General Trash and Recycling

General Trash and Recycling 



1. Why is trash/recycling collection just once-a-week?

In 2007, the County made a significant commitment to increase recycling by upgrading the Material Recycling Facility’s (MRF) equipment moving from a dual stream recycling process to a single-stream process (making it more convenient for residents to place all recyclables into one recycling collection container and allowing for the MRF equipment to do the sorting) and, in 2008 through 2010 providing for new 64 gallon sized wheeled recycling carts to increase capacity for recyclables to be picked-up curbside. Additionally, in support of the County’s waste diversion goals and commitment to the environment, and recognizing many residents either did not utilize the second week day trash collection and or the second trash collection day per week was found to have a small amount of trash for collection, the County re-committed to continue increasing the recycling rate and decreasing the amount of otherwise recyclable materials being discarded as trash and thus landfilled, by consolidating trash collections into a once per week collection. The County provided a 64-gallon wheeled trash cart to each residential property in its trash curbside collection program. Not only did this effort help improve and unify the aesthetics of trash collection containers curbside, it also proved to increase recycling within the County. Nationally, most jurisdiction provide for a once-a-week trash collection service, and Prince George’s County is proud our citizens and communities have proven we can do this, too! Moving to a once-a-week trash collection reduces our carbon footprint, reduces heavy truck traffic in our communities, and is less impactful to road surfaces/conditions. And, of course, has effectuated an increase in recycling!
For additional information about the switch, please visit Once-a-Week Collection (

2. How can I find out my trash/recycling/yard waste pick up days?

To determine your collection day, please visit Collection Look-up. (

3. Do I need to separate my recyclable materials?

All recyclable items can be placed in the same container. Recyclables are collected without the need to sort or separate.

Citizens will need to be able to provide proof of residency in order to obtain the bin. Acceptable IDs are:
• Driver's license or change of address card
• Vehicle registration card showing their name and address
• Utility bill showing their name and address
• Any official document showing their name and address
Click here for convenient center locations.

4. Can I recycle my Christmas Lights?

Christmas lights can be recycled at the Household Hazardous Waste Acceptance Site, located within the Brown Station Road Landfill.
The lights may be dropped off throughout the months of December and January, during regular business hours, Thursday thru Saturday from 8:30am - 3:30 pm, excluding holidays.
The landfill is located at 11611 White House Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

5. Can I recycle my shredded paper?

The County’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) equipment is not designed to properly sort and bale shredded paper. When shredded paper is delivered to the MRF, primarily it ends up as “litter” on the floor of the processing area which is then swept up and discarded as trash. Additionally, no plastic bags, of any kind can be accepted at the MRF, because the material wraps around the sorting equipment and causes significant down time to remove the plastic from the “stars and screens” of the processing equipment. For a visual of the MRF’s equipment, visit

Due to these reasons, shredded paper should be discarded along with regular trash, taking care that the paper is properly contained/bagged to prevent windblown paper from littering our communities.

6. Why should I recycle?

When you transform something old into something new, it benefits the environment in a number of ways. Materials and natural resources aren’t wasted. Energy is saved during the manufacturing process. There’s less waste taking up precious landfill space. We can all make a difference by practicing proper recycling. Click here for recycling tips.

Recycling - Business/Commercial, Multi-family (Condos, Apartments) Recycling
Effective July 1, 2019, there are new mandatory business recycling requirements. The law affects all Prince George’s County business owners, tenants, or operators of commercial and industrial properties.

For additional information concerning business and commercial properties, please click HERE.

For additional information concerning multi-family properties - condominiums (condos), apartments - please click HERE. 

7. What is Waste/Source Reduction (Waste Prevention)

Source reduction, also known as waste prevention, is the practice of eliminating waste before it is created, or essentially, needing less material to get the job done.
For more information and tips to practice the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, click HERE