).

A lid leash can help to prevent lost lids.

TrashAn example of a lid leash.

A lid leash example.Trash containers:

  • Must not have a maximum filled weight of more than 40 pounds
  • Must not have a maximum capacity of more than 34 gallons
  • Must not have a lid fastened to the can with rope, wire, chains, etc.

Containers should be sturdy, water-tight, and rodent-resistant, with handles and a tight-fitting cover (as long as that cover is not fastened to the container). Cans with hinged lids or wheels are not recommended, due to difficulty in handling by collectors and the lids or wheels being prone to breakage.

Having problems with lost container lids? Try a Lid Leash! Using a piece of rope or small chain, attach the lid to a fence or post (see illustration). This helps to prevent lost lids due to wind, traffic, etc. Do not tie the lid to the container.

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Single Stream Recycling

Visit the Bureau's single stream recycling page to learn what materials are accepted for recycling in Baltimore County.

Plastic Bags of any type or color must not be used to set out recyclables for collection. These bags jam machinery at the single stream sorting facility.

Recycling containers can include any of the following:

  • Recycling bins (usually colored blue or marked with a recycling symbol)
    • Must not have a maximum filled weight of more than 40 pounds
    • Must not have a maximum capacity of more than 34 gallons
  • Trash containers used only for recycling (marked with a large "X" or the word "RECYCLE"; free "RECYCLE" stickers can be obtained by calling 410-887-2000)
    • Must not have a maximum filled weight of more than 40 pounds
    • Must not have a maximum capacity of more than 34 gallons
  • Small cardboard boxes
    • Must not have a maximum filled weight of more than 30 pounds
    • Boxes will be collected along with their contents
  • Paper bags, or bundles tied with non-plastic string
    • Must not have a maximum filled weight of more than 30 pounds
    • Should only be used for setting out paper or cardboard recyclables

If a container has a lid, the lid must not be fastened to the container with rope, wire, chains, etc. Containers with hinged lids or wheels are not recommended, due to difficulty in handling by collectors and the lids or wheels being prone to breakage.

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Yard Materials

County residents with Ys on their schedule have a separate yard materials collection for most of the year. During this period, yard materials will not be collected with trash. Please see the Bureau's yard materials page for important details.

To set out yard materials properly:

  • Place grass, leaves, and small brush in paper (preferred) or plastic lawn and leaf bags
    • Bags must not have a weight of more than 30 pounds
  • Tie branches and limbs in bundles
    • Bundles must not have a weight of more than 30 pounds
    • Branches and limbs must not exceed three inches in diameter or three feet in length
  • Bag or bundle other materials
  • Do not place yard materials in trash containers
  • Do not place yard materials in the street (it is a violation of County Code to do so)

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Revised March 6, 2014

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