January 2010 Recycling E-Newsletter


To sign up for the recycling email newsletter, drop us a line at recycle@cambridgema.gov .

Recycle Phonebooks!

Delivery of 2010 phone books has begun! Recycle old and any unneeded new ones. Just remove the plastic wrap or bag. Place phonebooks with mixed paper on collection day. Place paper in a paper, a separate bin or in a paper “toter” on wheels.

If every Cambridge household recycles an old phone book or a new one that is not needed, we could keep about 225,000 pounds of paper out of the trash. That’s almost 2000 trees! We are aware of two website to visit to stop receiving yellow page directories: Yellow Pages Association and Yellow Pages Goes Green. To learn more about efforts to curb phone book waste, visit the Product Stewardship Institute.

Convert a 32gal Trash Can for Recycling Containers

Did you know that Cambridge residents may convert any 32-gallon trash can into a recycling bin for glass, metal and plastic containers? Similar to the yard waste program, we can provide a recycling sticker for your barrel. Just face the stickers to the street when using it for recycling. Call 617.349.4800 to order stickers.

Worm Composting Workshop

When: March 8 at 6pm
Where: Harvest Coop, 531 Mass Ave (Central Square)

Are you an apartment dweller wishing for some backyard space to compost? Don't worry, you can compost indoors and start any time of the year! In this workshop, you will learn how to use worms to turn your garbage into "black" gold keeping composted food scraps in two 10-gallon plastic containers, making nourishing soil and compost tea for her houseplants.

April 24 Next Household Hazardous Waste Collection

2010 dates for HHW collections are: April 24, June 19 and October TBD. All are a Saturday, from 9am-1pm at 450 Concord Ave. Cambridge residents only.

Never pour hazardous products down catch basins, drains or place in the trash. Hazardous waste must be brought a collection event, proof of residency required. Materials accepted include:

  • Batteries (Vehicle & Non-alkaline)** 
  • Chemicals 
  • Car Tires (Limit of 4) 
  • Fluorescent Bulbs (Accepted at local hardware stores.) 
  • Fuels, Motor Oil & Antifreeze 
  • Mercury Items (Thermometers & Thermostats) 
  • Paints (Oil & Latex. Dried out latex paint is OK for trash pickup, lids off.) 
  • Propane Tanks (20lbs or less.)

The Recycling Center accepts these hazardous items: fluorescent bulbs, non-alkaline batteries, motor oil and mercury items. We are located near Inman Square at 147 Hampshire St in the rear of the Public Works yard. Open hours: Tues/Thurs 4pm-7:30pm & Sat 9am-4pm. Proof of residency required upon request.

If you cannot make an upcoming collection or are moving before then, we suggest: 

  • Ask a neighbor to bring your items to the collection
  • Clean Harbors at 1 Hill Ave in Braintree, (781) 380-7100.
    For $2.50 per pound, they accept HHW from residents on Saturdays from May 1 - October 31 from 8am-12 noon. No fire extinguishers or propane tanks. 
  • Minuteman Hazardous Waste Facility at 60 Hartwell Avenue in Lexington
    2010 collection days have not yet been posted. 2009 fees were: $35 for 12 gal or less, $60 for 12-25 gal and $60+ for more than 25 gal.

** Alkaline batteries made in the USA after 1994 do not contain mercury and are safe to dispose with trash. Duracell and Energizer stopped using mercury in 1984. Batteries with a green tree logo or the words “no added mercury” or “zero mercury added” are also safe to dispose with the trash.

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5:00pm
Friday: 8:30am-12 noon
24 Hour emergency 617.349.4860


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

Owen O'Riordan