DPW Frequently Asked Questions

We want to encourage as much recycling as possible. If you would like an additional recycling barrel we will provide it free of cost. You can come down to the Department of Public Works office to pick it up or schedule a drop off with the Recycling Coordinator by calling or emailing.


We do not want to encourage residents to create more trash but we do realize that a single barrel is not a one-size fits all system.  These cans are designed for families of 4 to 6 people and will hold up to five(5) 13 gallon trash bags. 

If you find that you are having a difficult time keeping your waste within the 64 gallon limit please contact the Recycling Coordinator to schedule a trash audit. We will work with you to identify what we could be doing differently to help you meet that goal. 




All residents eligible under the Town Charter should have received their barrels by October 26th, 2015. If you do not have barrels, please contact the Recycling Coordinator to schedule a drop-off.


Call or email the Recycling Coordinator, to schedule a swap out appointment. We will take your large set and give you the smaller ones.

According to the Town Ordinances we will only pick up trash for the following types of properties:


  • Single Family Residences
  • Two Family Residences
  • Three Family Residences with an Owner Occupant (If we do not have you listed as an owner occupant in the Tax Assessor’s database you will not receive a set of barrels and will need to show proof of owner occupancy before barrels can be issued).
  • Combination Properties (Residential and Commercial, e.g. a resident who runs a craft store from their kitchen)


Anyone who does not fall into any of these categories will be required to supply their own trash removal services. We are aware that there are some residents who previously received Town pick up incorrectly. The owners of these properties are being notified by mail.



If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact the Recycling Coordinator.


 Please call our office to make an appointment for a special “Bulk Pick Up” appointment. You will be provided with a date to put your items on the curb and a driver will come by after your regular garbage/recycling is collected to collect those items.


When calling please have the following information readily available:


  • The address where the items will be collected.
  • Your name and a valid contact number for you. (In rare instances we need to reschedule pick up appointments)
  • The specific items you would like picked up. (Only the items you list will be picked up as we schedule appointments by how much will fit in the truck on a given day)


If you do not want to wait for the next available appointment you can bring your unwanted items to the Transfer Station located behind the Town Hall. (Click HERE for hours).

Please note that certain items (mattresses, box springs, any items containing freon – refrigerators/freezers) require a special tag that must be purchased in our office.  


Please call or stop in for additional information.

Participants in the Pilot Program have the option of increasing their trash can size to the standard 64 gallon container as they were originally issued the smaller 48 gallon one. Please call the Recycling Coordinator to schedule as swap.


We respect everyone's opinion on the Program and realize that change is difficult. If you refuse to use the new barrels we will be unable to pick up your trash or recycling at your residence. You are welcome to bring your trash/recycling to the Transfer Station free of charge during our normal business hours.


The Department of Public Works recognizes that there are certain times during the year that may generate an excess of solid waste (e.g. Independence Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.). We are sensitive to this concern and would like residents to keep in mind that many of the items left over after such a function are now recyclable (e.g. soiled paper plates/napkins/plastic-ware, pizza boxes, disposable aluminum baking pans, etc.).


 We ask that residents first try to recycle as much of the waste as possible and that if you have an excess of trash infrequently throughout the year (defined as fewer than 6 times annually) we can schedule a special pick up for your address.


We will NOT schedule regular and reoccurring pick-ups for your residence as we want to discourage the excess of solid waste. We are willing to work with you on making sure you are recycling every possible item to avoid capping your garbage limit.



No, only the barrels with the Town seal are acceptable for waste collection. Anything outside of these barrels will not be collected.

If a residence sets out their trash barrel but not their recycling we will not collect their waste that week as it is assumed that the residents are not recycling and mixing all of their waste together. 75% of all household waste is now recyclable and therefore a household cannot have trash without recycling.


Should a resident decide to set out their recycling and not their trash barrel we will still collect their waste. Many residents compost their food waste and reuse many other items that are not currently recyclable. We do not want to discourage residents from using this means of recycling.


If you believe the barrels you received are just too big for your family, please call or email Amanda Cornell to set up a swap appointment. 

 Each barrel has a radio frequency id tag in the handle. Our friends delivering the barrels have coordinated and catalogued each barrel's RFID tag with your address. If you believe your barrel has been lost/stolen or there is a dispute with someone as to whom a barrel belongs to, please call or email the Recycling Coordinator for a barrel audit.


We strive to work with the Public in meeting the needs of each resident. As of right now our best answer to this dilemma is to do one of the following:


  • Request a smaller set of carts – If you believe the size is the only hindrance to your ability of being able to set out your waste we will be happy to swap the carts for a smaller size. Please contact Amanda Cornell to schedule a swap appointment.


  • Leave the carts at the end of your driveway and bring the waste down as needed. - Many residents in the rural part of town use this method currently as it is easier to throw a bag of trash or recyclables into the trunk of their car or bed of their truck than to set the barrels out each week. If this is the avenue you choose to pursue we just ask that, come your pick up day, the barrels are at least three feet apart and three feet away from any obstruction to ensure the claw has sufficient room to grab the barrel for dumping and to set it back down.


We are always open to new ideas and ideas on how to better serve the community. If you believe you have a solution that better fits your needs or those of your neighbors, please let us know. You can call Amanda Cornell or email her with your suggestion.

 The old recycling bins and trash barrels can be brought to the Transfer Station free of charge.


 We are going to continue collecting yard waste separately from your regular household waste as we have been. Please continue to set out your yard waste in your clearly marked barrels and bags as you have been for regular collection



A waste audit is when the Recycling Coordinator, at a time convenient to you, will assess your household waste as it is placed in the Town-issued containers. The purpose of the audit is to ensure that no recyclable or hazardous wastes are being deposited into the garbage barrel. At this time, waste audits are conducted by appointment only. If you would like to schedule a waste audit, please contact the Recycling Coordinator.



The Town of Coventry is allowed to dispose of 10,721 tons of garbage at the municipal rate of $32 per ton.




We have been exceeding the cap by an average of 1,160 tons annually, for a total overage of approximately $62,640 year over year. This is not included in our budget, this is an overage in the trash budget.


There are two different size sets available to residents.


  • 96 gal Recycle / 64 gal Trash
  • 64 gal Recycle/ 48 gal Trash


The larger sizes are being distributed to all residents. If you believe you would need the smaller set (ideal for single people, couples without children, and people who use trash compactors), please contact Amanda Cornell to schedule a swap-out date.


The Town of Coventry switched to the new automated program on October 26th, 2015.


All barrels were distributed before the launch date, October 26th 2015. If you are a new resident and do not have barrels, please contact the Recycling Coordinator to schedule a drop-off.


Please place your bins in an easily accessible area with a three foot radius free of obstruction around the barrels and a three foot area between the barrels. There needs to be enough space for the truck’s claw to grab, dump, and replace the barrels. Most people can continue to use the same spot at the end of their driveway as they have been.


Please also ensure that there is nothing leaning up against the barrels.


The goal of this program is to exceed the State mandated requirement of 35% recyclable waste created within the Town. The larger recycling can encourages consumers to consider recycling first before throwing items away.


The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) has recently updated their list of items that are acceptable for recycling. If you’re not sure whether your item is recyclable, check here first.


Exceeding the 35% recycling goal will:


  • Prevent the Town from exceeding the annual allotted tonnage at the Landfill. For every ton of trash the Town dumps in excess of our cap, we are charged a commercial rate of $56 per ton. This preventable event wastes tax money and fills precious Landfill space with recyclables – therefore reducing the life expectancy of the Landfill.


  • Provide the Town with a larger State Refund at the end of the year. This refund helps us stretch your tax dollars (of which the Department of Public Works only receives 2%).