Sanitation Services

​Alley Service Criteria

​Regarding alley collection service, Dallas City Code Section 18-4(b) provides, in part, "except as may be otherwise authorized by the director of sanitation, it shall be unlawful for any person to place any container within any alley within the city."

Sanitation provides residential recycling and garbage collection services from the curbside in front of  homes, or from alleyways, by exception, when conditions and route efficiency permits.  

In general, Sanitation can safely and efficiently provide service in alleyways that are well maintained and meet current design standards as provided in the Dallas Development Code, Sec. 51A-8.507(b), which provides, in part, that:

  • Alleys must have a minimum right-of-way of 15 feet in width.
  • Alleys must consist of at least 10 feet of pavement. 
  • Permanent dead-end alleys are not allowed unless all access is prohibited between the alley and public rights-of-way. Alleys must either intersect with a dedicated public or private undivided street or an existing alley. 
  • Where an alley intersects a street, a 15-foot visibility triangle (alley sight easement) is required.

A rollcart must be placed for collection so that there is a minimum clearance of three feet to each side of the rollcart and one and one-half feet to the rear of the rollcart from any fence, gas meter, telephone pole, utility box, tree, shrub, additional collection container, or other potential obstruction. A rollcart must be placed so that its handle faces the dwelling unit (Sec. 18-3(a)(3)(A)).  

In addition to the Development Code requirements, in order to meet the requirements for rollcart placement listed above, generally, a minimum 2-foot utility easement abutting the alley right-of-way is required for each side where collections occur.  The ground should be at-grade with the pavement to allow crews to wheel rollcarts to the trucks without lifting. The easement requirement may be waived in cases of rear-entry driveway access where all rollcarts on the block may be placed at the edge of the driveway, or where an at-grade fence carve-out exists and meets the clearance requirements. Vegetation must not extend into the right-of-way, and 14 feet of overhead clearance is required.

Sanitation may determine that collections must occur from the curb even when an alleyway meets the conditions stated above. This may be necessary to support routing requirements based on available staff and equipment resources, or when it would be inefficient to provide service in one or several alley segments in an area otherwise serviced from the curb.

In cases where Sanitation currently services alleyways that do not meet the requirements stated above, upon the occurrence of an incident such as downed powerlines or damaged utility poles, damage to a gas meter or utility box, damaged City equipment, having to be towed or backed out under supervision, or repeat minor damage to the right-of-way or private property, Sanitation will suspend alleyway collections at the location and notify customers of a point-of-service change pending further review and remediation of issues impeding Sanitation's safe transit and operations in the alleyway, in accordance with the requirements stated above.  A point-of-service change may also be required for customers in the vicinity of the location in order to maintain timely and efficient operations.

Consult Article I of the Dallas Municipal Solid Waste Code for further regulations related to recycling and solid waste collection.  The collection rules are summarized and presented in a more user-friendly format on our website at

This summary of existing service requirements was posted on August 1, 2022.