July 2013 Recycling eNewsletter


Free Compost Workshop: 8/19

Save your banana peels and learn to compost and reduce food waste on Monday August 19 at 6:15pm at Public Works 147 Hampshire St, 1st floor conference room. Learn the composting options residents have and ways to reduce food waste, from Cambridge's Recycling Director, Ms. Randi Mail. She will review best practices for outdoor composting, indoor composting with worms, options for drop-off and bicycle pickup. Composting and making soil is rewarding, benefits your garden and house plants and curbs climate change! Reducing food waste is incredibly important considering that Americans waste more than 40% of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion. To RSVP for this workshop email recycle@cambridgema.gov.

Zero Waste in the Classroom

This spring, Tobe Stomberg a Biology Teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School started a project called "One Bag, One Semester" in her classroom. At home, Ms. Stomberg’s family reduced their trash to a single 30 gallon bag every three months. With this success, she was inspired to try it in her classroom. She removed all trash barrels, added an extra recycling bin, set up a bin for compost (with a lid) and attached one plastic bag to the wall for trash. She hung signs and asked the custodian to only take the recycling. Ms. Stomberg emptied the compost into the school's dedicated bins once a week. Since 2012, CRLS has had a lunchroom composting program, along with 6 other Cambridge schools. She plans to do this project again next semester, and maybe try for "One Bag, One Year"! She hopes to inspire others to do the same. In the photo, her note says, “Zero Waste is Possible! Check out this trash bag that lasted in Ms. Stomberg’s classroom from January 29, 2013 to June 14, 2013! All food waste was composted (so the trash doesn’t smell) and recycling ruled! What is left in the bag? Tissues and candy/snack wrappers. Do you think we could get to ZERO waste?”


Back to School Shopping? Go Green!

There are lots of opportunities to go green in your child’s backpack. Buy non-toxic glue, markers and crayons. Buy notebooks and printer paper made from at least 30% post-consumer recycled paper, if higher that’s great. Ask for gently used binders at the Recycling Center, we usually have dozens available! Use reusable containers for lunch and minimize use of plastic bags. Use solar powered calculators to avoid using batteries. Make sure computers are energy star certified, or try buying gently used electronics. Look for backpacks at local second-hand stores or ones made from recycled materials or natural materials. Get refillable pens, since only the ink needs to be replaced, or disposable pens made of recycled materials.

Books & 3-Ring Binders: Donate or Get Some!

Bring new or used books to the Recycling Center community shelves. Residents are welcome to take up to 10 books per visit. We periodically thin the shelves and donate textbooks, encyclopedias, and out of date books to More Than Words. Books in poor condition are accepted for recycling in container #3 with other paper. Three-ring binders in good condition are accepted at the Recycling Center and are available for reuse. These organizations also accepts books: Goodwill and Got Books/Clothes which has donation boxes at 239 Harvard St, Saint Bartholomew Episcopal Church; 70 Rindge Ave, Peabody School; 158 Spring St, Kennedy Longfellow School; 44 Linnaean St, Graham & Parks School; and Amherst Alley, MIT.

Help Out - Be a Recycling Volunteer

Help us get the word out about recycling and reducing to more residents. Although we have a whopping 4,800+ residents signed up for this newsletter, that’s less than 5% of the population. Please volunteer to talk to people about recycling and reducing waste! It’s fun because you can enjoy the atmosphere and get a free t-shirt. Email recycle@cambridgema.gov if you can help at:

• Summer in the City events in parks through August 29 during the weekday on Tuesdays/Thursdays in the mornings and evenings. Music, dance, storytellers, theatrical performances, puppetry, arts & crafts, movies and more!

Farmers Markets on Sundays/Fridays in Harvard Sq., Mondays in Central Sq., Tuesdays in the Agassiz Neighborhood, Wednesdays/Thursdays in Kendall Sq., and Saturdays in Cambridgeport.

• 8/6: Night Out Against Crime, 5pm-8pm, Riverside Press Park

• 8/31: Area Four Back to School Fair, Noon-5pm, Sennott Park

• 9/7 (9/28 rain date): Area Four Community Pride Day, 10am-6pm, Clement Morgan Park

• 9/21 (9/22 rain date): Danehy Park Day, 11am-4pm

• 9/30: CitySprouts Festival, 11am-2pm, Baldwin School


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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