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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 complaint 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 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 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)

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.

Bulk Items

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 will institute a separate residential collection program for bulk items starting in January 2022.

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 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 at 410-887-2222.

Revised March 18, 2022         


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