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The annual August Moving Days ritual in downtown Madison will begin soon. On top of packing, hauling, and saying goodbyes, movers need to decide just what to do with all their unwanted stuff.

Over the next few days, the Streets Division will be providing information so those on the move can be sure they know how to manage all the trash and recyclables they will generate.

Following Refuse and Recycling Guidelines is Important
In 2018, the August Moving Days generated over one million pounds of garbage for the landfill.

This also means that Streets Division workers picked up over one million pounds of stuff. And in the coming days, they will need to do it again.

Following the rules will help make the move out safe and efficient for everyone.

Streets Division Operations during Moving Days
Starting at 7:00 a.m. on August 5, residents in the downtown moving days area can place full collection carts and other items at the curb. Streets Division staff will be monitoring the volume of material set to the curb for pickup and will assign crews as needed for collection services.

From August 5 until August 15, daily collection of the carts and large items will occur.

Residents should fill and re-fill their collection carts again and again during the daily collection window.

Using carts correctly makes Streets Division collections faster and safer for everyone. Plus, using the carts appropriately keeps the city looking cleaner without bags of trash cluttering the terraces.

And residents within the student move area are encouraged to use their upcoming scheduled collections to begin the disposal process. To learn what collections are scheduled for your home, go to

Guidelines for Trash

  • Put all trash in the tan refuse cart or inside trash bags. Do not pile trash loose at the curb.
  • Do not put trash in cardboard boxes. Boxes are recyclable. Stuffing them with trash means they get sent to the landfill.
  • Keep your refuse and recycling separated from each other.

Guidelines for Recycling

  • Place only appropriate recyclables into the green cart. Consult the Recyclopedia to learn what can go into it.
  • Excess recyclables at the curb that cannot fit into the cart should be in a clear bags. Do not pile recyclables loose at the curb.
  • Flatten and bundle cardboard boxes for recycling.
  • Keep your refuse and recycling separated from each other.

Guidelines for Using the Carts

  • Make sure your carts remain accessible for our trucks. Do not pile bagged trash, bagged recyclables, or large items around them.
  • Leave the collection carts at the apartment. Do not take them. The carts belong to the City and must remain for the new tenants.
  • Keep the recycling lid closed when out for collection. Rainwater can damage the paper inside.

Drop-off Sites
The Streets Division offers drop-off services for all residents of the City of Madison.

Residents that have more recycling or trash than can fit into the carts can bring the excess to a drop-off site.

Residents can bring one load a day of refuse, recycling, or large items to either the 1501 W. Badger Rd. or the 4602 Sycamore drop-off site.

The single load cannot be larger than what would fit into a standard pick-up truck bed or small single-axle trailer. Loads larger than those guidelines will be denied access to the site.

The drop-off sites are open 8:30am to 4:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and 8:30am to 8:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Individuals wanting to use the drop-off site will need to provide proof of their City of Madison residency.

Additional Information
If there are questions, all residents are encouraged to contact the Streets Division.

Residents who live east of S. Park Street, and that includes the isthmus, should call 608-246-4532.

Residents west of S. Park Street, and that includes the neighborhoods around Camp Randall, should call 608-266-4681.
Additional information can also be found on the Streets Division’s Moving Days website, the Streets Division’s electronics recycling website, and the Recyclopedia.

Don’t forget to watch and share the Streets Division’s YouTube video on how to have a fast and safe move out.