Curbside Trash
Curbside Recycling
Overflow Bags
FAQs Answered
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Hybrid Pay-As-You-Throw (HPAYT) Waste Collection System
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Section I: General Information

Q: What is the Hybrid Pay-As-You-Throw (HPAYT) Automated Curbside Collection Program?
A: HPAYT is a system where customers are billed based on their household’s trash output. Trash carts are collected by a vehicle equipped with an automated arm, which lifts the trash cart from the ground, and dumps the contents into the vehicle. If a customer has more trash than their cart can hold, plastic overflow bags, imprinted with the Town seal, are available for purchase at local retail establishments.

Q: When and how will my bill change? 
A: The first refuse bills under the new rate structure are generated on July 1, 2017. Rather than billing all customers at a flat rate of $200 per year (as Brookline residents are accustomed), each subscriber is billed in a tiered system, where the size of the trash cart they choose determines their annual refuse costs. For more details on pricing, see the chart on page two (2).

Q: I am a Town Refuse Collection subscriber, but I did not choose a cart before the deadline. What happens now?
A: If a cart was not chosen by March 10, 2017, one (1) 35 gallon cart will be delivered to each unit at the residential address on file.

Q: I am unable to roll a cart to my curb. What are my options?
A: In extenuating circumstances, residents who subscribe to Town refuse collection may qualify for a Trash Cart Waiver. Waivers will be considered for residents who are unable to physically maneuver a wheeled trash cart curbside on collection day, and for residents with geographic obstacles such as multiple flights of stairs. Applications are available for download at the Public Works page and will only be considered after a required inspection by a Sanitation Division supervisor.

View an application (PDF).

Q: My cart is usually spacious enough, but I have more trash than usual this week. What are my options?
A: Subscribers may purchase plastic overflow bags (30 gallon/25 lbs. capacity) imprinted with the Town seal at local retail establishments. This is the only bag permissible for trash collection. Overflow bags are sold in a roll containing 5 bags for $18.50

Q: How do I schedule an appointment for Bulky Item Collection?
A: Bulky items (furniture, mattresses, TVs, appliances, etc.) are collected on the regular trash day, by appointment only. Customers must call (617) 730-2156 and schedule any and all bulky item pickups at least one week ahead in advance. Any item that is not scheduled will be left curbside, and the resident will be issued a violation notice.

HPAYT Waste Cart Descriptions

HYPAT Chart 2020

Section II: New Subscribers

Q: How do I sign up for Town refuse collection?
A: Residents of, and commercial businesses operation in, Brookline may sign up for Town refuse collection at any time. The application procedure follows:

  1. Obtain a Refuse Agreement Application:
    a. Email Refuse Billing and include New Refuse Account Request in the subject line.
    b. Visit the DPW Administration Office; located on the 4th floor of the Brookline Town Hall, at 333 Washington Street.
    c. Download an Application from the Public Works page
  2. Fill out a Refuse Agreement Application, and return it to the DPW office on the 4th floor, at the Brookline Town Hall either in person, by mail, or via email. See application for details.
    a.Include a letter from current trash collection company indicating cancellation of service, and the date of cancelation.
    b.Processing of the application may take up to 30 days. The DPW will deliver, to the residential address, the recycling and trash carts chosen on the application by the customer.

Q: How do I choose a recycling and/or trash cart?
A: New subscribers to Town Refuse Collection choose carts on the Refuse Agreement Application.

Q: When will I receive my first bill?
A: Town refuse collection customers are assessed at an annual rate, broken down into four (4) quarterly payments. Billing invoices are generate on the first day of the following months: July, October, January, April

Q: How do I know which trash cart is the best choice?
A: This question is difficult to answer, as each resident has their own habits to consider. DPW suggests keeping track of the number of trash bags placed at the curb each week, and using the chart above as a decision-making guide.

Q: How do I dispose of my old trash bin or barrel?
A: Call 617-730-2156 or email Department of Public Works to coordinate pickup of your old waste bin or barrel.

Section III: Cart Exchanges, Additions, & Returns

Q: May I exchange my current cart for another size, or add an additional cart to my account?
A: Yes. Subscribers may make changes to their recycling and/or trash cart(s) once a year. Any changes to trash cart sizing, or additional carts ordered, will be reflected in the quarterly bill immediately following the change to the account. Subscribers may add an additional recycling cart to their refuse account without increasing their annual refuse costs.

Section V: Condo Associations, Multi-Unit Properties, Landlords, and Property Managers

Q: I live in, or maintain, a multi-unit dwelling. What is my responsibility?
A: Brookline condo associations, property owners, landlords, and property managers are responsible for placing recycling and trash cart orders.

  1. The minimum rate for each unit at any given property is $230 per year. Multi-unit properties must select a minimum of one (1) trash cart per account. These properties may choose any combination of trash carts to contain refuse for the building, but will not pay less than the sum of $230 multiplied by the number of units at the property.

    For example: A 3-unit property may choose a 95 gallon trash cart to cover their building. Their annual rate is ($230) x (3 units) = $690.
  2. Any applicable Cart Service Fees will be billed to the refuse account, not to the residential unit.

Section IV: Cart Damage, Theft, and Loss

Q: I am worried someone will steal my recycling or trash cart. How is the DPW addressing my concern?
A: The DPW understands these concerns, and has taken steps to alleviate them:

  1. All black trash carts have a serial number printed on the front panel of the container. Records are kept concerning which serial numbers are connected to each Town Refuse account.
  2. The Sanitation department will perform periodic spot checks to ensure that customers are using the trash cart they ordered.
  3. If a cart goes missing, the Sanitation Department will investigate, and attempt to locate the cart.

Q: What can I do, as a subscriber, to prevent cart theft?
A: Whenever possible, subscribers should secure their trash and recycling carts inside a garage, behind a fence, or in another location on their property. Subscribers may choose to apply stickers (such as those used on mailboxes) indicating their address on the top of their recycling and trash carts.

Q: What should I do if I discover my cart is missing?
A: Contact the DPW Admin Office at (617) 730-2156 to report missing carts.

Return to the HPAYT Homepage

Updated December, 2017