Businesses

The City does not provide curbside recycling service or containers to businesses. Small businesses can use the Recycling Center. Recycling is mandated for all buildings that generate waste in Cambridge.  If you have a landlord that provides for trash collection, then they are required by City Ordinance to provide for recycling collection. For more information on landlord responsibilities, see the Cambridge Commercial Recycling Rules & Regulations, Section G titled, Responsibility of Generators of Recyclable Materials. 

Businesses can arrange for curbside service with one of the licensed haulers in Cambridge; check your local directory.  Make sure you understand how your trash collection contract is structured. Separating recyclables from the trash can control costs by reducing dumpster size, weight and / or collection frequency.  Depending on what materials you generate, haulers can provide collection of paper, cardboard, bottles/cans, single stream recycling, shredded paper, electronics, food waste, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, construction & demolition debris and trash.

5 Things to Know Before You Talk to Your Hauler

  1. Who is the main contact at your building / business for this contract? 
  2. How is the contract structured?  Separating recyclables from the trash can reduce your bill by reducing dumpster size, weight, or collection frequency. 
  3. All recycling markets fluctuate, but you may be able to negotiate free or very low cost service if you generate a high volume of paper and/or cardboard - especially if you bale the material onsite.
  4. You might be able to downsize your trash container to help make space to store recyclables, if storage is a concern.  Talk to your hauler, they may be able offer suggestions and alternatives.
  5. All haulers licensed to operate in Cambridge are required to offer recycling services either directly or through a sub-contractor.  Make sure they are, in fact taking recyclables to a bonafide recycler.

5 Things to Ask Your Hauler

  1. What kinds of recyclables do they collect?  How exactly should they be prepared for pickup?
  2. Is there a minimum or maximum quantity for collection?
  3. Do they provide storage containers, what type and size? 
  4. How, if at all, do fees vary for on-call service versus a regular pickup schedule, and for different container sizes and total number of containers?
  5. What sort of contract will you have to side; if any, and for what time frame?  What are the conditions to end the contract?

Keeping Your Hauler Happy

  1. Follow the recycling instructions from your hauler carefully on how to prepare material
  2. Be aware of what your hauler considers a contaminate load and how to avoid this
  3. Let your hauler know as soon as possible about any foreseeable changes in the amount of recyclables produced
  4. Always keep the recycling containers your hauler picks up in the same location

How can we help you? I'd like...

Mobile Cambridge

Keeping you connected wherever you are. Learn more about Mobile Cambridge

FAQ's

Have a question?
Find the answer in our extensive
Frequently Asked Questions

Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139

Phone:617.349.4800
TDD:617.499.9924

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

Ms. Randi Mail
Director of Recycling
617.349.4866
rmail@cambridgema.gov