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You must put household garbage into leak-proof bins with tightly fitting lids. Bins should be no larger than 55 gallons with a maximum weight of 60 pounds when full.

You can also put trash in securely tied heavy duty opaque (non-transparent) black plastic bags, such as yard waste bags. Bags should be at least 1.5 millimeters thick with a maximum weight of 60 pounds when full. Most standard kitchen bags are not heavy duty and should be placed in receptacles. Do not use blue, red, clear, or any colored bags for regular garbage. 

Dumpsters must be covered at all times with securely fitting covers or lids. Garbage cans must be covered unless all refuse inside is in a securely tied bag.

You must place items at the curb between 4 PM and midnight the evening before your collection day. 

There is no limit to the number of bags you can put out for collection.

Removing Other Residents' Garbage or Recycling

You cannot remove items, materials, or bags that other residents have placed out for Sanitation pickup. Only authorized employees or agents of the Department of Sanitation may collect them.

American Flag

There are no specific sanitation regulations for disposing of an American flag.


Asbestos cannot be discarded with regular trash. For disposal of asbestos or items containing asbestos, contact a private hazardous/chemical waste company.

Garbage or Recycling Container

Throw out metal or rigid plastic garbage or recycling containers with your recycling items. Put a label on the container that says "Sanitation, please take this can away" so that the Department of Sanitation knows to take it.


Printed materials that come with prescription medication should be referred to for specific disposal instructions.

Most prescription drugs should be mixed with an undesirable substance (such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter) and put in impermeable, non-descript containers (such as empty cans or sealable bags) before throwing them out in the garbage.

Printer Ink and Toner Cartridge

You can mail ink and toner cartridges back to the manufacturer or throw them away with your regular garbage.

Printer cartridges are not recyclable.

When throwing out broken glass, it should be placed in a cardboard box labeled "broken glass" to avoid bag punctures.

The box should be sealed with tape and placed in a trash can or securely closed garbage bag. Small containers of broken glass may be placed directly into a trash can or bag.

Larger cardboard boxes with broken glass inside that are properly sealed and labeled can be placed out for collection next to regular garbage containers and bags.

The broken ends of smaller single pieces of broken glass can sometimes be protected with several pages of newspaper taped around the broken end before being placed into a trash can or bag.

Ionization Detectors

Ionization detectors contain small amounts of radioactive material and should not be thrown out with regular trash.

You can dispose of them in the following ways:

  • Return to a manufacturer
  • Take to an upcoming SAFE disposal event

Check the label on your smoke or carbon monoxide detector if you are unsure about the type of detector you have.

Optical Detectors

Optical detectors do not contain any dangerous material and can be thrown out with regular garbage. 

If you are doing a major construction or renovation project in your home, you need to get a dumpster through a private trash removal service. If you hire a contracting company, it should arrange for private disposal of debris, such as heaters, sinks, and tubs.

If you do repair work in your own one or two-family home and do not hire anyone to help, you can schedule large construction debris and furnishings for a bulk pick-up appointment. Items must be light enough to be lifted by two people and small enough to fit in a garbage truck.

You do not need to schedule an appointment for debris (such as rocks, bricks, glass, etc.) that can fit into a bag. You can place up to six items (bags, bundles) curbside for home repair debris.

Work on income properties (on three family homes and larger), fee for service, and contractor material must be serviced by hiring a private carter or dumpster.

As part of the Mayor's neighborhood rat reduction initiative, Sanitation has increased residential collections in parts of Manhattan and the Bronx from three days per week to four days per week.

The added service will ensure that no building in the specified areas will have to store their waste for more than one day, eliminating potential rodent food sources in overflowing trash storage areas.

Recycling collection days have not changed as a result of this initiative.

Affected Districts

  • Manhattan: District 3
  • Bronx: Districts 4, 5, 6, and 7