July 2010 Recycling E-Newsletter


To sign up for the recycling email newsletter, drop us a line at recycle@cambridgema.gov

Single Stream Recycling Starts Oct 25

Beginning October 25, the Cambridge recycling program will switch to single stream! This means that residents will be able to mix clean papers, bottles, cans and cardboard together in one recycling bin. No more sorting. The new recycling trucks will accept cardboard of all sizes. More materials will be accepted including empty pizza boxes and large plastics such as laundry baskets and toys.

The City will deliver large recycling toters on wheels to residences with 1-5 units in October. More information will be mailed to residents next week and in the coming months. Toters make recycling easier than ever because they can be rolled to the curb when full and provide more room to recycle more and trash less.

For more details on single stream recycling in Cambridge, or click here to see a 6 minute video of the recycling process.


Sign up for a Recycling Tour

The DPW has organized several tours of the recycling facility in Charlestown, operated by Casella Recycling, the City’s processor. Casella has invested millions into this facility to convert to single stream recycling technology. Single stream means that residents can mix clean papers, bottles, cans and cardboard together in one recycling bin. Cambridge will switch to single stream beginning October 25.

City employees and Cambridge residents are invited. 25 people can sign up for each tour, which lasts about 2 hours including your questions. We will meet at DPW and carpool there. Let us know if you are willing to drive and how many people you can take in your car. Call x4815 to sign up.

Tuesday, July 13:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 8:30am SHARP.

Wednesday, August 11:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 1:30pm SHARP.

Wednesday, September 29:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 1:30pm SHARP.

Thursday, October 28:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 8:30am SHARP.

Thursday, November 18:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 8:30am SHARP.

Manage Your Compost Bin & Garden Properly

Composting organic waste continues to be a terrific way to reduce the waste going to landfills and incinerators, and reduce methane gas that significantly affects climate change. Please remember these important composting and gardening tips:

  • Pick up fallen fruit or vegetables from your garden.
  • Never add meat, dairy or cooked oily foods to your composter. 
  • Rinse out eggshells. 
  • Bury food, or “greens” in your compost bin or cover it up every time with “browns” such as leaves, crumbled newspaper or torn cardboard. 
  • Keep your composter moist and active, with the lid closed securely. 
  • Keep your composter at least 1 foot from any wall or fence. 
  • Try to move your composter to a more convenient location. Rodents avoid areas that are regularly used or passed by. 
  • Clear weeds or tall grass around your bin. 
  • Put bird food in feeders only and don’t overfeed. Store seeds in containers with tight lids.

Some neighborhoods have problems with rodents, which are an unavoidable part of life in any city. In this context, it is very important to manage your compost bin and garden correctly to avoid problems.

The City is committed to confronting this problem by addressing rodent problems on public property, working to control rodents during construction projects, enforcing sanitary codes and ordinances, and educating the public.

Volunteer for Recycling at a Festival

Volunteering is fun because you can enjoy the festival, ensure recycling, educate the public and get a free t-shirt. You will help table and walk around to make sure recycling and trash are side by side, minimize bottles in the trash and vice versa. Some events involve working with kids. The festival recycling containers work quite well to avoid contamination.
We’d love your help for 2-3 hours at one of these festivals:

  • Sept 11 Area 4 Community Pride Day, 11am-6pm, Sennott Park (Rain date 10/2)
  • Sept 12 Caribbean Festival, 12 noon-6pm, Kendall Square (Rain date Sept 19)
  • Sept 19 Urban Ag Fair, Winthrop Park in Harvard Square
  • Sept 25 Danehy Park Family Day, 11am-4pm, Danehy Park
  • Oct 10 Oktoberfest, 12 noon-6pm, Harvard Square (Rain date 10/11)
  • Nov TBA: Family Fun Day, 10am-2pm, City Hall 

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