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Everything you need to know about taking out the trash in Charleston

From recycling to leaf collection to heavy loads, we’ve got the dirt on how to get rid of your trash.

recycling bin

Be sure to break down your boxes before placing them in the blue bin.

Photo by CHStoday

Table of Contents

You need to clean up your act, Charleston. Today we’re talking all things garbage. (Plus, how to downsize your dump through recycling and composting.)

The basics

First step? Find your collection day. Drop down the “city services” menu on the left, then click garbage or trash collection areas.

All trash must be fully inside your garbage container to be collected. Don’t have a container? The city provides residents with trash carts. Make a request online if you don’t have one.

A color-coded map of city garbage pickup times across Charleston.

Don’t forget to set out the trash.

Screenshot via the City of Charleston

Robot trash trucks

Beep boop. Charleston is transitioning to automated trash trucks with a robotic arm that lifts and dumps the bins — saving time for the driver. Trash + recycling collected by these trucks must be 3 ft away from other carts and objects, within 18 inches of the curb, with the lid closed. See if you’re in one of the neighborhoods with automated trucks.

Heavy trash

Some stuff is just too heavy or bulky to fit in the container. Some of these items — think TVs and yard waste — can be taken to a Charleston County Convenience Center. Pro tip: You’ll need proof of residency like a photo ID + utility bill with your name on it.

Looking to get rid of your mattress? Consider recycling it.


Cardboard, paper, cans, and glass bottles go in the blue bin. Keep it loose — ditch the bag and empty recyclables loosely into your cart.

Learn the rules first. Check out our tips and tricks to recycling.


Make that waste get to work by turning it into compost. Charleston residents can take their food scraps to designated drop sites for free.

Want to do it yourself? Check out our beginner’s guide to composting.