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262 Harlow Street, Bangor, ME 04401


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Departments > Public Works > Trash Collection > Automated Curbside Garbage & Recycling Collection

Automated Curbside Trash & Recycling Collection - Frequently Asked Questions


Automated Curbside Collection - Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if there is a change to the curbside collection schedule?

Schedule changes will be announced on the City's Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as at Citizens can sign up for email notifications by visiting and scrolling down to select  "Curbside Trash Collection Notifications."

Do I mix my trash and recycling together?

Yes, please mix both trash and recycling together in your bin. Plastic containers should be compressed if possible, and cardboard broken down and flattened. Bulkier items such as cardboard do not need to be bagged, but they must be placed inside the bin and the lid of the bin must be closed.

Will my bin be picked up if it is overflowing, if I stack a bag on top of the lid, or if I can’t close the lid all the way?

As long as your trash and recycling fit inside the bin and the lid closes securely, you are good to go.  If garbage is sticking above the rim of the trash can, if your lid will not close, or if bags are piled on top of the lid, your trash will not be serviced that week.  You will need to wait until your next scheduled pickup.

Can I still place broken-down cardboard next to the bin?

No. All trash and recycling, whether bagged up or not, must go inside the bin. There is not a worker outside the truck to collect anything that is not in the bin.

Will there still be a five-bag limit or weight limit?

The bag and weight limits of the past have been enforced for the safety of the workers picking up the bags. The automated side-load arm on the new trucks can lift heavier trash bins. As long as your trash and recycling fit inside the bin and the lid closes securely, you are good to go.

I live in a multi-unit building. Do we each get our own bin?

Yes, each household receives a 96-gallon bin. If there are three apartments in your building, then your building will receive three bins. Building with more than four units must contract privately for trash and recycling collection.

What if my household needs more than one bin?

These bins are very large and exceed the weekly average output of Bangor households. After the December holiday season Public Works will have a drop-off event where residents can drop of excess wrapping paper, packing material, boxes, bows, etc. That being said, additional 96-gallon bins are available for $260 each year, which averages out to $5/week. The fee covers the disposal cost of the extra trash generated as well as the cost of service and maintenance for the bin. Call Public Works at 207-992-4500 for more information.

Do the bins need to be placed curbside in a certain way for the automated system?

Yes, the front of the bin should face the street, leave 3’ clearance around the bin and 15’ clearance overhead. All trash and recycling must fit in the bin and the lid must close in order for the truck to pick it up. The bins are clearly marked with placement directions.

Can I paint, draw, or write on my bin?

You may put a label with your address on the lid, or you may write your address or apartment number on the lid with a paint marker or permanent marker. Make sure you do this only on the lid. Do not write, paint, or affix anything on the body of the bin.

How will the bins be marked? What happens if they get damaged?

Your bin is tagged with a code that corresponds to your address. If bins are damaged by the collection contractor and are unusable, they are repaired free of charge to the household. Please report damaged bins to Public Works via the GoBangor appby submitting a service request, or by calling 207-992-4500.

How is the City of Bangor working to meet State of Maine recycling goals?

The City of Bangor is a member of the Municipal Review Committee, a group of 115 cities and towns working together to ensure affordable, long term, and environmentally sound disposal of municipal solid waste. MRC is working diligently to re-open the Hampden waste processing facility, now called Municipal Waste Solutions (MWS), with their new business partner, Innovative Resource Recovery, with the goal of reopening in 2025. When fully operational the facility should easily exceed 50% diversion of recyclable materials from the waste stream, with an ultimate goal of 70%-80% of solid waste being recycled.