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Like residential trash collection and recycling, commercial collection has its own set of rules and regulations including timetables, required containers, instructions for disposing of specific kinds of waste and debris, and much more. Here’s some helpful information that will make it easier to comply:

Trash Setout Timetable

Trash must not be put out more than two hours prior to collection. For collection scheduled after business hours, trash must be put out no more than 30 minutes prior to the close of business. Dumpsters not licensed for public right-of-way placement must be kept inside the business premises until the proper setout time.

See the Dumpster Laws

Proper Trash Containers

  • Regulations require rigid containers equipped with lids for all trash and garbage put out for private collection.
  • Each lid must be securely closed when waste is in the receptacle and garbage containers must be fully leak-proof.
  • Wood scraps and other loose items do not require containment provided they are bundled securely enough to withstand wind and rain and do not violate the Fire Code (See the Philadelphia Code, Title 5).
  • Newspapers and flattened cardboard boxes along with steel and aluminum cans, glass jars and bottles, paper and #1 - #7 plastics should be placed with your recyclables.
  • City litter baskets are for pedestrian use only. Do not use them to dispose of your trash.

NOTE: Cardboard boxes may never be used as containers for trash or recycling, regardless of who collects it!

Construction Debris

Contractors and residents are required to dispose of construction debris through a private hauler. All waste materials from construction or remodeling, including but not limited to wood, metal, ceramics, drywall, and demolition materials will not be accepted for collection.

Dumpster Law Compliance

Laws governing dumpster usage and placement are in effect. Consult your SWEEP officer for specific rules pertaining to licensing, identification, and frequency of emptying, standards of cleanliness, proper closure, and screening requirement. Dumpsters may not be used for grindable food waste disposal.

PRINT OR VIEW: Click Here to print or view The Philadelphia Streets Department Regulations Governing Municiple and Private Collection or refuse.