Household Trash

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Effective November 1, 2021

All food waste/scraps, cooking oil, pet waste and diapers must be placed into a trash bag. Trash bags that contain these items or any other trash that attracts animals, must be inside a trash can with a lid, for collection.

Bulk items can be put out with regular trash. No need to schedule an appointment to dispose of couches, tables, beds, etc. Appointments are still required for appliances and other large metal items. Visit  or call 301-809-2338 (or 2344) to schedule your special metal pickup appointment. 

Household Trash Collection Details

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  • Household trash is collected twice weekly except during weeks with holidays.
  • Household trash includes all household waste and food scrapsthat cannot be collected through the residential recycling or yard waste collections.
  • Large items (other than metal, appliances or tires) can be included with the regular household trash curbside collection.
  • View the Household Trash Collection Schedule.

Preparing Household Trash for Collection

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  • Place items for collection at the curb prior to 7 a.m. on the day of your collection, but not prior to 5 p.m. the day before your collection.
  • Trash should be in closed containers (32-gallon containers are a good size for household trash) or tied bags.
  • Containers and bags must weigh less than 50 lbs when filled.
  • Place large trash items next to trash containers for collection on regular scheduled trash collection days.
  • Animal Waste (kitty litter, dog waste) and human waste (diapers), food scraps and other items that will attract animals must be placed in a plastic bag and then put in a trash can with a tight fitting lid.
    (Eff. 11/1/21: bags with these items can not be placed directly at the curb. They must be in cans.)
  • Medicines and Needles. While unused medicine may be placed in household trash, for safety reasons, residents are encouraged to turn in unused medicines at periodic Prescription Drug Take Back events, or to visit the Federal Drug Administration's web site concerning safe disposal of unused medicines. Needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp objects can be placed in puncture-proof, hard plastic containers you can't see through. Then place the sealed container with your household trash - - never in a recycling bin.
  • Mattresses must be sealed in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic, secured with tape. A mattress bag can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowe's, Target or other local hardware stores.

Acceptable Items

  • All regular household trash and food scraps.
  • Empty or dry latex paint cans. To dispose of old cans of latex paint please make sure all paint is dried (if not, it will leak from trucks onto roadways!). You can dry it quickly by removing the lids and / or adding kitty litter to absorb the paint.  NOTE: Oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste and cannot be accepted at curbside.
  • Large household items, such as furniture (except for metal and appliances) can also be disposed of with household trash.

Prohibited Items

The following items will not be picked up with household trash:
  • Items made of 98% metal, appliances, and tires - these items require a special pick-up.
  • Items that can be recycled through the City's Residential Recycling Program
  • Liquids of any type
  • Hazardous materials
  • Compressed gas cylinders (propane, air, other gasses)
  • Car parts
  • Construction debris (concrete, bricks, lumber, windows, doors, drywall, tile, shingles & other roofing materials)
  • Dirt, sod, mulch, rocks
  • Yard Waste (The County prohibits yard waste in the landfill)
  • Stumps larger than 6” in diameter
  • Ammunition or firearms
Note: See Other Recycling and Waste Disposal Resources page for suggestions on disposing of the above items.

Large or Bulky Items

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  • Large or bulky trash items such as rugs, mattresses (must be wrapped in plastic), wooden furniture, upholstered furniture (couches, chairs) and plastic toys, etc. These items will be picked up on your regular trash day. 
  • Large or bulky trash items shall be at the curb by 7 a.m. on your normal trash collection day.
  • Metal items, appliances, and tires are collected through a special pickup so they may be recycled. Please call to schedule an appointment at 301-809-2338 (or 2344).

Tips to Reduce Trash

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  • Donate items. Consider donating items to charitable organizations. Some organizations offer free collection services.
  • Recycle. Recycling should be in recycling bins or carts. Items that do not fit in the cart, such as cardboard, will also be collected if bundled and placed next to the cart. Recyclables will be collected at your curb on your residential recycling collection day each week. All paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass food and drink containers can be co-mingled in your City of Bowie recycling cart for the weekly collection.
  • Other Recycling Resources: Recycle other items through other available resources. Please visit Other Recycling and Waste Disposal Resources for more information.
  • Junk Mail. Also on the Other Recycling and Waste Disposal Resources page you will find tips on reducing junk mail.
*unless you are participating in the compost pilot program