In observance of Memorial Day, DPW will be closed on Monday 5/27. Recycling will NOT be collected.

Visit our after-hours page for more info on how to reach us for urgent issues.

Department of Public Works

Recycling and Solid Waste FAQs


What day is my recycling picked up?

The city has three recycling trucks that collect recycling each weekday starting at 7:00 a.m. Follow the links for each weekday to view each route collection map or visit our interactive map here


Where do the collected recyclables go?

Collected materials are transported to the Chittenden County Solid Waste District's Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Williston, where they are sorted, baled, and shipped to appropriate markets.


How can I compost or manage my food scraps to comply with Act 148 (the food scraps law)?

To learn more about Act 148, composting resources, drop off locations or to find a list of food scrap haulers, please visit


What is the history of recycling in Burlington?

In 1989, the City began a residential curbside recycling pilot project that served 3,000 residential units. During this time, a recycling drop-off facility was opened for residents who were not served by the pilot project. In 1990, Public Works staff completed a comprehensive report on residential recycling and toxic materials collection. The City joined the Chittenden Solid Waste District in March of 1990. In 1991, the City expanded the recycling program to include all buildings with up to four dwelling units. In 1992, the City passed a mandatory recycling ordinance for residents and businesses and expanded curbside recyclables collection to include all residential dwelling units. In 1993, the City began municipal collection of residential recyclables. In 2003, the City purchased three new recycling trucks, completed a route balancing study, and joined the Chittenden Solid Waste District in converting from a co-mingle system to single stream, or "all in one recycling" system. 


What items can I recycle?

Throughout Chittenden County all residental recycling programs follow the Chittenden Solid Waste Districts recyclables list. To review this list, visit the Chittenden Solid Waste District's Recycling List.


Where can I compost wood and yard debris in Burlington?

Businesses and residences can bring limited amounts of yard debris to the McNeil Wood and Yard Waste Depot at 111 Intervale Road. McNeil Depot hours change with the seasons. Please check for updated hours. Yard debris collected at the McNeil Depot will be transported to the new location of Green Mountain Compost (formerly Intervale Compost Products) on Redmond Road in Williston, where it will be used to make compost. Yard debris may also be taken to CSWD Drop Off Centers, which are located in Burlington, South Burlington, Essex, Williston, and more. Please check for updated hours.


Who pays for the recycling program in Burlington?

Funding for the recycling program comes from a Solid Waste Generation Tax assessed to each residential unit within the City. This tax is currently being collected for the City by the private trash haulers who pick up your solid waste.


Why wasn't my recycling picked up?

Recycling must be placed outside in an approved covered recycling cart by 7:00 am. Recyclables in plastic bags cannot be accepted, except shredded paper in clear plastic bags. In addition, any evidence of non-recyclables or food in your recycle bin may lead to your recycling not being picked up. The recyclable materials we collect are taken to be sorted and sold, and eventually manufactured into new products. With too many non-recyclables in the mix, the material cannot be used. For missed pick ups call (802) 863-9094 during normal business hours or visit to submit a ticket. For the holiday schedule, see below.


Will recycling be collected on holidays?

Recycling will not be collected on the observed holidays of July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas. If your recycling day falls on one of these observed holidays, your recyclables will be collected the following week on your recycling day. We suggest calling 863.9094 to confirm our collection schedule.