Waste Wizard: Garbage or Recycling?

Manatee County is aware of some delays being experienced with curbside collection of garbage, recycling, yard waste, etc. for residents living in the unincorporated parts of the county. There are a number of factors contributing to the situation including staffing challenges with our vendors due to COVID-19 and a shortage of available trained staff both locally and regionally. The waste haulers are currently working six days a week (Monday-Saturday) to get caught up.

Please know that Manatee County’s Utilities Department is working diligently to restore the expected level of customer service by working with the waste haulers daily.

Not sure how to dispose of an item? Try our waste wizard to find out whether it should be recycled or thrown in the garbage, or if it requires special pickup.

Use our Resident Information Tool to find your trash and recycling pickup schedule. View collection holidays.

Is your Garbage, Yard Waste and Recycling prepared properly?

Garbage Do's & Don'ts

DO prepare your garbage properly:

  • BAG IT: Use sturdy garbage bags
  • BUNDLE IT: Materials must be bundled and tied in 4 foot lengths and placed curbside with your garbage for collection
  • CAN IT: Place garbage in 32-gallon cans

Bags, bundles or 32-gallon garbage cans should weigh no more than 50 pounds each.

Garbage must be placed at the curb before 6 a.m.

DON'T throw out:

Yard Waste Do's and Don'ts

DO prepare your yard waste properly:

  • BAG IT: Use sturdy garbage bags
  • BUNDLE IT: If you don’t wish to use garbage cans or garbage bags, you can put yard waste in bundles no longer than 4 feet in length.
    • Bundles cannot contain branches large then 6 inches in diameter. Any branch larger than 6 inches in diameter should be cut in half lengthwise, tied, and bundled.
    • Tie bundles with heavy-duty string.
  • CAN IT: Put yard waste in 32-gallon garbage cans. Yard waste should not extend above the top of the can.
  • LARGE QUANTITIES: For very large quantities of yard waste too difficult to bundle, a special collection can be arranged for a fee or you may use your one free annual collection.

Bags, bundles or 32-gallon garbage cans should weigh no more than 50 pounds each.

Yard waste must be placed at the curb by 6 a.m.

DON'T put the following out with yard waste:

  • Garbage
  • Animal Waste
  • Fruit
  • Mulch
The above items are to be placed in the garbage.

Recycling Do's & Don'ts

Recycling must be placed at the curb before 6 a.m.

Items accepted in your recycling cart include:

  • Paper – Only clean junk mail, magazines, newspapers
  • Cardboard – Only clean flattened boxes
  • Metal – Only clean aluminum or tin cans
  • Plastic – Only clean plastic bottles and jugs
  • Glass – Only clean glass bottles and jars

Do not include:

  • Styrofoam, food waste, plastic bags, garden hoses, extension cords, wire and packing peanuts
  • Plastic bags harm recycling machinery — empty the recycling directly into the cart instead

Recycling do's and don'ts

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