February 2013 Recycling eNewsletter


Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet

Did you know that the Cambridge Police Department has a collection drop box for unused medications at 125 Sixth St, first floor lobby? Place medications in a sealed bag and place in the box. Items accepted: prescription & over-the-counter, vitamins, medication samples, veterinary medications and narcotics. No open containers of liquid and no syringes. Why turn in unused drugs? Children and animals could be poisoned if they find and swallow drugs, drugs can be scavenged and illegally sold, unused drugs are environmental toxins; flushing them down the toilet or sink can release them into our drinking water and soil. Also, the Health Center at 119 Windsor St accepts needles and syringes in a puncture-proof container (detergent bottles, coffee cans), sealed with tape. Bring sharps containers to the ground floor kiosk at the Health Center. No loose needles, no medications and no other medical supplies. Residents may request sharps containers at the Health Center.


Free Document Shredding 3/9

The Cambridge Consumers’ Council, working in cooperation with the US Postal Service, is offering free document shredding on Saturday, March 9th from 10am-2pm, at the Central Square Post Office, 770 Mass. Ave, rain or shine. Members of the public can securely dispose of personal and confidential paper documents. Documents will be destroyed on the spot in a highly advanced technical mobile shredding truck and sent for recycling. Ten minute drop-off parking will be available on Massachusetts Avenue (Between Sellers & Pleasant Street), Pleasant Street (Between Mass. Ave & Green Street), and Inman Street (Between Mass. Ave & Bishop Allen Drive). Please contact Corey R. Pilz with any questions at 617.349.6150 or consumer@cambridgema.gov.


Unstoppable Rise of the Share Economy

Check out this great article in Forbes Magazine about the real trend of the sharing economy, which has created markets out of things that wouldn’t have been considered monetizable assets before, such as a camping tent never used, pooch friendly room in your house, a drill lying fallow in a garage, a car sitting in someone’s driveway, or even your vacant home when you’re not there. Also in addition to www.craigslist.org, www.freecycle.org, www.reusemarketplace.org is a free regional network to find, sell, trade, or give away reusable and surplus items that would otherwise be disposed as trash. Businesses, institutions, governments, and organizations in MA, CT, RI, VT, NY, NJ and DE can create accounts and post listings. Anyone is welcome to search or browse the posted items.

School Sustainability Pledge

Check out the new Cambridge Green Schools Initiative Sustainability Pledge which covers multiple environmental categories including products, food, energy, waste and greenspace. Questions or feedback? Contact Sustainability Manager, Kristen von Hoffmann at kvonhoffmann@cpsd.us.


Numbers Corner for Recycling & Trash

Help the City meet its goals to reduce trash 30% from 2008 levels by 2020 and 80% less by 2050. For households, this means 16 lbs of trash per week by 2020 and 5 lbs/week by 2050. 25% of what we throw away is still cardboard, paper, and containers! The average household could recycle at least 5+ more lbs/ week or 260 more lbs/year. Further reduce trash by choosing to reuse. Visit our Get Rid of It Right page for where to donate clothing, furniture, household goods, electronics, and more.


Curbside Recycling 



9,205 tons
8 pounds per household per week

15,254 tons
18.7 pounds per household per week

 Percent Change

 1.3% increase over 2011

 3% decrease over 2011

 Figures shown include residences served by city trash and recycling services and city buildings. Business, universities and many large multi-family buildings get private service and are not included here. Recycling only includes paper, cardboard, and containers collected in the curbside program. It does not include other materials collected for recycling or composting including appliances, electronics, or yard waste. As of February 2013, 44,200 households get city recycling service. 31,400 households get city trash service.


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