1. How do I recycle?
Each resident can purchase a blue recycle bin and a green recycle bin. The green bin is used for paper. You can put all newspaper, cardboard boxes (in pieces no larger than 3 x 2), and all other paper made materials inside. Egg cartons, shoeboxes and books are some other items you can put in your green can. The blue recycle bins are used to sort plastics, glass, and metals. Some of the examples of what to put in your blue bin are hair spray cans, milk jugs, juice boxes, soda cans and aluminum foil.
IMPORTANT: To receive trash service, each trash barrel must be a City-issued Big Green Cans and be accompanied by 2 recycling containers (1 for paper; 1 for bottles). Recycling containers and bins must be left with the trash barrel until trash pickup is complete.
For more information on this, please click on the Announcements page on the Recycling website to view a PDF version of the Green Up FAQ. You may also visit the main City of Providence website for more information: www.providenceri.com
2. How do I dispose of yard debris?
Curbside leaf and yard waste service is offered from mid-April to mid-December only.
Leaves and all other yard debris must be labeled and placed in paper bags or put out in open barrels clearly labeled YARD WASTE. Please leave these items out on your trash day. Tree branches must be bundled together and be cut down to less than 4 ft.
3. What to do about rats in the neighborhood and in my trash?
It is important to keep the lids down on trashcans to keep rodents out. You can report rodent sightings to the Department of Environmental Services. Once a report has been made, the owner of the property must sign a consent form. The department will then start the baiting process.
4. Why wasn't my trash picked up?
The proper way to dispose of trash is to have all trash bins in one area with the lids fully closed. All trash bins must be City-issued Big Green Cans and be accompanied by a minimum of 2 recycling containers (1 for bottles/ 1 for paper). Your recycling containers and yard waste barrels (or paper yard waste bags) should be placed beside your Big Green Can. Recycling containers MUST be left beside each Big Green Can until the trash has been collected.
Bagged or loose trash is not to be left outside of or next to the Big Green Can. Keeping the lids on the cans fully shut helps keep rodents away (esp. rats).
Residents must schedule an appointment for the collection of bulky items (furniture), mattresses, and electronic waste. To make an appointment, please call 1-800-972-4545 at least 24 hours before your regularly scheduled trash day. There is a 3 item limit per unit.
All cardboard boxes must be flattened or broken down into pieces no larger than 3 x 2 and tied into bundles with string (not wire or tape). They may be placed on top or inside of your paper recycling container. Boxes that do not meet these size requirements will be tagged with a sticker and left at the curb. If cardboard is observed inside Big Green Cans during routine environmental inspections, a $50 fine will be issued.
E-waste (computers & electronic equipment) must be scheduled for pickup curbside to be properly recycled. Public Works also offers two e-waste drop-off containers.
Materials such as paint (except when cans are mostly empty), sheet rock, and wood are not permitted. A small amount of household renovation or construction debris is permitted as part of personal home improvement projects. Projects involving the use of a contractor require the contracting of a dumpster.
5. My Big Green Can is not big enough to hold my trash?
The Big Green Can is a 95-gallon container and is big enough to hold all weekly trash. If you do not have enough space at the end of the week, we strongly recommend you begin recycling. Public Works does not issue additional Big Green Cans. (Please note: Property owners are responsible for disposing of all excess waste. Fines will be issued for failure to adhere to the City's trash regulations.)
6. My Big Green Can is too big, what should I do?
For residents with this problem, the city can issue a smaller version of the can upon request. Instead of a 95-gallon green can residents can request the smaller 65-gallon green can.
7. How do I contact Rhode Island Resource and Recovery? Rhode Island Resource Recovery's phone number is 401-942-1430 and their web address is www.rirrc.org
8. I want to start recycling at my school, work, or business. How can the city help me?
It is important that we all work together to keep our environment safe and clean. The Environmental Department actively promotes recycling and supports all businesses and schools in their efforts to recycle. Although the City is not responsible for trash pick-up or recycling in businesses or schools, the City is delighted to send out information to any schools or businesses that want to start recycling. Information includes what and how to recycle and how to sort trash items. The Recycling website also provides information, educational resources, and announcements.
Residential complexes with more than 6 units, businesses, and independent schools (those managed outside of the Providence Public School department) can receive information by request about how to purchase commercial recycling service.
Please note that Providence public schools receive recycling services. For more details, please contact PPSD Facilities Management at 401 278 2820.
9. How do I know if my yard is up to city standards?
All residents are expected to keep their property up to city standards. Yards are to be kept clean and tidy at all times.
Residents are responsible for the proper disposal of yard debris such as tree limbs, branches, and leaves. Grass is to be kept neat and cut so that it is less than 6 inches high.
Broken glass and animal droppings are to be cleaned up in a timely fashion and disposed of properly. Hazardous materials such as tires, auto fluids, and other household chemicals are not permitted. Yards are to be kept free of: construction materials such as paint cans, sheet rock, and other materials used in home remodeling.
10. Am I responsible for keeping the curb in front of my home clean?
Yes. All residents are expected to keep their curbs clear of garbage, debris, or items of any kind outside of their scheduled collection day. Barrels, bins, and bulky items may not be put out prior to 4 PM on the day before collection. Failure to pull them back after collection day will result in fines.
11. I put my trash and recycling out this morning. It seems the truck already passed - what do I do?
Please place your waste, recycling, and other items out no later than 4 AM on the day of your collection. (The routes and schedules for the trash, recycling, yard waste, and bulky trucks vary throughout the collection day.) If you do not do so, we will be unable to schedule another pickup for that week.
12. Where can I go to pay a fine?
Tickets must be paid - or an additional fine will be assessed and further action may be taken. Tickets can be paid by mail with a check or money order payable to the Providence Municipal Court. Cash payments can be made directly at the clerk's window at the Municipal Court. All payment arrangements must be made with the Municipal Court.
13. I need a Big Green Can. How do I get one?
Big Green Cans are $50 each. Residents living in residential property up to six units are permitted one 95 gallon (or 65 gallons) Big Green Can per unit. This is verified through the use of the Tax Assesor's database. Residents should bring proper identification with the address where they reside or an ID and proof of ownership (property owners) or current utility bill. Cans are not issued to: businesses or commercial establishments, residences above 6 units, or nonprofits. This includes group homes. Extra cans are not allowed. There are no exceptions.
If your can was stolen: You need to complete an affidavit, have it notarized and bring it to Public Works. We will issue a replacement free of charge. If a can was never issued to your address: Once this is verified through the Public Works database, a can will be issued free of charge.