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Collections: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are my collection days? How can I receive a collection schedule and program information?
A.
Baltimore County residents can download their collection schedule and trash and recycling program guide (PDF) online. Schedules and guides may also be requested by calling the Bureau of Solid Waste Management's customer service line at 410-887-2000.

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Q. How do I set trash and recyclables out for collection?
A.
Please see our collection set-out guide for detailed information regarding trash and recycling set-outs.

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Q. What are “yard materials”? When do yard materials collections occur?
A.
Grass, leaves, and small brush are considered yard materials. Yard materials are collected for composting from residents that have "Y" days on their collection schedules. Please see our yard materials collection page for additional information and important details.

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Q. How do I set out yard materials for collection?
A.
Baltimore County encourages residents to benefit from their yard materials at home by grasscycling (PDF) and home composting, rather than placing yard materials out for collection. These practices also have environmental and fiscal benefits (reduced pollution and costs due to reduced need for collection and centralized processing).

Please see our collection set-out guide for detailed information regarding yard materials set-outs.

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Q. Why weren't my materials collected?
A.
There are many reasons why your materials might not be collected. See our collection troubleshooting page for a list of the most common issues.

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Q. Does the County replace cracked trash or recycling containers?
A.
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

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Q. What happens to my trash when it is picked up?
A.
Baltimore County's residential trash is directed to various locations. Most trash goes to a waste-to-energy facility in Baltimore City, while other trash is taken to Harford County's waste-to-energy facility. All other residential trash is sent to Baltimore County's only active landfill, Eastern Sanitary Landfill near White Marsh, which is already half full.

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Q. Why is collection canceled on certain holidays?
A.
On six major holidays (New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day), trash and recycling are not collected, and drop-off centers are closed. This allows County employees and collectors for the County to spend this well-deserved time with their families. Make-up collections for trash and yard materials, generally the next day, are shown on residents’ collection schedules. When these six holidays occur, recycling collections are skipped for one week to allow collectors to focus on catching up with trash (and sometimes yard materials) collection.

During weeks with collection holidays, there may be delays of a day or more in your scheduled pickups – please leave your materials out until collection occurs.

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Q. Does the County have bulk item pickup?
A.
No, Baltimore County does not provide bulk item collection service. Private bulk item collectors can be found in the Greater Baltimore Yellow Pages™ under the "Rubbish & Garbage Removal" section. Since there are several different versions of phone directories, you may also want to search “Bulk Hauling,” “Garbage Collection,” “Trash,” etc.

Also, please consider donating any usable items. The Reuse Directory (PDF) is a guide to organizations that accept a broad range of donated items including appliances (large and small), beds, building materials, furniture, and more.

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Revised March 6, 2014

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