What to Recycle

Single stream recycling means no more sorting! With single stream, or "zero-sort" recycling, residents can mix clean bottles, cans, papers, cardboard together in the same recycling bin. All cardboard will be accepted.
SSR Accepted Items 300X259

Important Tips:

  • Place clean bottles, cans, paper and cardboard together in your bin.
  • Empty and rinse containers. Please no liquids or food residue.
  • Flyer with Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Kreyol, and Ethiopian translations (legal size).
  • Close the loop: Buy products made from post-consumer recycled materials.



  • Aerosol Cans (empty)
  • Aluminum Cans, Trays & Foil
  • Glass Bottles & Jars
  • Metal Cans
  • Milk Cartons & Juice Boxes
  • Large Plastics (buckets, laundry baskets, toys)
  • Stiff Plastic Containers
  • Spiral Cans (potato chip, nut cans)


  • Books (Rip off hard covers. But, please donate books, reuse is better than recycling.)
  • Cardboard Boxes (Flatten / nest when possible)
  • Coffee Cups (empty, no Styrofoam)
  • Frozen Food Boxes (if it rips)
  • Paperboard (cereal boxes, paper towel rolls)
  • Phone Books & Junk Mail (remove free samples)
  • Pizza Boxes (empty, no food)
  • Newspapers & Inserts
  • Magazines & Catalogs
  • Paper Bags
  • Shredded Paper (in clear plastic or a paper bag)
  • White & Colored Paper (staples, paper clips, spirals OK)
  • Wrapping Paper


Plastic bags are not accepted in the curbside program because they jam the equipment at the recycling sorting facility. Styrofoam is not accepted in the curbside program because it will get shredded by the sorting equipment and end up as litter at the facility. The best approach for Styrofoam is to avoid it or reduce the need for it, since there is considerable pollution during its manufacture and incineration at the time of disposal. DPW encourages residents to

  • Ask for non-Styrofoam takeout containers such as foil or plastic at restaurants, or bring reusable containers from home.
  • Choose grocery and retail products that do not have Styrofoam packaging.
  • Send letters to ask manufacturers and restaurants to replace Styrofoam with more recyclable alternatives such as molded paperboard or inflatable plastic packaging.

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Recycling Center Hours
Tuesday & Thursday: 4:00pm-7:30pm  
Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm