2013 November Recycling eNewsletter


Pumpkins OK in Yard Waste
After Halloween, pumpkins are accepted with yard waste for curbside collection. But, consider cooking your pumpkins! Chop it and roast in the oven or steam/puree it to use in delicious roasted breads, soups, cookies, pies and more…  Remember that separate yard waste collection ends the week of Dec 9-13, 2013 and begins again in the spring. Place yard waste in paper yard waste bags OR loose in barrels with city stickers, facing the street. Do not staple or tape yard waste bags. No plastic bags. Recycle leaves, grass and small twigs and branches (no more than 1 inch in diameter or 3 feet in length). Bundle thick tree limbs 3ft x 3ft. Place yard waste at the curb by 7am on collection day or after 6pm the night before. For stickers, order them online, call DPW, or stop by the office.

11/21 Recycling Tour: Sign Up!
There’s still plenty of room for Cambridge residents and City employees to sign up for the tour of the Casella recycling facility in Charlestown on Thursday, November 21 in the morning. No children under 16. The tour lasts about 2 hours and involves walking on narrow catwalks and stairs, close to heavy equipment. You must be walk at a steady pace with a group. We meet at DPW and carpool, so let us know if can drive and how many people you can take. Email recycle@cambridgema.gov to sign up and we’ll send you more info.

New “Take It Back” Map

Check out our newest Google map that shows businesses that “Take It Back”, including products and packaging for recycling, composting, or reuse. These retailers and manufacturers are leaders in their industry by demonstrating product stewardship, setting a great example of responsible business practices. Different colored pins on the map show different types of products such as food scraps, packaging, household items, eyeglasses, books, electronics, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, bikes, and car parts. Product stewardship, or Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is “the act of minimizing health, safety, environmental and social impacts, and maximizing economic benefits of a product and its packaging throughout all lifecycle stages.” Click here to view our widely popular Donate Your Stuff map that shows where to donate and recycle clothing, textiles, furniture and more.

Quick Tips to Reduce Packaging & Food Waste

When you avoid making garbage in the first place, you don't have to worry about disposing of waste or recycling it later. Changing your habits is key. There’s a ton of ways you can reduce your waste when you shop, work and play. When you reduce waste, you can save some time and money, and be good to the Earth.

Quick tips to reduce packaging:

1.       Choose products with minimal packaging, the least materials, or none at all.

2.       Buy the largest size practical, if you’ll use it and can store it.

3.       Drink tap water instead of bottled water. Cambridge water is safe and healthy. 

4.       Buy concentrates instead of liquids, like frozen juice or powdered detergent.

5.       Say “no bag, thanks” whenever you can, and bring your mug.

Quick tips to reduce food waste:

  1. Make it Last. Storing your food the right way in your fridge, freezer, and cupboard will keep it fresh longer.
  2. Portion and Plan. Plan meals, write (and stick to) a shopping list. Get your portions right and eat the food you buy.
  3. Love your Leftovers. Use leftovers for lunch or a base for a new meal. Use up produce in smoothies, soups, frittatas, and casseroles.
  4. Get more tips online!

Gift Ideas! More Fun, Less Stuff

Starting to think about gifts for the holidays? Let’s make celebrations less focused on stuff and more about family, fun, and friends. We can give handmade, secondhand, nonmaterial, and truly meaningful gifts. After all, your favorite gifts don't always fit in a box. Events should be joyful and meaningful and not occasions that generate stress, waste, and debt.

ü  Give experience gifts (tickets to a show, gift certificates for dinner, massage, or museum).

ü  Give gifts of time (babysit, make dinner).

ü  Donate to a charity or non-profit in their name.

ü  Do It Yourself (DIY). Make a something old something new. Use the comics as gift wrap.

ü  Give others a “gift exemption card”.

ü  For great ideas check out two resources by the Center for a New American Dream: Simplify the Holidays Guide and SoKind, a new online, customizable registry that’s user friendly, visually appealing and fun. You can create a personalized registry to make any celebration truly unique and meaningful by asking for gifts of time, experience, and skill, as well as traditional material gifts and secondhand items.

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