Boston Recycling


The Freedom Trail Boston Massachusetts

Boston Recycling
Reuse Reduce Recycle

As of July 1, 2009, you no longer have to separate paper and cardboard from cans and bottles. Instead, you may mix all recyclables together in one large container. Less sorting, more RECYCLING!

To provide you with more space to recycle, over the next 12 months, the City will be delivering large wheeled carts to residences with one to six units. You will receive notification shortly before your cart is delivered. When you receive your cart, put your address on it and please take care of it; it will not be replaced. If you move, please leave your cart behind for the next resident.

Other Recycling Options
While you are waiting for your cart, or if the cart isn't the right size for your household, you can:

Convert a trash can into a recycling container. When you recycle more, you'll have less trash and won't need as many trash cans. Convert an unneeded can into a recycling container. The can must be no larger than 32 gallons and have a lid. Call (617) 635-4500 to request an official sticker to label one of your existing trash cans as a recycling container.

Continue using your blue bin. You may continue to use your blue bin; however, the City will no longer provide new or replacement bins.

Items Acceptable for Recycling
The following items can be mixed together in your recycling cart or container as of July 1, 2009. Leaving plastic windows, staples, paper clips, and spirals in paper is okay. Please rinse out cans, bottles, and jars. Leaving labels and lids on is okay.

  • Newspapers with inserts
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Junk mail, colored paper
  • Flattened food boxes
  • Paperback books
  • Pizza boxes (empty)
  • Flattened cardboard boxes
  • Telephone books
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Juice/soymilk boxes
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Aluminum and tin cans
  • All plastic containers
  • NEW ITEM! Spiral cans (potato chip/coffee/nut cans, etc)
  • NEW ITEM! Rigid plastics (laundry baskets, buckets, toys, etc)


Leaf and Yard Collcetion
Place leaves, and yard debris in large paper leaf bags or open barrels labeled "yard waste" (no plastic bags).
Yard Waste stickers for barrels are available by calling (617) 635-4959 (up to 2 stickers available per household).
Tie branches with string, 3' maximum length. Do not put branches in barrels.
Put barrels, bags and branches on the curb by 7:00 AM on your Recycling Day, between the collection dates listed below.
Yard waste will not be collected with trash during this period.
Yard waste in plastic bags will also not be collected.
No more Saturday collections.

Click here for collection dates.



How To Compost

Composting is easy! Just follow these simple steps to make compost:

Add high carbon materials ("browns") fall leaves, straw, salt marsh hay, shredded paper and cardboard (newspaper, paper towels, paper plates, paper bags), chipped brush, sawdust, pine needles (pine needles should not make up more than 10% of the total material in the pile), high nitrogen materials ("greens"), grass clippings, weeds (not laden with seeds), vegetable and fruit wastes, seaweed, eggshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, manure (horse, cow, rabbit, chicken, goat, gerbil, etc).

Mix or layer materials Every 12" or so add a few shovelsful of rich soil or compost.

Keep it damp and aerated. Wait a few months, and voila? black gold! For best results, and to keep out odors and pests, do not add: meat, bones, fat grease, oils, peanut butter, daily products (cheese, butter, milk, eggs), cooked foods with sauces or butter, dog or cat manure diseased plants, weeds gone to seed, weeds that spread by roots and runners (vines).


Household Hazardous Waste

Put household poisons, insecticides, paint, tires, auto fluids, car batteries, wood preservatives, herbicides and pool supplies, propane tanks, motor oil , and products labeled corrosive, flammable or toxic in cardboard boxes for safe transport and bring them to the above location. For a complete list of acceptable materials, click here.

For Boston residents only. No commercial waste will be accepted. Proof of residency required. The City reserves the right to reject materials. For more information call 617-635-4959.

TVs & Computer Monitors
TVs & computer monitors are NOT accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days. Please call 617-635-7574 for home pickup of TVs and computer monitors.

Click here for drop off schedule & locations.


Electronics, Appliances and Fitness Equipment Recycling at Best Buy

You can recycle up to three items per household per day (some categories have state-specific info, and different limitations on TVs, computer monitors and laptops), by bringing it to the service desk. Visit Best Buy for details.



This page is presented as a public service announcement by to help make Boston A Greener place to live. The content was produced by the City of Boston. believes in recycling and saving the planet and believe this information should be distributed as widely as possible.

The Freedom Trail Boston Massachusetts


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