Changes to rubbish & recycling

Curbside Placement Time Restrictions 

Waste disposal containers, bulky waste item, and recycle receptacles may be placed curbside for municipal collection no sooner than 7:00PM the evening before the scheduled collection. 

Trash bags (not contained in barrels) may be placed curbside for municipal collection no sooner than 5 AM the morning of the scheduled collection. The reason for this is to discourage the attraction of nocturnal animals that may tear into the bags and cause a nuisance. 

All waste disposal containers, bulky waste item, and recycle receptacles must be placed curbside no later than 7 AM on the day of collection and containers must be removed from the sidewalk on the same day as the collection.

Solid Waste Limits 

Two (2) acceptable waste disposal containers (30 gallon bags or barrels up to 35 gallons in size) will be allowed per household per week for collection. 

The weight of each disposal container and its contents shall not exceed 50 pounds. 

One bulky item per week will be allowed for curbside collection. (such as a piece of furniture)

Large barrels (exceeding 35 gallons but no larger than 64 gallons) are allowed at this time, but are not encouraged. Large barrels may be prohibited from use in the future, so it is advised that new barrels purchased for curbside collection not exceed 35 gallons. Large barrels may be repurposed for recycling and yard waste collection. 

Large barrels may not contain loose trash. All solid waste in large barrels must be contained in trash bags (30 gallon maximum). Bags cannot be stacked higher than rim of container (lid should be able to fully close).

The experience of other towns has demonstrated that more than 95% of the time, the limits established by this regulation are adequate for solid waste disposal when recycling efforts are increased. The Board of Health recognizes, however, that there may be an instance when a household generates more solid waste than allowed. In such cases, a resident may purchase an overflow sticker to be applied to a plastic trash bag (30 gallon maximum), indicating that it may be collected. Stickers may be purchased at the Swampscott Town Hall for $2.00 (two dollars).


Recycling is necessary to reduce solid waste disposal amounts to a responsible and acceptable level. 

Recyclable materials will be collected every week.

There is no limit on the amount of recyclable materials collected curbside. Recyclable materials include commingled material (cans, glass, plastics #1-7), mixed paper and flattened cardboard. 

Recyclable materials must be placed in town-provided bins or other receptacles that are clearly marked for recycling. Barrels of any size may be used for recycling, as long as the barrel and its contents do not weigh more than 50 pounds, and it is clearly marked for recycling. (Recycle bins and recycle stickers are available for purchase at the Swampscott Health Department.) 

Cardboard must be flattened into manageable pieces (3ftx3ft) and may be placed under a bin or included with other recycle materials.

Scrap wood must be cut into 3 foot lengths and tied together in a manageable bundle of 50 pounds. Two bundles will be considered to be a bulk item.

A single rug is a bulk item (unless it fits in a 35 gallon barrel and weighs less than 50 pounds)

Carpeting is handled differently in order to assist with it's disposal. Carpeting (not rugs) need to be cut into 3' widths, rolled and tied. No roll may weigh more than 50 pounds. Four rolled pieces are considered one bulk item.