Cardboard box filled with trash
Cardboard boxes can't be used as trash containers. They will not be picked up.
 cardboard boxes piled next to trash cans
Cardboard boxes placed into or next to trash will not be picked up.  Cardboard must be flattened, cut to size, bundled and recycled.

Fluorescent light bulb placed with trash with red X over it
Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and will not be collected in the trash. They must be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Please note that bulky item collection has been suspended until further notice effective April 9, 2020 due to COVID-19. 

Putting out your trash for pickup

Use only approved containers

Put all waste in any the following approved containers:

Plastic bags that are:

  • at least 1.5 mils thick
  • no more than 3 cubic feet (30 gallons) in volume
  • no more than 40 pounds in weight
  • tightly sealed or tied

Metal containers that:

  • are watertight
  • are rust-resistant
  • have handles
  • have tight-fitting covers
  • are no more than 3 cubic feet (32 gallons) in volume
  • are no more than 50 pounds in weight.

Plastic barrels that:

  • are heat- and water-resistant
  • have handles
  • have tight-fitting covers
  • are no more than 3 cubic feet (32 gallons) in volume
  • are no more than 50 pounds in weight


  • Do not fill containers beyond their capacity or have items protruding from the top.
  • The waste collector is not responsible for plastic containers that crack during cold weather.
  • Empty cracker or broken containers will be collected as trash

Number of items per week

Waste collectors will pick up a maximum of:

  • 6 approved containers
  • 1 bulky item — see below to find out more about bulky items

An exception will be made if you are moving — just call EL Harvey in advance of the move at 1-800-321-3002.

Bulky items-

Bulky items are those that will not fit into an approved container, including: mattresses, box springs, sofas, recliners, auto tires (without rim), storm doors, large toys, lawn furniture

  • Only 1 bulky item may be put out for collection each week.
  • Bulky items cannot weigh more than 75 pounds
  • Rugs must be cut into 4 foot lengths, rolled and tied. No more than 15 rolls of carpet may be put out for collecttion each week. 

Items you can make an appointment to have picked up

Bulky items that can only be picked up by making an appointment

Please call EL Harvey by at 800-321-3002 by 3:00 PM the day before your regular trash day to have these items collected on your regular trash day.

  • CRTs
    TV's, monitors - State law prohibits disposal of CRTs in regular trash because of their high lead content.
  • Appliances (White Goods) and Large Metal Items
    Acceptable items include stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines, dryers, metal desks, bed frames, air conditioners, file cabinets, wood stoves, dehumidifiers, grills (without propane tank), and water heaters.
  • Snow blowers and lawnmowers
    Must be completely drained of oil for pickup

Recyclopedia: Can I recycle it?

(Please note that this is a tool used state-wide courtesy of the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection. Some items may refer you back to Lexington's Environmental Services Division for guidance.)

Things you can't put out in your trash

If there are items in your trash that are not allowed, the container will be left behind by the trash collectors. They will leave stickers explaining why the items were not picked up.  


If there are visible recyclables in your trash, it will not be taken. The Town strictly enforces the State Waste Bans which forbid recyclables from entering the waste stream.

Hazardous waste

Do not put items such as oil, fuel of any kind, pesticides, non-latex paint, most cleaning fluids, non-alkaline batteries, and other toxic or corrosive items into your trash.

For a complete list, and to find out how to get rid of these items, see the Hazardous Waste page.

Medical waste

Do not put pills, eye drops, antibiotic ointments, hypodermic needles or other medications or sharps into your trash.

For a complete list, and to find out how to get rid of these items, see the Medical Waste page.

Other toxic, corrosive or polluting materials

See How Can I get rid of...? for information about disposing of specific items, or call the DPW at 781-274-8334

Reduce Your Trash

  • Recycling cardboard can reduce the weight of your trash significantly, as an averaged sized cardboard box weighs about 1 pound. 
  • Composting organic food scraps can be done at home.
  • Look for products with less packaging.
  • Your trash is another person's treasure, so Donate, Don't Dispose.
  • Recycling all your plastic, glass and cans can make a big difference in the amount of trash you throw out.