DPW Announces Winter Trash Pickup Policy & Smart 911 Automated Snow Parking Ban Alert Notification System

March 14, 2023

The City of Portsmouth Department of Public Works has adjusted its trash collection cancellation notification plans so that when there is a forecast indicating a plowable (2+ inches) snow event a notice of the cancellation of next day’s trash collection will be issued the evening before trash pickup and will coincide with an Advance Parking Ban Announcement. This notice will also request that no trash or recycling receptacles be left on the curb that might interfere with snow operations. 

Due to staffing challenges, trash collection will not be rescheduled for that week but will be collected the following week on the normally scheduled day for pickup. As always, residents may bring their trash and recycling to the City’s transfer station during normal hours of operation.

The DPW will post the notification that trash collection is being cancelled on the City’s website, via social media, on the City’s snow phone (603-766-7669) and via the City’s Smart911. To receive Smart 911 notifications, go to the subscription page

Portsmouth’s snow plowing operations typically begin when snow accumulation that exceeds two inches, at which time a citywide parking ban may go into effect in order to facilitate snow removal. Residents can take advantage of spaces in designated City parking lots and garages when the parking bans are in effect. Under a declared parking ban, residents are urged to take advantage of Flat Rate Parking at Hanover Garage ($5 per exit) and Foundry Garage ($3 per exit), good from the time an Anticipated Ban is announced until 2 hours after the Ban Cancellation is issued. For more information on parking ban logistics and available City lots for the public, please click here.

“We understand the trash collection cancellation can be an inconvenience and possibly a hardship for some residents, and will work to accommodate residents’ needs. We also know how challenging and inconvenient a parking ban is for many residents. The Department of Public Works does not want to tow vehicles from the street but can be forced to do so in order to perform snow removal during significant storms,” noted DPW Director Peter Rice. “We want to be sure residents and City staff are safe when it comes to trash pickup during a snowstorm."

The Department of Public Works also asks residents to assist in making snow removal more efficient by doing the following:

  • Clear sidewalks of debris, trash cans, recycling bins, planters and other decorative items, prior to a storm.
  • Make sure parked cars are not blocking sidewalks.
  • Keep excess snow from your property off of the streets.
  • Reduce speed, turn headlights on and maintain a safe distance behind plow drivers

Parking bans for snow removal are announced in several different ways:

  • Smart 911: anyone can sign up to receive automatic email and text alerts, go to:
  • Snow Phone: call 766-7669 (SNO-SNOW) to hear recorded messages.
  • Channel 22: snow parking bans are posted as bulletins and screen-crawls
  • CityofPortsmouth.com: a yellow (planned) or red (in effect) banner appears at the top of City website pages when snow parking ban events occur.
  • Twitter: follow @PortsmouthDPW
  • Facebook: @CityHallPortsmouthNH
  • Public Works Department: call 427-1530 or report a snow clearing issue using the Click ‘n Fix reporting system.

When managing extended weather conditions and snow removal in the area, residents should take precautions to ensure their safety:

  • Advise children to avoid creating snow forts or caves within snowbanks on the edge of the roads. These structures can put children at great risk due to the potential of collapse, especially when snowplows and blowers are frequently pushing back these banks to widen the streets.
  • Keep front doors clear to allow exit and entrance in case of emergencies.
  • Clear snow surrounding nearby fire hydrants.
  • Check and clear exhaust vents of furnaces and stoves to avoid the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Portsmouth cityscape with snow