Properly Prepare Materials for Collection

Properly Prepare Material for Collection      



Properly Prepare Materials for Collection


The County provides one trash cart per residential property for those residents who are eligible to participate in the County provided curbside collection program. Residents may use an additional trash container provided the can/receptacle is:

• Permanent-type, standard metal with bottoms intact and no excessive rust
• Watertight, heavy-duty plastic containers with handles and tight-fitting lids, such a plastic trash can or cart
• Additionally, no more than one (1) loose, securely tied, heavy-duty plastic bag may be set out for regular trash pick-up. Otherwise, all trash must be contained in a collection container.
• No single container should exceed sixty (60) pounds, at any time. There is no limit to the number of regulation containers that may be used.


• Garbage: Food waste accumulated from normal, residential household use
• Plastic bags
• Plastics with resin # 4 and #6
• Soiled paper, such as greasy pizza boxes, paper plates
• Paper towels, tissues, napkins
• Sanitary and hygiene products
• Latex paint – must be completely dried out – kitty litter and paint solidifiers work well to dry left over/excess paint (latex paint is NOT hazardous waste, but must be dried out to prevent leakage/spillage from collection trucks onto our streets/roadways)
• Bubble wrap
• Polystyrene (i.e. Styrofoam)
• Most fast food wrapping
• Candy wrappers, chip bags, cake and cookie wrappers
• Small “rigid” plastic trinkets / toys / parts / caps
• Small household kitchen appliances such as toasters, toaster ovens, mixers, coffee pots
• Small home décor such as old artificial flowers, small 2’ x 3’ area rugs, table place mats, small table lamps/night lights, nick-knacks, old flower pots, etc.
• Old kitchen pots and pans
• Sponges and other old rags/textiles
• Used cat litter IF completely bagged and tied tightly to secure all contents!
• Non CFL type of light bulbs (i.e. incandescent light bulbs are non-hazardous and may be placed in with regular trash) and AA and AAA household batteries
• Old prescription drugs may be crushed, mixed with coffee grounds, kitty litter or dirt and placed into a zip lock or air tight bag for proper trash disposal
• Old 3 ring binders and plastic file folders
• Old ink pens, broken mechanical pencils, etc.
• Old picture frames that can’t be repurposed
• Bamboo: no longer than 4 feet in length and tied in bundles and placed next to the trash can for collection
• Old/un-repairable rigid plastic and or metal trash cans be delivered by the resident to either of the two County Convenience Centers for recycling. Otherwise, unwanted old trash cans must be turned upside down with a note affixed on the can stating, “for TRASH pickup” and placed at curbside on your regularly scheduled trash collection day. If there is any confusion at the curb and the hauler doesn’t discard the can, please click HERE to submit a service request by selecting "Missed Collection and Other Collection Issues.” (Please provide specific instruction that you wish for the hauler to collect the trash can as trash and set it back out on your next regularly scheduled collection day. Please note, the hauler will err on the side of caution, if the crew is unsure of the intent of the collection of the old can.

Often times, items might be found in the trash cart that are deemed unacceptable materials. It is vital that each resident places the correct items out for proper collection. Listed below are unacceptable items that should not be place out for trash/recycling pick-up, as the County’s contractors are not allowed to pick up unacceptable items:

• Construction and demolition Debris (or, “C & D) – this includes trash generated from home improvement projects, new construction projects covering materials such as lumber, drywall, plumbing and electrical apparatus, concrete, bricks, stone, roofing shingles, vinyl siding, wood siding, house-wrap, etc…
• Wood (note, “natural” yard trim may be set out for yard trim collections per the yard trim collection guidelines. Wood such as 2 x 4s, house framing, fire wood, flower-bed boarder trim, wooden sheds, etc. is not acceptable household trash and will not be serviced by the County’s curbside program. This type of debris should be delivered to an appropriate C & D acceptance facility or removed and properly disposed of by your contractor.
• Car parts - should be taken to a junk yard or other acceptable facility for proper disposal
• Stones/rocks– recommend asking around the community to inquire if anyone would like the stones/rocks. There are many people who use rocks and stones in their landscaping projects.
• Dirt/Sod – the problem with dirt and sod is the weight of such type of material when setting it out for curbside collection. To avoid not having your trash collected, avoid placing dirt and sod in your trash collection container. Instead, try starting a backyard compost pile. If the dirt is “good soil” try donating the soil to a friend or neighbor.
• Concrete, including bags of concrete “powder/mix”
• Yard Trim – should never be set out with the trash. Please utilize the County’s yard trim (yard waste) curbside collection program or deliver yard trim to either of the County’s convenience centers for composting of this valuable material. Residents are also encouraged to explore backyard composting, as well. Finished compost may then be used to help fertilize lawns, flowers, shrubs, and trees.
Consider these tips to reduce wind-blown trash and recycling:
• Residents should secure their recycling and trash carts, cans and/or bins to prevent wind-blown litter and possible damage to the containers. This is particularly important on windy days.
• Avoid placing “loose” pieces of lightweight paper and/or plastic in the top of your recycling collection container. In other words, if loose paper or light weight plastic bottles are at the top of the pile in your cart, move something heavier on top of the material to prevent the lightweight items from blowing out of the cart.
• On windy days, particularly when a storm or tropical storm is predicted, consider placing a heavy object on top of the lid to prevent the lid from blowing open and expelling its contents or consider not placing your containers at the curb for collection. Instead, utilize your next regularly scheduled collection date. We cannot control Mother Nature/weather events, however, we can, as individuals, try to minimize potential litter problems within our communities.
• Always place the cart lift bar (found mid-way down the front of the cart) facing the street. This uniform collection process is most effective to our haulers.
• Use trash bags to help manage your trash collections, and to keep your cart/can clean. This is especially important for small, lightweight items, as well as food waste that may attract wildlife such as birds, mice, racoons, etc.
• Be sure your lid can is fully closed. Trash and recycling items are more susceptible to blowing out of the cart when the lid is not completely shut.
• Bring your cart back to your house as soon as possible, after collection to reduce the risk of your cart falling over and/or blowing into or down the street.
• Help your neighbors, if the need arises, to secure carts/prevent wind-blown “litter.”
• Once collections are completed, check around your area to see if any materials may have inadvertently spilled out and toss in the appropriate waste receptacle for the next collection cycle. If you believe a hauler has performed unsatisfactory service and has left litter behind on the ground, please report the situation to PGC311 so that the County can notify the hauling company to return to the area to provide clean-up services.


The Resource Recovery Division provides curbside recycling collection for over 172,000 county residents and citizens. As a county homeowner, you pay a fee for recycling and other waste management programs through the Solid Waste Charge that appears on your property tax bill. Recycling is your opportunity to keep Prince George's County a clean and healthy place to live. It's easy, saves energy and is good for the environment. By placing your recycling bin and/or cart at the curb on your regularly scheduled collection day, you can help reduce the amount of trash that is disposed of at the landfill. Just follow these tips:

• All recyclable items are placed in the same container without the need to sort or separate
• Equipment at the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) sorts the materials. For a virtual tour of the MRF click HERE
• A box or any receptacle (other than the county issued trash can) marked with an "X" or the word "Recycling" may be used as a recycling collection container
• Corrugated cardboard boxes will be collected with their contents
• Place recycling container or cart at curb by 6 a.m. Collections begin as early as 6 a.m. and continue until 8 p.m.
• Place the cart at curbside for collection with the arrow on the lid and the lift bar (found mid-way down the front of the cart) facing the street.
• When placing the cart at the curb, nothing should be in front of or immediately beside the cart
• To report a missed collection or register a complaint about your residential recycling collection, please click HERE to submit a service request by selecting “Missed Collection and other Collection Issues.”
• All material collected is transported and sorted at the Materials Recycling Facility.
• View Inclement Weather Policy ( for information on delays or suspension due to road or weather-related conditions.
Remember to rinse all food and beverage containers and to recap or place the lids in the recycling cart/bin.

Return coat hangers to the dry cleaners or place metal coat hangers in the scrap metal bins and plastic coat hangers in the rigid plastics bins at the public convenience centers.



• Food and beverage containers


• Aluminum foil
• Aluminum, bimetal, ferrous and steel food/beverage containers
• Empty aerosol cans

Mixed Paper/Corrugated Cardboard

• All paper
• Aseptic (shelf stable)/gable-top milk and juice cartons
• Catalogs
• Flattened corrugated cardboard (boxes)
• Frozen food packaging
• Hard- and soft-covered books
• Kraft paper bags and wrapping paper
• Magazines
• Newspapers with inserts
• Paper board (cereal and cracker boxes)
• Telephone books
• Unsoiled pizza boxes (boxes MUST BE free of grease, cheese and other food remnants)
• Drinking cups
• Flower pots
• Narrow-neck containers with code identification numbers (1,2, 3, 5 and 7)
• Prescription bottles
• Wide-mouth containers with code identification number (1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 including peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, whipped topping and margarine/butter tubs


• Auto parts
• Broken glass
• Dishes
• Electronics
• Hazardous materials
• Light bulbs
• Medical waste
• Mirrors
• Motor oil containers
• Packing foam and peanuts
• Plastic bags (#4): Effective July 1, 2015, plastic bags of any color, size or shape, and plastic film are no longer accepted in the Prince George’s County Residential Curbside Single -Stream Recycling Program. Some unacceptable items include: any grocery, retail or trash bags, bread bags, cereal, pasta or snack bags, dry cleaning bags, fruit/veggies (fresh or frozen), newspaper bags, garden product bags (soil/mulch), outer wrapping from cases or soda, juice or snacks, outer wrapping from meat or cheese, or outer wrapping from paper towers, napkins and diaper packages.
• Plastic utensils
• Polystyrene/Styrofoam (#6 plastic)
• Window panes

Plastic Bags

Your clean and dry plastic bags can be dropped off at most grocery stores and other retailers. Please do not place plastic bags in your recycling container. Haulers will not collect recyclables if contaminants are found.


Notice: Effective May 2, 2016, weekly curbside collection of yard trim/waste will be collected year-round on MONDAY ONLY! Yard trim/waste includes grass clippings, leaves, and Christmas trees.
Effective January 1, 2014, residential curbside yard waste/trim collection will no longer be accepted in plastic bags. Residents should place their yard trim/waste in a collection container (not a County-issued container) marked with "Yard Waste" or "Yard Trim “or use large, yard waste (brown) paper bags.
Tree limbs can be collected with yard waste as well. They must not exceed four (4) feet in length and three (3) inches in width and must be securely tied in bundles.
Bundles of tree limbs and brown paper bags of dry grass and leaves must weigh less than 60 pounds. Wet grass and leaves must weigh less than 25 pounds.
Hay can be also be collected with yard waste. Place the hay in a container or yard waste bag. It must be free of fecal matter or urine.
Poison Ivy may also be disposed with yard waste. Once it is composted, it is no longer active. It is active while being handled by residents so they should take necessary precautions to protect themselves while handling and make sure it is secured in the yard waste/trim bag.
Place items for yard waste collection at the curb or designated place on Sunday night. Pick-ups begin at 6 a.m.
Residents may take yard waste to the County's Yard Waste Composting Facility located at 6550 Maude Savoy Brown Rd., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. There is a minimum charge of $10.00 and $45.00 a ton. Hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. Please arrive by 3:00 pm to allow time to unload.
For information about the Yard Waste Composting Facility, please click HERE.