The city of Cambridge is on a mission to reduce its 80% trash by 2050. Sounds great! But this means residents have to limit their garbage too. 

Delivering the new trash carts last June was the first step of this trash reduction movement.

So, it’s a right to know more about the pickup schedule and other rules. Let’s begin.

1. Cambridge Trash Pickup Schedule 2024

Residential trash collection starts at 6 am on your assigned day. Refuse (black cart), Recyclables (blue cart), Compost (green cart), and Yard Waste (brown cart) are collected on the same day.

Here’s how you can find your Cambridge trash day:

  • Navigate to the city of Cambridge’s official website (click here)
  • Type your address in the search bar
  • Your yearly trash collection calendar will be displayed

Moreover, keep in mind that you need to roll out carts on time and must remove them by 6 pm on the same day as your collection day.

Download The Yearly Calender To Never Miss Your Trash Day Again!

Now the residents can download the yearly calendar and can also set a swift reminder to ensure no delay in service. You can download the calendar from the official website (click here). 

Cambridge MA Trash Pickup Rules

  • Carts must be placed on the curb by 6 am on your collection day.
  • The lids must be securely closed.
  • Don’t overfill your carts.
  • Keep the bins at least 3 feet away from roads, trees, and water meters.
  • Remove the carts from the ally by 6 pm after collection.

Report Missed Trash Collection

If you’ve placed the trash as per rules and on time, still the service is not provided. Report a missed trash collection at 311 or 617 -349 -4000. Before you call, please ensure that there is no note or ticket placed on the cart. The service will be provided within 24 hours if proven.

2. Cambridge Recycling Pickup


Recyclables are collected weekly along with the regular refuse collection day. To find your next collection day, click here

  • No plastic bags or wrappers are accepted.
  • The items must be loosely placed in the cart.
  • Ensure no food is left over in the cartons before you toss them in the bin.
  • Acceptable items mixed with unaccepted items will not be collected.
  • Must rinse and dry the bottles before you toss them in the cart.

If you still need clarification about what to recycle, navigate to CambridgeMA.Gov/Recycle and search for the name of the item.

Acceptable Items: Metal cans and foil, glass bottles and jars, plastic containers, paper, and flattened cardboard.

Unacceptable Items: Leftover food debris, hoses, cables, hangers, electronics, ceramic containers, and textiles.

3. Cambridge Yard Waste Pickup 2024

Yard waste is only collected from April 1st to December 31st. You need to place your yard waste in barrels marked with city-issued stickers or in the lawn refuse bags. Click here to find your next yard waste collection day.

  • No dirt, sod, or construction debris will be accepted.
  • Barrels must not exceed over 32 gallons and should not weigh more than 50 pounds.
  • Christmas trees are picked up on the regular trash collection day from the curbside.

If your yard waste is not collected (missed), report it at CambridgeMA.Gov/311 or leave a voicemail at 617 -349 -4800.

Accepted Material: Leaves, grass, plants, shrub prunings, twigs, up to 3 tied thick limbs per week, and pumpkins.

Unaccepted Materials: Dirt, soil, sod, tree stumps, food debris, decorative material, invasive plants, and rocks.

4. Cambridge Bulk Waste Collection

Bulky waste collection is provided on request. Some items require a special permit, while others are good to go as large items disposal.


To apply for appliances and bulky item permits, click here

  • Bicycles, metal desks, cabinets, grills, exercise equipment, lawnmowers, and snowblowers are collected free of charge.
  • A $25 fee is charged for every large appliance and electronics.

Keep in mind that you need to place large items on the curb/ally prior to 24 hours before your collection day. 

Accepted Items: Carpets, furniture, toilets, sinks, small TVs and monitors, keyboards, hard drives, small printers, air conditioners, stoves, water coolers, large exercise equipment, radiators, mattresses, and trash compactors.

5. Got Large Items That City Won’t Pick Up? You Need To Hire Private Junk Haulers!

If you’ve construction debris or hefty large items, you need to hire junk haulers to get rid of that. They will charge a small fee, anywhere between $500 to $650, for a full truckload of 430 cubic yards (equivalent to 20 regular refrigerators).

Here’s the list of the top 5 junk haulers in Cambridge:

Company NameContact Info
Marvin Junk Removal781 -267 -5966
1-800-GOT-JUNK?800 -468 -5865
Supreme Junk Removal857 -245 -8160
AAA Junk Removal617 -435 -4988
Treasure Trove Junk Removal774 -244 -2020

It is best to get an early estimate first before you hire a junk hauler. Moreover, don’t forget to ask about the list of accepted items. This will save you some additional bucks and time if you’re moving out.

6. Cambridge MA Trash Pickup Holidays 2024

On holidays, the curbside collection is delayed and pushed to the next day. The city observes 13 holidays around the year. There will be no collection on the following holidays:

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr Birthday
  • Presidents Day
  • Patriots Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Labor Day
  • Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day After Thanksgiving
  • Day Before Christmas

Thursday’s collection of Thanksgiving trash pickup will be pushed to Friday. Friday’s pickup will be collected on Saturday. When it comes to Christmas tree collection, all residents can place it on the curb till January 12, and it will be picked up without any fee.

7. Important Contacts

Cambridge Trash Pickup Phone Number:  311 or 617 -349 -4000

For The Latest Updates: Follow the city of Cambridge on Twitter for all the latest news about any sudden change in pickup schedule due to weather. 

Wrapping It Up!

Like the rest of the US, residential trash is collected weekly along with recyclables, yard waste, and compost. The garbage collection begins at 6 am. So, it is best to roll out your carts to the curb on time to avoid any missed pickup.

When it comes to the holiday schedule, the city observes over 13 holidays, unlike the nearest city of Boston trash pickup. Keep in mind that the collection is pushed to the next day on holidays.

For bulky items, it is best to hire private junk haulers, as the city charges $25 per item. In the end, we hope that with this article, we were able to help you with Cambridge’s trash schedule.

Well, if you think we have missed anything, do tell us by reaching out!



Jimmy Carter specializes in providing up-to-date information on trash schedules for cities and states across the USA. With a passion for community service and sustainability, Jimmy is committed to helping people reduce their environmental impact and keep their neighborhoods clean.

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