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Moving Days

On August 14th and 15th leases for most downtown area apartments end. That means thousands of residents will be moving all at the same time.

Every year, the August move out generates over 1 million pounds of material into the landfill.

Follow the rules and regulations below so Streets Division crews can collect all that waste material as quickly and safely as possible.

Also, 1 million pounds into the landfill !?! We can do better. Before you landfill it, donate it, or sell it online, or best yet, move it with you.



Donate & ReSell Your Usable Goods

After you have gathered all you you need for your new apartment, let's find a home for the stuff you don't need instead of adding it to the landfill.

Check out our "Reuse It!" website for a list of just some of the many, many options available locally that acceptable usable items.


There are many online person-to-person exchanges as well, including the various social media networks that connect residents to their neighborhoods.


Apartment Building Sites

In the past, Goodwill donation stations have been in select large apartment towers during move out times.

If you live in one of the large apartment buildings, contact your apartment management for information about donation opportunities for your building.

If you are unsure if your building will be doing this, or if you would like your building to participate, contact your property manager to see if Goodwill or another resale organization could set up a donation station for residents.


Fill 'Em Up & Roll 'Em Out - DAILY COLLECTION

For 2021, the Streets Division will empty refuse and recycling carts in the downtown moving area every work day between Monday, August 2 through Monday, August 16.

During this window, fill up your carts with the appropriate material according to the guidelines below and roll them to the curb by 6:30 a.m.

We will empty your carts so you can fill them up again. And we'll empty them again the next day.

Use the carts as much as possible.

It keeps your neighborhood clean, and makes our collection much faster so we can stay out of your way while you move.

The moving areas will be monitored daily starting the last week of July. Crews collecting large items and emptying carts will be assigned to the student move areas as needed.

Trash cart being emptied into truck


the large item work order system and student move out

Starting in June 1, 2021, the Streets Division began requiring residents submit a work order before they set large items out to the curb.

The August student moving days is different.

Disposal of Items that Are Free (Furniture, Mattresses, Etc.)

If you live in the student move out area, you are not required to submit a work order to have furniture, mattresses, or other free large items collected at the curb. Crews will be rotating through these neighborhoods during the move-out process as they have in years past.


Disposal of Items that Require a Fee (Microwaves, Air Conditioners, Etc.)

If you are disposing of an item that has a special recycling fee charge, for example a microwave or air conditioner, you will need to use the work order form to pay those fees.

If you are choosing curbside pickup, set the item out on the set-out dates available for you. After you book the appointment and pay the fee, you will not receive a fee sticker in the mail. Just set the item out on the date you selected. The areas within the student move out zone will see extra set-out date options.

If you are choosing to take the item to a drop-off site, or if you are required to take it to a drop-off site, then you will receive a fee sticker in the mail.


the rules & guidelines

The Basics

  • Use the right cart for the right material
  • Please keep your refuse and recycling carts separated from each other.
  • Make sure your carts remain accessible for our trucks and do not pile bagged trash, bagged recyclables, or large items around them.
  • Do not take the collection carts with you. Appropriate carts or dumpsters will be at your next apartment.


Guidelines for Trash

  • Put all refuse at the curb in your tan refuse cart or trash bags. Do not pile your trash loose at the curb.
  • Do not put recycling in your tan refuse cart - all material in the tan cart goes to the landfill
  • Do NOT put trash in cardboard boxes. Boxes are recyclable. Stuffing them with trash means they get sent to the landfill
  • Place trash that will not fit into the cart in bags.


Guidelines for Green Recycling Carts

  • Only put recyclables in your green recycling cart.
  • If the recyclables are in the cart they should be loose. Do not bag them.
  • Have too much cardboard? Here are your options.
  • Use clear plastic bags for recycling that does not fit into the cart. Do not pile it loose at the curb or stuffed into another container
  • Do not stuff extra recycling into a cardboard box, either.


Guidelines for Furniture, Appliances, and Other Large Items

  • Do not pile bagged trash or recyclables on top of large items furniture or appliances set out for collection
  • Keep larger metal items separate from other material so that it can be recycled.

  • Most appliances, including microwaves, require a fee for collection.

  • You will need to use the new work order system to pay for these items and scheduled your pickup or get the stickers you need for drop-off.



Guidelines for Televisions, Computers, Laptops, and Other Electronics


a bad example - do not be like this

Follow the rules and make a plan to avoid messy piles like below.

See the non-recyclable garbage has been stuffed into the recycling carts?

See the garbage has been stuffed into cardboard boxes? That means the whole box goes into the trash.

See the other small trash scattered around, and the other items piled right under a tree?

We can be better.

Bad student move out - don't do this!



Check the Recyclopedia.

Or call:
(608)246-4532 if you live east of S. Park Street (and that includes the isthmus) or
(608)266-4681 if you live west of S. Park (and that includes the area around Camp Randall).

And you can email us.

A note for property owners & managers

In 2021, individuals that own non-owner occupied property in the student move area will have received a copy of this letter providing notification about how the Streets Division will handle certain items set to the curb that should not be.

In the mailing, you will have also received a print out of the student move map, which is available below. This shows the area of the city that is within the student move area.

Be sure your tenants know their responsibilities on how to safely handle these items.  Provide them with the Recyclopedia.

Also, if items are dumped illegally on your property, it is a crime and should be reported to the Madison Police Department. After obtaining the case number from MPD, contact the Streets Division to learn the next steps.