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Collection Troubleshooting Guide

Listed below are some common reasons why your trash, recycling or yard material may not have been collected. If your set-out follows County regulations and the reasons below for non-collection have been ruled out, please leave your materials out and contact the Bureau of Solid Waste Management for assistance. The Bureau can be reached by submitting an online form or by calling 410-887-2000. The collection overview provides more information about County trash, recycling and yard material collection.

To ensure collection of trash, recycling, and yard materials, residents must follow Baltimore County's set-out rules and regulations. Common reasons for non-collection include:

Improper or Late Set-Out

Trash, recycling or yard and other materials will not be collected if they are set out improperly or set out late. Common set-out problems include:

Trash or Recycling

  • Trash or recycling container was too heavy (filled weight must not exceed 40 pounds)
  • Trash or recycling container was too large (containers must not have a capacity greater than 34 gallons)
  • Trash or recycling container had a lid permanently attached by rope, wire, chain, springs, or by other means
  • Recycling container was not clearly designated for recycling use only
  • Recycling was placed out in plastic bags (no plastic bags of any kind are accepted)

Yard Materials

  • Yard materials bag or bundle was too heavy (weight must not exceed 30 pounds)
  • Bundled yard materials were too large (branches and limbs must not exceed three inches in diameter or three feet in length)
  • Yard materials were placed in a trash can
  • Yard materials were mixed with trash

All Material Types

  • Materials were set out on the wrong day
  • Materials were not placed out the night before scheduled collection (late set-out)

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Bad Weather

In bad weather, collection may not occur at the "usual" time or even on the scheduled day. In cases of inclement weather, check for collection status updates. You may also call the Bureau's customer service line at 410-887-2000.

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Bulk Items (Not Collected by Baltimore County)

Some items - including mattresses, furniture, and appliances - are too large to be accepted for regular curbside collection in Baltimore County. These are known as bulk items. Baltimore County does not provide bulk item collection service, but there are other options for County residents to dispose of bulk items.

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Blocked Alleys

Alley parking can be dangerous if there is not enough space for emergency vehicles to pass through. The Baltimore County Code, Article 18, Title 2, Subtitle 202 (Obstruction of Streets and Alleys) states that "(b) A person may not park, stop, or leave unattended a vehicle in any alley leaving less than 12 feet of clearance parallel to the vehicle."

Vehicles blocking alleys and preventing trash and recycling collection can cause:

  • scattering of materials
  • rodent problems
  • delay in material being collected

Vehicles that block alleys are subject to ticketing and towing. To report a blocked alley, call the police at 410-887-2222.

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Large Volume of Yard Materials

Residents may set out an unlimited number of bags of yard materials, but the collector may not collect all of the bags on the same day. Collectors must make trash collection their first priority and must take into account all residents on their route. The Bureau of Solid Waste Management appreciates residents' patience regarding yard materials collections, especially during peak and holiday collection periods. Residents are asked to leave their yard materials out until complete collection occurs.

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Revised September 10, 2014

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