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Solid Waste Frequently Asked Questions


What is automated trash collection ?
Automated collection uses a mechanical arm on trucks to empty trash carts, instead of workers lifting heavy barrels.  Fully-automated trucks have controls inside the truck that allow the driver to operate a mechanical arm that lifts, dumps and returns the cart to the curb.  In semi-automated routes, carts must be wheeled to the truck and latched to a mechanical tipper to be emptied. 

How does the automated collection program work ?

  • Regular household trash must be placed in bags inside the cart.
  • Please do not overload cart. 
  • When the cart is full, the lid should be kept closed to control odors and animals.
  • Carts must be wheeled out to the curb no earlier than 24 hours before collection day, and by 6:45 am on the scheduled collection day. 
  • Grasp the handle and tilt the cart toward you; push or pull the cart to roll it; handle the cart with care on slopes, inclines or steps. 
  • Keep each cart at least 3 feet from other objects, including other carts, recycling bins, utility poles, mailboxes, etc.
  • Keep at least 10 feet between the cart and a parked car. 
  • Clear ice & snow from a space at the curb for the cart & bins after a storm. 
  • Remove cart from street at the end of the collection day . 
  •  Please avoid these common problems:
    • Multiple carts placed too close together (separate by at least 3 feet)
    • Carts too close to mailboxes or utility poles (keep at least 3 feet away)
    • Recycling bins or soft yard waste barrels / bags too close to cart (separate by at least 3 feet, or put on opposite side of driveway)

May I get more than one cart ?
Extensive research demonstrates that one cart provides adequate storage for an average family that also recycles.  Special circumstances should be brought to the attention of the Solid Waste Department, and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.   Only carts issued by the City will be collected; other barrels or carts will not be picked up.

What happens if the cart is damaged or stolen ?
Any problems with carts must be reported to the Solid Waste Department, at 589-3410.

What happens if it snows ?
Residents must keep an area at curbside clear of ice and snow for carts and recycling bins and any items for special pickup.  Place carts and bins out by 6:45 am on collection day, if streets are being plowed at night; containers must be in front of - NOT on or behind - snowbanks. 

May I take the cart and bins with me when I move, or use them at another property which I own ? 
No. Carts and bins remain the property of the City of Nashua and may not be moved from the assigned property.  Each cart has an identification number on the front that is registered to a specific address. 

What do I do with the trash from a home construction project ?
Residents may take construction and demolition (C & D) debris directly to the Four Hills Landfill; C & D waste is NOT picked up at curbside.  A residential landfill permit is required and every load must be weighed in. Please see here for the fee schedule for C & D material.

What do I do with trash from a basement clean-out or when I move out ?
Since the curbside trash collection is only for regular household trash, any trash from a clean-out or move-out must be brought directly to the Four Hills Landfill.  A residential landfill permit is required.

What do I do with oversize items, like furniture or appliances, like a couch or stove ?

Mid-Spring through the end of October:

Oversize items and tires will be picked up separately; call
589-3410 or fill out the Oversized Item form to schedule an appointment for the following week’s pickup. All calls or form submissions must be received by Friday afternoon in order for items to be picked up the following week. Residents may take acceptable waste directly to the Four Hills Landfill.

Special pickups – ANNUAL limits  

  • First 5 oversized items picked up by the Solid Waste Department - no charge
  • First 4 tires (must be off rims) picked up by Solid Waste Department - no charge
  • All items must be called in for pickup by appointment only at 589-3410
  • All calls must be received by Friday afternoon
  • After limit is reached, there will be a pickup charge of $25.00 per item Residents may take items directly to the Four Hills Landfill at no charge; a residential permit is required to use the facility.

November through Mid-Spring

There are no pickups of oversized items or tires during this time.

May I have another recycling bin ?
Two recycling bins are given to each household.  If extra space is needed, residents may use additional bins, but they must have handles and must be approximately the same size and height as the City-issued recycling bins; a laundry basket or plastic storage container would be acceptable.  NO barrels or plastic bags will be picked up.

What do I do with paints and other hazardous wastes ?

  • Hazardous wastes must NOT be put into the trash, poured down the drain, on the ground or in surface water.  They must be carefully handled and appropriately disposed of.  Therefore, the City of Nashua hosts 5 collections each year for hazardous wastes.
  • Latex paints & other latex-based must be DRIED OUT till they are rock solid.  Once solid, the paints will not harm the landfill.  Solid latex paint cannot be put into the curbside trash toters; it must be brought in plastic trash bags to the landfill for disposal.

How do I dispose of asbestos from my home ?
Asbestos disposal is regulated by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.  Compliance with handling and packaging is required, as well as prior notification and approval by the Solid Waste Department.  For more information, see Asbestos on the Four Hills Landfill page.   

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