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Textiles and Mattresses Banned from the Trash as of November 1, 2022

Effective November 1, 2022, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is adding textiles and mattresses to the list of materials that are banned from trash disposal and making the existing commercial organics disposal ban stricter; businesses and institutions generating 1,000 pounds or more food waste per week are required to divert the food waste from the trash.

Textiles includes clothes, linens, towels, shoes, and accessories, like hats, gloves, socks, underwear, belts, purses, and handbags. Items that are already banned from trash disposal in Massachusetts include recyclables (paper and metal, glass, and plastic containers), yard waste, appliances, tires, and many construction & demolition debris items.

To assist with the new waste bans, the Department of Public Works has created a few programs. First, starting in 2019 the City collects mattresses and box springs separately from the trash. Residents must schedule collection of their mattress through the City website. Second, in December 2021 the city started offering two ways to divert textiles from the trash. There are 12 textile drop-off bins that the city oversees. Furthermore, the city has an option for residents to schedule a free home pick-up of textiles through the DPW website. Lastly, the city has expanded the Small Business Compost Pilot on October 24, 2022 to serve up to 75 small businesses with free curbside food waste collection.

The goal of the waste bans is to capture valuable resources, save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lessen our reliance on landfills and incinerators. For residents looking to divert textiles or mattresses, please visit Cambridgema.gov/recycle.

For businesses or institutions seeking info on diverting textiles, mattresses or food waste, contact Cambridge DPW at recycle@cambridgema.gov. For assistance in complying with the waste bans, contact MassDEP’s contractor, RecyclingWorks, at (888) 254-5525 or info@recyclingworksma.com.
Page was posted on 10/31/2022 9:35 AM
Page was last modified on 11/21/2022 5:33 PM
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