Burlington's 3rd Annual "Fines for Food' Campaign Kicks off. Details.

Department of Public Works

Recycling Changes

Toter Requirements


Need an interpreter? DPW is using Telelanguage - a real time interpretation service. If you, or any neighbors want to learn more, but prefer to discuss in another language, do not hesitate to call us.

To see translated versions of this material, please visit https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/DPW/Recycling/translations.


ImageNote: Ordering online is the fastest and most convenient way to get your cart. We are experiencing longer than usual wait times in our lobby. Please call ahead if you plan to come in-person to order or pay for your cart. We are unable to place your order over the phone at this time.

The new changes to recycling law - which require every residence to own and use a covered recycling toter to receive recycling pickup - go into effect July 1, 2023. Order your toter today!

Wind blown and wet debris. Clogged storm drains. Overfilled landfills. Shoulder injuries. This is what we're responding to with an upcoming change to recycling ordinance. By May 1, 2023 - as approved by City Council - we'll be requiring every household to have a recycling toter - offered at a heavily subsidized rate & delivered to you. They are available in the following sizes (note that the shade of blue we offer will vary based on current inventory):

  • 35 gallon toters - $10 - in stock
  • 65 gallon toters - $20 - in stock
  • 95 gallon toters - $25 - in stock

When selecting a size, you may want to consider going for the largest that your space can accomodate. If your bin is half full or less, consider not putting it out until the following week. Note that as of July 1 we will no longer be picking up recycling left outside of your pre-approved covered bin. Recycling left outside of covered carts may be subject to a fine.

Why the change?

See the picture above? Our trucks are outfitted with a modern lift mechanism for toters. Yet, due to the thousands of blue bins still in circulation, shoulder injuries are the number one cause of missed work for our recycling team. When one of those dedicated, committed employees is out with an injury - someone on our sidewalk/plow/street maintenance team has to fill in.

Wind blown, wet recycling turns into litter. This is then mostly unusable on the recycling market and instead heads to the landfill. It also makes our streets and neighborhoods unsightly.

The state of the recycling market has changed significantly in the 30 years since Burlington began recycling. It's time we change with it. 

Next Steps:

  • Order your toter today! Online and paper applications available below.
  • Read our FAQ's or send us your questions.

What you can do in the meantime:

  • Check back here for more information and updates, reach out to us with questions, check Front Porch Forum (if you subscribe) for updates or sign up for important recycling updates here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Recycling Translations


For questions on the proposed new toter requirements: 

Please call 802-863-9094 or email dpw-pinecustomerservice@burlingtonvt.gov