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Home > City Departments > Public Works, Parks & Streets > Street Sanitation > Local Laws For Refuse And Recycling Collection

Local Laws For Refuse And Recycling Collection

The following is a list of the local laws regarding curbside refuse and recycling collection services provided by the City of Buffalo. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in fines against the property owner. If you wish to report properties that are in violation of the following ordinances, please contact Citizen Services at 851-4890.

Fine Class C - $52.50

  • GARBAGE AND TRASH OUT TOO EARLY - Chapter 216-14: Garbage, 2-piece trash, yard debris and recyclables must be placed out for collection no earlier than 7:00 p.m. the evening before, or no later than 7:00 a.m. on the morning of your regularly scheduled collection day.
  • TOTES AND RECYCLING CONTAINERS NOT REMOVED FROM CURB AFTER COLLECTION - Chapter 216-14: all containers must be removed from the curbline within twelve (12) hours after collection.
  • IMPROPER STORAGE LOCATION OF CITY PROVIDED RECEPTACLE OR TOTE - CHAPTER 216-14: All garbage receptacles shall be kept in rear yards and may not be stored in the front of properties, unless authorization is received from the Commissioner of Public Works and Streets. (Please make request for waiver in writing to Commissioner of Public Works, 65 Niagara Square, Room 502, Buffalo, New York 14202)
  • OVERFLOWING TOTES - Chapter 216-15: totes should not be overflowing. The lid must be tightly closed. There should be no garbage placed on top of, next to, or around the tote when set out for collection. The only exception will be yard debris that you are permitted to place out for collection next to your tote in clear bags, and two (2) pieces of large bulk trash items that can be set out each week next to your tote.
  • TIRES, CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND FILL OUT FOR COLLECTION- Chapter 216-15: The City does not collect these materials as part of the curbside collection services that it provides. Tires, construction debris or fill may not be placed within or next to the tote. There are regularly scheduled tire drop-off dates that the City provides. In addition, construction material may be brought to a variety of transfer stations in and around the City of Buffalo, including the East Side Transfer Station for a fee.
  • MORE THAN TWO (2) PIECES OF BULK TRASH - Chapter 216-15: Properties within the City of Buffalo are allowed to place out two (2) pieces of bulk trash for collection on their regular collection day. Bulk trash consists of those items that cannot be placed in the refuse container, and yard debris placed in clear bags. Examples of bulk trash include furniture, appliances, box of miscellaneous items, large toys, bundles of wood and brush (properly bundled), mattresses, box springs, etc. (For example: One couch and one 4 feet bundle of tree branches is considered two pieces of bulk trash). Please note that the doors must be removed from refrigerators to avoid injury to neighborhood children.
  • TRASH NOT PROPERLY CONTAINED - Chapter 216-15: Small trash items placed in boxes/crates for collection must not weigh more than 50 pounds and must not contain household garbage. Wood, branches, brush, carpeting and other unwieldy items must be broken up and bundled into compact bundles no longer than four feet in length and no heavier than 50 pounds and shall be free and clear of nails. Each bundle or box placed out for collection shall be considered one piece of bulk trash. Lawn and yard debris shall be contained in clear plastic bags and set out beside the tote and shall not weigh more than 50 pounds..
  • IMPROPER USE OF CITY-PROVIDED CONTAINERS FOR GARBAGE AND RECYCLING - Chapter 216-15: Recycling containers that have items that are not recyclable, and garbage totes that have items other than regular household garbage are considered to be improper uses of the containers provided by the City.
  • FAILURE TO USE CITY-PROVIDED CONTAINERS - Chapter 216-15: Each property must use city-provided totes and recycling containers provided by the City of Buffalo.

FINE CLASS E - $105.00

  • TOTES THAT ARE TOO HEAVY - Chapter 216-15: Totes are only to be used for regular household garbage. Be sure not to overfill your tote. As mentioned above, materials such as building materials, concrete, stones, dirt, etc. cannot be put in the totes, the container will be too heavy. Containers that are too heavy can cause damage to the container or the lifting device, and most importantly, can cause injury to the lifters handling the container. The following weight limitations apply to totes: 35 gallon tote = 46 pounds 65 gallon tote = 85 pounds 95 gallon tote = 125 pounds
  • FINE CLASS H - $350.00 fine
    • EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF BULK TRASH; UNBUNDLED TRASH - Chapter 216-15 and 341-1 to 341-4: Setting bulk trash out for collection in excess of 4 cubic yards (12 feet long, 3 feet high, 3 feet wide) may result in a $350.00 fine against the property owner. Excessive amounts of bulk trash cannot be placed out at any time of year, including bulk trash season, and will be subject to the above fine.
    FINE CLASS I - $1500.00 fine
    • ILLEGAL DUMPING - Chapter 216-9 and 17: Any person who illegally dumps, or causes to be dumped, trash or debris on a property without the consent of the owner will be subject to a $1500.00 fine. Additionally, the owner of a vehicle that is used for illegal dumping will be subject to a $1500 fine.
    To report an illegal dumping call Citizens Services @ 851-4890. You must be willing to furnish your name and phone number so that you may be contacted for additional information and you must be willing to testify as a witness at a hearing. You may also report an illegal dumping that is in process to 911. If you witness an individual dumping debris from a vehicle, you should write down the license plate number and make, model and color of the vehicle.
    SCHEDULED BULK TRASH SEASON: There is a regular scheduled bulk trash season in both the spring and fall. A property is entitled to place out for collection up to 4 cubic yards of bulk trash during the dates designated for your councilmatic district. It is impossible to determine exactly when a garbage truck will be on your street during bulk trash pickup in your district, therefore you must set out your bulk trash only on the SUNDAY designated on your bulk trash schedule for your district. The property owner is subject to a $52.50 fine for bulk trash that is set out prior to, or after, the Sunday designated on your bulk trash schedule and a $350 fine for trash in excess of 4 cubic yards.
    PICK & PAY PROGRAM: At any time throughout the year, residents can schedule a special bulk trash pick-up at their property for a fee starting at $82 by calling 851-5544. No tires, paint or other hazardous materials allowed. Trash must not be set out for collection until arrangements have been made with the Pick & Pay Program and you have been instructed to put the trash out.