May 2014 Recycling eNewsletter


Unwanted Furniture? Donate it!
Moving June 1st and can’t take it all? Plan ahead and arrange a free pick up. Items must be clean and usable. Someone’s gonna love your stuff.  Email pictures of your good-condition furniture to today to schedule a pickup for the end of May. The Coalition for the Homeless has set special pickup days in Cambridge at the end of May! They take kitchen tables & chairs, couches & sofa chairs, ottomans, hutches, end tables, coffee tables, bed frames, dressers, bookshelves, cabinets, rugs, lamps, dishes, pots & pans, and blankets & linens. Your gently-used donations help low-income and formerly homeless families furnish their apartments at no cost to them. Year-round, you can arrange a free pickup just email pictures of your good-condition furniture in advance to For more info and other pickup and drop-off options, visit CambridgeMA.Gov/Furniture.

Household Hazardous Waste Day 6/7
New Location: June 7, 9am-1pm at the Volpe Transportation Building Parking Lot, at 55 Broadway. Bring proof of Cambridge residency. We accept auto fluids, batteries (non alkaline), car tires, glues, medications, mercury items, paint products, solvents, and propane tanks (20 lbs or less). If the product label includes the words POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION, bring to HHW day. Click here for alternative options, and what you can bring to the Recycling Center during open hours. Two more HHW Days in 2014 from 9am-1pm: 8/23 at the Parking Lot on Field St at Fern St by Danehy Park; and 10/4 at the Volpe Transportation Building Parking Lot (55 Broadway).

Have a Zero Waste Party
Planning a zero waste event at your house? The key is careful planning and education. Serve finger foods to avoid the need for tableware. Everything used must be reusable, recyclable or compostable. Tell guests what to recycle and compost, and place signs throughout your space. Use reusables whenever possible or use certified compostable tableware. Remember, no plastic, metal or glass in your compost. Collect material in compostable bags, paper bags, or cardboard boxes. Click here to find out about where Cambridge residents can drop off food scraps. If you have a large quantity, please bring to the Recycling Center during open hours at email us 1-2 days before at


Volunteer & Help Spread the Word

Join the fun and volunteer at a community event and talk to fellow residents about reducing waste by recycling, composting and reuse! Recruit residents to receive this newsletter. We’d love to hit 10,000 on our email list this summer! You can enjoy the atmosphere, educate folks and get a free t-shirt. Email if you can help for 2-3 hours at:

  • 5/31: Fresh Pond Day, Fresh Pond Reservation (11am-3pm)
  • 6/14 (rain date 6/21): Hoyt Field, Hoops ‘N’ Health (10am – 8pm)
  • 6/15: Lowell Street Park, Annual Family Day (10am – 5pm)
  • 6/22: Day of Portugal Parade & Sidewalk Fair, St. Anthony’s Church Yard (1pm – 3pm)
  • 6/27: City Dance Party, Mass. Ave. by City Hall (7-11pm)

Compost News Around the City…

· North Cambridge residents: Spread the word and continue to bring food scraps to the drop-off site at the St. Peters Field Parking Lot off of Sherman St. This pilot program has been extended through August 30, 2014 in partnership with Human Services. Please thank them, and thank you for keeping the area clean! Always place food scraps in the correct bins, never on the ground and keep the lids securely closed. For other food scraps drop-off locations including the Recycling Center, Cambridge Community Center, and Whole Foods on Prospect St.

·The City’s one year pilot program for curbside compost pickup is off to a great start! For the first 6 weeks, we’ve collected over 19,000 pounds of food scraps.  The average participating household is generating about 6.5 lbs/week and close to 90% of the green bins are set at the curb for weekly collection. Watch a quick video about the pilot program. After the pilot in the spring of 2015 the City will evaluate many areas of the program including participation rates, volume of food scraps collected, costs, and operational considerations. It is our hope that it will be a successful pilot! From Apr-Nov, Cambridge residents can get free compost in small quantities at the Recycling Center during open hours: Tues/Thurs 4pm-7:30pm and Sat 9am–4pm. Bring your own containers. Pemberton Farms at 2225 Mass Ave sells the Soil Saver for $60. Review outdoor composting tips online!

Green News from the Schools
This spring we launched the Go Green Challenge! This is a partnership between the Cambridge Public Schools and the Dept of Public Works. The Go Green Challenge is an opportunity for teachers to show the school community how their classroom helps the environment (recycling, using scrap paper, etc.) by completing a checklist and hanging it proudly outside their classroom to show off their efforts. Thanks to all the teachers, students, faculty and school community for all you do! If you have questions about this program email or

Congrats to the King Open School, which is celebrating its 5 year anniversary for lunchroom composting! King Open was the 1st Cambridge Public School to start composting and 8 schools have joined them since: Graham & Parks, Cambridgeport, Peabody/Rindge Ave, Tobin/Vassal Lane, CRLS, Haggerty, and Amigos. The City’s goal is that all public schools compost. This fall we’ll add Kennedy-Longfellow and Putnam Avenue Upper School to the list. Schools not yet composting are Morse, M.L. King, Baldwin, and Fletcher Maynard. The principal and senior custodian must be on-board before composting can begin.

Globe Direct Responds to Concerns Raised
Due to concerns raised about unwanted deliveries, excessive deliveries and plastic bags, the company has instituted the following changes regarding their weekly advertising circular:

1. To stop delivery, call 1-888-694-5623, press 3. All requests will be immediately honored.
2. Plastic bags will not be used if the weather is good.
3. Deliveries will be left on private property, not public sidewalks.
4. Delivery operators are now instructed to pick up any old deliveries that have not been taken in during their next delivery.
5. Retrieval services will be used to pick up excess deliveries when there are complaints from the community.
6. Disciplinary action will be taken against delivery operators of they fail to comply with these rules.

How can we help you? I'd like...

Service Requests

Commonwealth Connect Promo

Cambridge citizen requests, now online & on the go! Report issues here.


Have a question?
Find the answer in our extensive
Frequently Asked Questions

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