12 August


Moving? Tips for Cardboard & Other Stuff

  • BOXES: Recycle clean boxes in the curbside program. Flatten or nest boxes when possible. No need to cut it down. Place in recycling bin or neatly next to one. No packing peanuts or plastic wrap. Review the full list of what to recycle in the curbside program here
  • PACKING PEANUTS: accepted at UPS Stores during open hours. Place all other Styrofoam in the trash. 
  • PLASTIC WRAP, BUBBLE WRAP, & BAGS: Bring to the Recycling Center, Harvest Coop, Market Basket, Shaws, Star Market, or Whole Foods. Bags must be empty, clean, and dry. 
  • LARGE RIGID PLASTIC ITEMS: Recycle plastic plant pots, laundry baskets, crates, 5-gallon pails, broken toys, in curbside program. 
  • CLOTHING, FURNITURE, & HOUSEHOLD ITEMS: Donate! See our flyer and map which shows many clothing drop boxes, thrift stores & consignment shops and second hand stores! Note that Goodwill, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Planet Aid will even accept clothing & textiles that are torn, stained, broken or missing something. If it’s not wearable, damaged clothing is recycled into wiping rags and everything else is processed back into fibers used to make paper, yarn, insulation, carpet padding, and sound proofing. 
  • BOOKS: Place in a cardboard box or plastic bag and donate! Recycle any books with water damage or mold. 
    • Recycling Center accepts all books, CDs, DVDs, and Video Games.
    • The Cambridge Public Library accepts hardcover books in excellent condition that are currently on the Boston Globe or New York Times bestseller lists, and that currently have holds for patrons. There is a cost to process additions to the collection, so there are limits to what is accepted. They cannot provide receipts, nor return any donated item.
    • Boomerangs, 563 Mass Ave, No textbooks or encyclopedias.
    • Boston Family Shelter, 656 Mass Ave, Boston, French, Spanish and Creole books needed, especially children’s books. No large donations, over 30 books. 
    • CASPAR Shelter, 240 Albany St. Only books in good condition. No children's books. 
    • Goodwill, 520 Mass Ave or 230 Elm (Somerville). Books, records, tapes, CDs, DVDs 
    • Homeless Services/Friends of Boston’s Homeless, (617) 534-2526, ext. 46130 or dial 0, Especially interested in receiving books for adults and older teenagers. 
    • Massachusetts General Hospital, (617) 726-8540 Hours: M – F, 8:30 – 7pm. Books for adults (general interest, nothing obscure) and magazines within 3 months of release. 
    • Mount Auburn Hospital, (617) 499-5016, Volunteer Office, South Building. Call before making donations. Book shelves are often full.

    Check Out Harvard’s Stuff Sales – Next 3 Weekends

    Check out the annual fundraising yard sales, which offer used goods including futons, rugs, mini-refrigerators, fans, mirrors, lamps, coffee tables and other donations from 9am – 5pm on: August 18-19, August 25-Sept 3, and September 8-9. All sales will be held at Littauer Circle west of the Science Center and behind Gannett House of Harvard Law School at 1511 Mass Ave, Cambridge. Funds support Harvard Habitat for Humanity’s mission to fund trips to build housing for the needy.

    Save That Banana Peel: 9/17 Compost Workshop

    6:15pm, Cambridge DPW, 147 Hampshire Street. Composting is easy, cheap, and protects the climate. Learn how and from the City’s Recycling Director, Ms. Randi Mail. Cambridge residents have several options: 1) Outdoors in a backyard bin, 2) Indoors with worms, 3) City food scraps drop-off program, or 4) Pay for bicycle pickup. Composting at home is the best choice for the environment. If you have a backyard, save a few bags of your fall leaves to easily get your fall pile started.

    Large Items & Appliances: New Online Permits

    You can now schedule and pay for the pickup of large items / appliances online. This includes: air conditioners, bicycles, copiers, dehumidifiers, dryers, exercise equipment, freezers, large computer monitors, large TVs, lawnmowers, metal desks, metal filing cabinets, printers, refrigerators, snowblowers, stoves, trash compactors, washers, water coolers, and water heaters. DPWs credit card policies will also be brought in line with City policies regarding credit cards and convenience fees that took effect this year. 

    Upcoming Recycling & Trash Tours

    Cambridge residents and City employees are invited to tour Casella Recycling in Charlestown and Waste Management’s incinerator in Saugus. No children under 16. The tour lasts about 2 hours and involves lots of walking on narrow catwalks and stairs, close to heavy equipment. If you can’t keep up with a group walking at a steady pace, unfortunately this is not for you. We meet at DPW and carpool. Let us know if you can drive and how many people you can take. Email recycle@cambridgema.gov to sign up and we’ll send more info.
    Recycling Tours: 9/26 (early afternoon), 11/15 (morning).  
    Trash Tours: 10/16, 11/8 (all early afternoon)

    Help Out - Be a Recycling Volunteer

    We need your help to sign residents up to receive this newsletter. Please consider volunteering at a community event! It’s fun because you can enjoy the atmosphere, talk to people and get a free t-shirt. Email recycle@cambridgema.gov f you can help at:

    • Aug 16 Summer in the City (performance & movie night), 7pm, East Cambridge Savings Bank parking lot, 1310 Cambridge St
    • Aug 23 Summer in the City (performance & movie night), 7pm, Volpe Center Lawn, 55 Broadway St
    • Aug 30 Summer in the City (performance & movie night), 7pm, University park @ Sidney & Franklin St
    • Sept 1 Area Four Back to School Fair, Noon-5pm, Sennott Park
    • Sept 15 (9/29 rain date) Area Four Community Pride Day, 10am-6pm, Clement Morgan Park
    • Sept 22 (9/23 rain date) Danehy Park Day, 11am-4pm
    • Oct 7 (10/8 rain date) Oktoberfest & HONK Festival, Noon-6pn, Cambridge Common / Winthrop Park
    • Oct 14 CitySprouts Festival, Noon-3pm, Ahern Field
    • Oct 21 Annual Rib Festival, Noon-6pm, Cambridge St (5th to Fulkerson)

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