City of Madison Logo
RESIDENTIAL Refuse Collection Guidelines
  1. All Refuse Must Be Inside The City-provided Tan-colored Refuse Cart
    • Residents must use the City provided Tan-colored Refuse Cart. All household waste (no recycling items, yard waste or brush) must be placed inside the tan-colored refuse cart.
    • Refuse waste must be put out for collection by 7:00am on the scheduled day. Late set outs will not be collected until your next scheduled collection day.
    • The weight of the cart cannot exceed 100 pounds to prevent the cart from falling into the collection truck.
    • Excess Refuse: Anything outside of the cart, and not meeting either the large item collection or the move-out/household cleanup collection requirements, will not be picked up. For information on what to do with excess refuse please see #6 below. If you want to exchange your cart for a larger/smaller cart or need to purchase an additional cart, please call (608) 266-4681 (West) or (608) 246-4532 (East).
    • City ordinance states that no container shall be placed at the curb edge more than 12 hours before collection day and shall be removed within 24 hours after collection.
  2. Placement of Refuse Cart
    • Always place your cart so that the white serial numbers are facing the street. This places the lid opening in the proper position for emptying.
    • Place your cart in your driveway or next to it so that it is four (4) feet away from obstacles such as parked cars, mailboxes, and utility poles. Carts should be single file and not stacked one behind the other.
    • Another option, place your cart in the gutter right next to the driveway, but this may interfere with sweeping and snow plow operations. This works very well in areas with lots of parked cars. It does work well in winter, but only after your street has been plowed. If you live in the Clean Streets/Clean Lakes special street sweeping zone, you should not put your cart in the gutter on days when sweeping is scheduled.
    • Place your Refuse cart on the opposite side of the driveway from your Recycling cart.
    • Improperly placed carts will not be collected.
  3. Winter placement
    • The best placement is on your driveway after you have cleared it of snow.
    • It can also be placed on a cleared area of your terrace, or
    • After your street has been plowed, place it in the gutter right next to your driveway.
    • Do not leave your cart on the sidewalk or on top of a snow bank.
    • Improperly placed carts will not be collected.
    • Alley placement: Carts must be placed at the alley edge. Carts on private property or by the garage will not be collected.
  4. Mandatory Recycling
  5. Large Item Collection
    • Large items are items considered too large to fit into the refuse cart. Large items include appliances, furniture, carpets, bicycles, swing sets, etc.
    • Large items are collected every other week on the week we do not collect your recycling.
  6. Move-out / Household Cleanup
    • To be considered a move-out or household cleanup, you must have six or more 30-gallon bags or containers of material. Five or fewer bags are not considered a move-out/household cleanup and will not be collected outside the cart.
    • Other Options for five or fewer bags/containers of excess material.
      • Check with a neighbor to see if they have room in their cart
      • Hold the excess material for following refuse collection week(s)
      • Take the material to one of the two drop-off sites at 1501 W. Badger Road or 4602 Sycamore Avenue
      • Arrange to exchange your smaller cart for a larger one at no cost by calling West Streets or East Streets.
      • Purchase an additional cart by calling (608) 267-2626.
  7. Food Waste must be bagged.
  8. Building Material from Minor Remodeling Projects
    • Collection of building material is limited to debris from minor home improvement projects done by the resident - not by contractors.
    • There is a maximum amount of building materials that will be collected at any given time. That limit is equal to six (6) 30-gallon containers flush to the top of the container and not weighing over 40 pounds. Building material may be placed in your tan refuse cart.
    • Debris from major remodeling, construction projects, or work done by contractors will not be collected. Removal of this material is the property owner's responsibility.
  9. Yard Waste
    • Yard waste is banned from the landfill and if it is put into the tan-colored refuse cart, the refuse cart will not be collected.
    • Yard waste is leaves, grass clippings, plant stalks, flowers, twigs/sticks under one (1) feet in length. Yard waste is collected in the Spring and in the Fall.
    • You can also bring yard waste to a drop-off site.
    • Home Compost Information
  10. Hazardous or Infectious Waste will not be collected.
  11. Medication should be taken to a Med Drop site.
  12. Medical Needles / syringes or other sharps will not be collected.
  1. Holiday Collection
    • Refer to your Refuse/Recycling Calendar. If scheduled collection falls on a holiday, collection will be on the following workday with the following exceptions
      • Thanksgiving Refuse Collection
        • Thursday scheduled collection is collected on the preceding Wednesday (along with Wednesday's regular collection.)
        • Friday scheduled collection is collected on the following Monday (along with Monday's regular collection.)
  2. Dog / Cat Waste.
    • Please double bag pet waste, including cat litter. The outer bag should be sealed and weatherproof..
    • Place in tan refuse cart
    • Do not put pet waste in corner litter containers. Please dispose of it at your home.
  3. Ashes, Sawdust, Vacuum Cleaner Dust, Remodeling / Construction dust, etc.
    • Ashes, Sawdust, Vacuum Cleaner Dust, Remodeling / Construction dust, etc. all pose a health hazard to our operators. To protect them, all material must be double-bagged in sealed weatherproof bags and placed in your tan-colored refuse cart.
    • Ashes must be cold prior to disposal or the bag may start a fire in the cart or in the truck.
  4. Broken Glass, Mirrors, etc.
    • Broken Glass, Mirrors, etc .can be placed into your tan-colored refuse cart.
  5. Deer Carcasses must be double-bagged and placed in the Tan-colored Refuse Cart.
  6. Explosives / ammunition will not be collected.
  7. Fluorescent Bulbs / Tubes will not be collected.
    • City and County ordinances require that retailers who sell fluorescent bulbs / tubes take back old lights / tubes from their customers and recycle them. Some may charge a small fee For a list of locations.
  8. Household Hazardous Waste / Infectious Waste / Flammable Liquids / Chemicals will not be collected.
    • Items include drain cleaners, paint remover, pesticides, gasoline, etc. For proper disposal information contact Dane County's Clean Sweep
  9. Paint and Paint Related Products will not be collected.
    • Items include liquid paint, varnish, stains, thinner stripper, etc. This material must be taken to Dane County's Clean Sweep Collection Site . Cans of dried paint can be placed in your tan refuse cart. Empty paint cans, including empty aerosol paint cans can be placed in your green recycling cart.
  10. Waste Oil will not be collected.
  11. Vehicle Batteries (lead acid) will not be collected.
    • Batteries can be recycled at the City drop off sites. Details
  12. Contaminated Cardboard Cardboard contaminated by oil or grease must not be recycled.
    • Prior to putting it in the tan-colored refuse cart, follow cardboard recycling guidelines. Wet cardboard can be placed in your green recycling cart.
  13. Propane Tanks and Pressurized Gas Containers will not be collected.
  14. Gas Cans will be collected by the Large Items crews if the cans are empty and left open at the curb. Gas and oil/gas mixtures must be taken to Clean Sweep.
  15. Smoke Detectors put in your tan refuse cart. The minute amount of radioactive material does not pose a hazard in the landfill. We cannot recycle smoke detectors.
  16. Carbon Monoxide Detectors You can bring CO2 detectors to our drop off sites and recycle them in our Electronics Recycling Program or you can put them in your tan refuse cart.
  17. Household Batteries (AA, AAA, D, etc.)
    • Can be recycled at the city drop off sites. Details Rechargable batteries can be recycled at any Home Depot, Radio Shack or Batteries Plus location. They can also be brought to our drop off sites at 1501 W. Badger RD or 4602 Sycamore AV.
  18. Solid Waste Collection
    • For information call East (608) 246-4532 or West (608) 266-4681
Revised 12/15