City of Manchester, NH Official Website

Automated Trash Collection

On May 1, 2017, the Department of Public Works began pilot testing the use of automated collection technology to pick up trash in designated areas of Manchester. This program will be expanded to roughly two-thirds of Manchester by 2020.

Pilot program results

Pilot Area Trash Cart Sales

Automated collection requires that all garbage be placed in a container image of green City of Manchester trash cartcompatible with the truck's mechanical arm.  Within pilot areas, trash in other containers will NOT be collected.

All green trash carts previously or currently sold by the City of Manchester ARE APPROVED for automated collection.  These durable, warrantied trash carts are now available -- to pilot area customers only -- at a 50% discount.

The search form below allows you to:

  • Determine if you are in a pilot program area
  • Access our secure, online ordering system for discounted trash carts (available to qualifying pilot area addresses only)

Frequently Asked Questions

Automated trash pic up truck and container

What is automated trash collection?
Automated trash collection is the removal of garbage placed curbside using a truck with a mechanical arm.  The truck is controlled by a single operator. (Note -- During the early stages of the pilot program, you may see two individuals in the cab of the truck.  The second individual is there to assist with compliance issues and undergo operator training.)

Why is the City considering automated collection?
The Department of Public Works (DPW) believes that automated collection will increase worker safety, improve neighborhood aesthetics, and achieve efficiency gains. See Why Automated Collection? for more details.

Where will the pilot program be implemented?
There is one pilot area on the west side, and one on the east side.  See our bird's eye view map.  To determine if you are located in a pilot area, use the address search form above. 

When will the pilot program start and end?
The program is slated to begin May 1 and to continue for at least one year. 

Will there be outreach?
Yes.  The City will be in contact with property owners and tenants in the pilot areas in the months leading up to commencement of the program.  Outreach will include instructions on how to acquire trash carts compatible with the automated truck at a 50% discount.

How do I acquire an approved trash container?
Property owners and tenants within the pilot areas may purchase City of Manchester trash carts at a 50% discount.  These green containers have been used throughout Manchester for years.  They are durable, approved for automated collection, and warrantied for ten years.  Enter your qualifying pilot area address in the address search form above to access our secure, online ordering system. 

Alternatively, you may also:

  • submit the order form contained in our brochure, along with payment, to: CITY OF MANCHESTER, Department of Public Works, 475 Valley Street, Manchester, NH 03103.
  • order in person, through April 30 only, at 475 Valley Street, during regular business hours (cash or check only)
  • order in person at the Drop Off Facility at 500 Dunbarton Road, during regular facility hours (cash or check only)

Please note - The order deadline to receive home delivery of your purchase has closed.  Carts purchased after April 7 must be picked up from the Drop Off Facility.  If not purchasing at the facility itself, you must bring a copy of your receipt when you come to pick up your cart(s).  In all cases, proof of pilot area address (driver's license, tax bill, utility bill, or comparable document) is required in order to be issued your discounted cart.

I already have a green City of Manchester trash cart. Do I need to buy a new one?
No.  Any trash cart previously acquired through the City is compatible with an automated truck.  These  carts have a green body, black lid, wheels, and handles.  On most, but not all, there is a City of Manchester seal on the side.

May I use a container other than a green City of Manchester trash cart?
In almost all cases, the answer is "no".  Any trash container placed for collection MUST BE compatible with an automated truck.  If you want to use a non-City container that you believe is compatible, you MUST contact the Highway Division no later than April 14 for assessment and approval.

What size cart do I need?
This depends on a number of factors, including the size of your household and how much you recycle.  Typically, a 35 gallon cart will hold at least two standard trash bags; a 65 gallon cart will hold three to four bags; and a 95 gallon cart will hold five to six bags.

What is the cost of a City trash cart to pilot area customers? 
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has established that the cost of carts purchased for use in the pilot areas will be borne 50% by the City and 50% by pilot area customers. The cost to the customer is: $19 for a 35 gallon cart; $28 for a 65 gallon cart; and $35 for a 95 gallon cart;.  The number of carts you may buy at the discounted rate is limited by the number you may place for collection.

How many trash carts may I place for collection?
Single-family residential – up to 2
Two-family residential – up to 4
Three-family residential – up to 6
Residential of four units or more - up to 8
Planned developments (including condos) and manufactured home parks –
      2 per unit; maximum of 8 per development/park
Commercial – 2 per business; maximum of 8 per property
Mixed-use – 2 per unit of any type; maximum of 8 per property
Non-profit organization – up to 8 per property

Property owners and tenants may request permission to place more carts than the above-mentioned limits by submitting a petition.

Will my pilot area trash cart purchase include delivery?
Yes, for all orders placed by April 7.  Home delivery of these trash carts was completed April 20.  Carts purchased after April 7 must be picked up from the Drop Off Facility.  You may purchase carts at this time in the following ways: online; by mail; in person at 475 Valley Street; or in person at the Drop Off Facility.  If not purchasing at the facility itself, you must bring a copy of your receipt when you come to pick up your cart(s).  In all cases, proof of pilot area address (driver's license, tax bill, utility bill, or comparable document) is required in order to be issued your discounted cart.

May I choose to not participate in the pilot program?
You are not required to participate; however, be aware that municipal curbside collection services in the pilot areas will only be provided to those who place their trash in approved carts.  Your other options are to dispose of your trash for a fee at the Drop Off Facility, or to contract with a private hauler. 

How do I properly place a cart for collection?
The following placement rules apply:

  • Carts must be situated with handle and wheels facing away from the street.
  • Cart lids must be fully closed.
  • Carts must be placed at the edge of the road, on the street side of the curb (if present); they must not block the sidewalk.
  • Carts must be placed in front of the property at which the trash was generated, unless an alternative placement has been agreed to by DPW.
  • Carts must be placed in a location that allows for access by collection equipment and crews:
    • at least two feet from other carts, trees, mailboxes, parked vehicles, and misc. objects;
    • not behind vehicles, other carts, or misc. objects;
    • not obstructed by snow banks.
  • Where availability of on-street parking is adversely affected, DPW may require that carts be placed in front of the owner’s driveway or along a nearby stretch of street where parking is prohibited.

What if I have more trash than fits in my approved cart?
You may dispose of overflow trash at the Drop Off Facility.  Fees apply.

What if I have an item that does not fit in my approved cart?
By ordinance, such items are considered "bulky" waste and must be disposed of according to established rules.

Are there penalties for not placing trash properly?
Yes.  Anyone who places materials in violation of City ordinances or departmental regulations is subject to a fine.

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