September 2012 Recycling eNewsletter


Opt Out of Unwanted Mail

Do you get unwanted mail from retailers, credit card companies, or cable/phone companies? You can opt out of mailings from over 4000 companies with Catalog Choice and help reduce waste. For example, you can stop getting weekly circulars from Global Direct, they will honor opt-out requests, so add them to “your choices”. Just register for FREE at to create an account to start cleaning out your mailbox. To date, over 3700 Cambridge residents have signed up and opted out of nearly 25,000 different unwanted mailings!

Farmer’s Markets in Cambridge

There are farmer’s markets in Cambridge 6 days a week! Each offers a unique experience with a little something special for everyone, including a mix of freshly picked seasonal produce, artisanal prepared foods, locally sourced meats and fish, and opportunities to connect with entertainment and community-based organizations. Click here for a Farmers Market Poster and map out your daily route to fresh, healthy food every day.

Upcoming Recycling & Trash Tours

Cambridge residents and City employees are invited to tour Casella Recycling in Charlestown (9/26 or 11/15) and Waste Management’s incinerator in Saugus (10/16 or 11/8). Tours lasts about 2 hours and involve walking on stairs and narrow catwalks, close to heavy equipment. No children under 16, you must be able to keep up with a group walking. We meet at DPW and carpool. Let us know if you can drive and how many people you can take. Email to sign up and we’ll send more info. You can also watch a short video about how recycling gets sorted at Casella Recycling

Compost Workshop & Quick Tips for Fall, 9/17

Compost workshop tonight at 6:15pm, Cambridge DPW, 147 Hampshire Street. Composting is easy, cheap, and protects the climate. Learn how to compost: 1) Outdoors in a backyard bin, 2) Indoors with worms, 3) City food scraps drop-off program, or 4) Pay for bicycle pickup. Composting at home is the best choice for the environment. If you have a backyard, here are some quick fall compost tips: pick up fallen fruit or veggies from your garden, save leaves to cover up or bury food scraps in your compost bin, maintain the right ratio: 3 parts “browns” to 1 part “greens”. See more tips online!

StoryTrade: Less is More, 10/7

At Oktoberfest, Cambridge Recycling will have a StoryTrade on the theme Less is More: Timeless Stories About Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. This is a unique storytelling event about consuming less, reducing waste, and choosing to reuse. Our ancestors were natural recyclers. For centuries everybody knew how to make-do, keep the wolf from the door, scrape by, and improvise. Folklore is full of imaginative responses, basic needs, waste and greed. And there are countless stories that show how to live in elegant simplicity. Come hear folktales and share your personal stories of creative, sustainable living. Sunday 10/7/12, 12 noon-1pm, Church Street stage, Harvard Square.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection 10/20

Last collection for 2012 is October 20 from 9am-1pm. Cambridge residents only. Bring accepted items to Parking Lot on Field St at Fern St by Danehy Park. Click here for info on materials accepted, alternative options and items you can bring to the Recycling Center during open hours.

Volunteer for Recycling

Please consider volunteering at a community event! It’s fun because you can enjoy the atmosphere, talk to people and get a free t-shirt. Email if you can help at upcoming events in September and October including Danehy Park Day (9/22), Cambridgeport History Day (9/29), Oktoberfest & HONK Festival (10/7, rain date 10/8), CitySprouts Festival (10/13), and the 2nd Annual Rib Festival (10/21). Click here for times & locations.


Help the City meet its goals to reduce waste 30% from 2008 levels by 2020 and 80% less by 2050.

   Recycling* Trash  
January to August
5,992 tons

10.9 pounds per household per week
10,404 tons

18.7 pounds per household per week
 Percent Change
1.2% increase over 2011 Jan-Aug
2.3% decrease over 2011 Jan-Aug
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 September 2012, 43,740 households get city recycling service. 31,720 households get city trash service. 

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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