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Sanitation : Residential

Sanitation: Residential

Into what categories should trash be separated?  

The categories are:


1. Collectible Trash
2. Yard Waste
3. Oversized items


1. Newspaper, magazines, flattened cardboard, and mixed paper
2. Glass food and beverage containers
3. Metal: any aluminum, steel, bi-metal food or beverage containers, and empty paint or aerosol cans
4. #1 and #7 plastics
5. Cartons

What happens if the trash truck misses my house or block?  

Report missed collections at or contact 311 or 215-686-5560.  In some instances, the trash may have been set out too late or there are visible contaminants in the trash.

If I miss setting out my trash on my trash day, may I take them to a center for disposal?  

Yes. Remember, the maximum trash you can bring is 6 cans or 12 bags, 2 tires. Recycling is unlimited. For more information, click here.

Will my oversized items be collected?  

No. Oversized items, such as, appliances and other household items that contain significant amounts of metal and do not fit in a 32-gallon receptacle will not be collected at curbside. Metal oversized items, such as, refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc. will have to be disposed of privately or taken to one of our Sanitation Convenience Centers. Effective December 1, the regulations for setting out mattresses and box springs will change, requiring residents to place these items out completely wrapped and sealed for collection. This regulation is being instituted to protect the public and Streets Department employees from the spread of bed bugs.
Should I set my trash out on holidays for collection?  

No. You should not set your trash out on holidays for collection. Trash will be collected a day late after holidays. Click here for the holiday schedule. 
What do I do with tires?  

Tires are not collected at curbside. Residents may bring up to four (4) tires a day to one of our Sanitation Convenience Centers, or dispose of them privately. 
What do I do with my old TV or computer?  

Computers, monitors, televisions, and other computer related equipment are not collected at curbside. Residents may take these items to one of our Sanitation Convenience Centers. 
How do I dispose of wood for collection?  

Wood along with tree and brush cuttings should be cut into pieces enabling it to fit in a receptacle for pick up. Wood can also be tied in a bundle and set out with curbside collections. There is a maximum of 2 items that can set out each week that do not fit into a receptacle.
Is there any special way to set out yard waste?  

Yard Waste is tree trimmings, brush cuttings, dirt and leaves. Except during the "leaf season" yard waste may be placed in trash receptacles and plastic bags with your collectible trash. Tree and brush cuttings should be cut in pieces small enough to fit into a 32-gallon receptacle. 
How do I use the Sanitation Convenience Centers?  

Residents wishing to use the Sanitation Convenience Centers must show proof of Philadelphia residency as the centers are for City residents’ use only. Residents may use their personal passenger vehicle or pickup truck, or they may use a rental pickup truck (i.e., U-Haul, Rider, Home Depot, etc.) with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) under 6,000 pounds to enter the convenience centers. No commercial contractors or vehicles are allowed to use the facilities. Visit here for more information.

Can I bring my old mattress to a Sanitation Convenience Center?  

Yes. Mattresses may be brought to the yards as is, not covered or not in a plastic mattress bag. Mattresses set out curbside for pickup must be sealed in a plastic mattress bag. For more information, click here.

How can I arrange for pickup of trash from a planned neighborhood cleanup?  

Make arrangements for Sanitation to pick up the trash at least two weeks prior to an event by calling 215-686-5560.

Can I put my glass windows out for collection?  

Yes. We ask that citizens tape glass windows to minimize shatter and  to ensure safety of employees and other citizens. The glass should be securely placed  in a metal or non corrodible receptacle that is no more than thirty-two (32) gallons. Employees are authorized to refrain from collecting any rubbish  that is not properly set out.
How do I dispose of old paint?  

If the paint is latex, or water-based, you can dispose of it in the trash. You must first soak up the left-over paint with kitty litter or old newspapers before setting out to avoid splatter. If the paint is oil-based, you must take it to any of our Household Hazardous Waste Events.

Who is responsible for cleaning alleys and driveways?  

Cleaning of alleys and driveways is the sole responsibility of the property owner.
What other services are done by Citywide Cleaning?  

Citywide cleaning is responsible for cleaning after Special Events such as parades and ball games. However, the event organizer/holder will assume responsibility to pay for all costs involved in the cleanup efforts. They use compactors for Saturday during neighborhood cleanups (approved by Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee). 
Who cleans public areas that have illegal dumping?  

Citywide Cleaning Unit uses a short dump crew to clean public areas that have illegal dumping.  
Is there a special way to set out tree cuttings for collection?  

The tree should be cut into small pieces to fit into a 32-gallon receptacle.  The branches can be tied in a bundle, placed in a receptacle and set out with curbside collections. There is a maximum of 2 items that can be set out each week that do not fit into a receptacle.


What are the advantages of SWEEP?  

SWEEP is a comprehensive, centralized, and accessible resource for information about the Sanitation Code. Intensified patrols by SWEEP officers will increase awareness of the Sanitation Code, reduce the number of violations, and hold violators accountable--making Philadelphia a cleaner and safer place to live and to do business.
Where does SWEEP operate?  

SWEEP is a citywide program, with emphasis on commercial areas.
How does SWEEP work?  

Specially trained civilian officers meet with the individuals responsible for the operation of businesses and apartment buildings to review cleanup responsibilities. SWEEP officers will work with residential communities to address problem locations. In cases of non-compliance, SWEEP officers will issue warnings and citations to the appropriate individuals. 
Why is SWEEP needed?   

A clean city is a better place to live and work. Clean cities attract shoppers, tourists, and new businesses. Keeping Philadelphia litter-free will enhance the city's image and economic vitality. Compliance with the sanitation laws is also cost effective, since keeping litter off the streets to begin with is less expensive than cleaning it up. 
What is SWEEP?  

SWEEP is Streets & Walkways Education and Enforcement Program, the City-run program created to educate Philadelphia citizens about their responsibilities under the Sanitation Code. SWEEP enforces the law against violators through intensified street patrols by uniformed litter enforcement officers, computerized tracking of code violation notices, and speedy adjudication of violations. Through education and enforcement, SWEEP supports and enhances individual and community efforts to maintain a clean City.