December 2013 Recycling E-Newsletter



Schedules: Yard Waste, Christmas Trees, Recycling Center

• Yard Waste: separate collection of yard waste ends this week, December 9-13 and begins again in April.

• Christmas Trees: Weather permitting, curbside collection of bare trees for recycling on the regular collection day from Dec 30, 2013 - Jan 10, 2014. Remove stand and all decorations. Do not put in a plastic bag. Place bare trees at the curb by 7am on collection day or after 6pm the night before. Residents can also bring bare trees to the Recycling Center during open hours (Tues/Thurs 4pm-7:30pm and Sat 9am-4pm) from Dec 28, 2013 - Jan 18, 2014.

• Recycling Center: The Center will be closed on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec 24th and New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, Dec 31st. Also, we accept string lights, small appliances & electronics (no TVs/computer monitors) at the Recycling Center during open hours. Also, check out Best Buy’s e-cycle program, some items accepted for free, some cost $10 in exchange for a gift card.

Zero Waste Party Tips

Planning a party at your house? Aim for zero waste with careful planning and education. Everything needs to be reusable, recyclable or certified compostable. Tell guests what to recycle and compost, and put up signs that are easy to understand. Serve finger foods to avoid tableware. Collect food scraps and soiled paper in compostable bags, paper bags, or cardboard boxes and bring to a Cambridge location with a drop-off for food scraps. If you have a large quantity, please bring to the Recycling Center and email us with 2-3 days notice,


Fun Gift Ideas! Less Stuff

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.

-  Give experience gifts (tickets to a show, gift certificates for dinner, massage, or museum). 
-  Give gifts of time (babysit, make dinner). 
-  Donate to a charity or non-profit in their name. 
-  Do It Yourself (DIY). Make a something old something new. Use the comics as gift wrap. 
-  Give others a “gift exemption card”. 
-  For great ideas check out two resources by the Center for a New American Dream: Simplify the Holidays Guide and SoKind, an 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.


7 New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Waste

1. Take steps to reduce packaging waste.
2. Make a commitment to reduce food waste.
3. Pledge to donate clothing, footwear and other textiles. Find a textile collection box close to you!
4. Maximize curbside recycling by checking the list of everything accepted for papers and containers.
5. Find ways to share more stuff and skills. Donate gently used items for a new sharing startup in Cambridge.
6. Buy stuff that lasts – choose good quality and durable items. Repair stuff that’s broken.
7. Sign up for a free service to opt out of junk mail from thousands of companies.

What to Do With Packaging…

Bubble Wrap and Air Pockets: Recycle with plastic bags at the Recycling Center during open hours. Bags must be empty, clean, and dry.
- Cardboard Boxes: Be sure boxes going to the curb for recycling are empty of any Styrofoam, bubble wrap, plastic air pockets, etc. 
-  Styrofoam Peanuts: Bring Styrofoam peanuts to a UPS Store for reuse or to the Recycling Center during open hours. 
-  Blister Packaging: Hard clear plastic form packaging is accepted with curbside recycling.

Tell 5 People About This eNewsletter!

Please help us get at least 500 more Cambridge residents to sign up for the Cambridge Recycling Newsletter by January 1st! Please tell friends, neighbors, and family in Cambridge to stay in the loop and be the first to know about program updates, special collections, and volunteer opportunities. To subscribe, email Thanks for your support and efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost!


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