Notice: Paper Yard Material Bags Required on Y Days
Paper bags are required for yard material collection on separate yard material ("Y") days.
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 two) plastic, which is stronger than other types of plastic
- Limit plastic containers' exposure to cold
- Don't overfill containers
- Must not have a lid fastened to the can with rope, wire, chains, etc.
- 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)
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. This helps to prevent lost lids due to wind, traffic, etc. Do not tie the lid to the container.
Find information about single stream recycling, including accepted materials.
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. Even if plastic bags are marketed as "recycling bags," "recyclable," or "compostable," they are not acceptable containers for recycling in Baltimore County.
Recycling containers can include any of the following:
- Recycling bins (usually colored blue or marked with a recycling symbol)
- 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)
- Small cardboard boxes (boxes will be collected along with their contents)
- Paper bags, or bundles tied with non-plastic string (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.
County residents with Ys on their schedule have a separate yard materials collection for most of the year. Find information about yard materials collection.
To set out yard materials properly:
- Place grass, leaves and small brush in heavy-duty (two-ply) paper lawn and leaf bags
- Tie branches and limbs in bundles (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)
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 complaint form or by calling 410-887-2000.
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:
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 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 were placed in a plastic bag or trash can
- Bundled yard materials were too large (branches and limbs must not exceed three inches in diameter or three feet in length)
- 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)
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.
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 offers a separate residential collection program for bulk items.
Alley parking can be dangerous if there is not enough space for emergency vehicles to pass through. The Baltimore County Code, Article 18, Title two, 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."
In addition, vehicles blocking alleys can prevent access for trash and recycling collection trucks, which may lead to:
- delay in material being collected
- scattering of materials
- rodent problems
Vehicles that block alleys are subject to ticketing and towing. To report a blocked alley, call the Police Department at 410-887-2222.