Welcome to the new Business Services website!

Dumpster License – Public Right of Way

Dumpsters in the public right of way require an annual, renewable license from the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

(Dumpsters are defined as all containers used for the collection and disposal of trash and recyclable materials.) Previously, the license requirement was a lifetime license that only applied to dumpsters larger than one cubic yard. The license applicant must also continue to obtain placement approval from the Department of Streets for any dumpster in the public right-of-way. The Right-of-way Unit can be contacted by phone at 215-685-3930 or email. There is a separate fee for each dumpster; however, only one license will be issued that covers all the dumpsters at a property. Fees vary depending upon the size and use of the dumpster.

Dumpster Size Dumpster Use Annual Fee
Less than 1 Cu. Yd. Trash $200
Less than 1 Cu. Yd. Recycling $100
Greater than or equal to 1 Cu. Yd. Trash $500
Greater than or equal to 1 Cu. Yd. Recycling $250


The legislation also requires technological enforcement. Each dumpster is now required to have a Radio Frequency Identification (RFI) Medallion attached to it. Medallions are available at the Municipal Services Building (1401 JFK Boulevard, concourse level). The ordinance requires the Department of Licenses & Inspections to issue Medallions that electronically transmit:

  1. the license number;
  2. the name and telephone number of the licensee;
  3. the name and telephone number of the provider;
  4. the approved location of the dumpster; and
  5. such other information as the Department requires.

Any changes to the above contact or location information after the license has been issued must be immediately reported the License Issuance Unit in the Department of Licenses and Inspections. You can reach the staff by calling 311 or 215-686-8686 or by email. Failure to report changes may result in fines or other penalties.

License Application

Dumpster Plot Plan Form

This form must be completed in addition to the License Application. It is used to obtain placement approval from the Department of Streets.

Below are guides to help answer your questions on the new regulations:

Guide to the New Sanitation Regulations for Businesses

This guide will help you determine what the appropriate license and fee is for your business. Medallion pick-up locations are also listed here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to attach the RFI Medallion

In addition to a Dumpster License and Medallions for your waste and recycling containers, all businesses are required to have a Waste and Recycling Plan in place. This plan must be registered with the Streets Department, posted at your business and distributed to all employees/tenants. Plans are easy to complete and may be submitted to the Streets Department via an online form. Learn more about Waste and Recycling Plan Requirements.

Please note that Philadelphia Code Sections 9-604(10)(a)(viii), 10-722(1)(k), 10-722(2) prohibits collection overnight.

Payment Information

RETURNED CHECKS: If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds, (1) you authorize The City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20; and (2) The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.