Yard Waste Disposal

The DPW provides various opportunities to dispose of yard waste including curbside pickup and drop off at the DPW Recycling Center on 72 Tremont Street. The yard waste collected is composted and then available for residents to pick up for free the following spring. To ensure that these processes are done correctly, there are some yard waste guidelines for residents to follow.

Yard Waste Bag and BarrelYard waste includes leafs, grass and small brush under 1 inch diameter. Yard waste does not include dirt.

To prepare yard waste to be collected curbside it needs to be placed in barrel or bag under 45 gallons and 45 pounds. Barrels need to be clearly labeled and stickers are available at 72 Tremont Street. Brown paper bags are acceptable but yard waste in plastic bags will not be collected.

There is a ten barrel and/ or bag maximum. The bag and barrel limits are in place for the safety of the Department of Public Works employees and the capacity of the yard waste trucks.

Place yard waste on the curb on your collection day by 7 a.m. The 2014 pickups are on the regular schedule with one extra week in November to accommodate the busiest month. Therefor the upcoming pickups are on the week of:  October 27, November 3, 10, 17 (extra week) and December 1.

Yard Waste Drop OffResidents can also drop off yard waste at the Recycling Center at 72 Tremont Street Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. year-round and Saturdays 8 a.m. 3 p.m. April through December. The Center will also be open until 7 p.m. on Monday nights until December 1. This yard waste drop off is available to Melrose residents only, not commercial vehicles. Cars must have a Recycling Center sticker to enter the center. The stickers are available for free at the Resident Service Office at 72 Tremont Street.

Christmas tree pickup is the first and second week in January. Trees in plastic bags, on stands or with decorations will not be collected. Those items disturb the compost process.

For more information, call the DPW Office at 781-665-0142 or email publicworks@cityofmelrose.org.

Hazardous Waste Day: Oct. 25

Saturday, October 25, the City of Melrose will hold its annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day at the DPW Recycling Center, 72 Tremont Street.

From 8 a.m.-12 p.m., you can drop off toxic household items that are not allowed in the trash. Proof of residency is required and a small fee ($2-7) will be charged for each item. Commercial hazardous waste will not be accepted.

Since the improper disposal of hazardous waste is dangerous for Department of Public Works employees and bad for the environment, we encourage you to take advantage of this important event.

Paint products
Oil based paint, stains and varnishes, wood preservatives, paint strippers/thinners, solvent adhesives, lighter fluid

NOTE: Latex paint will NOT be accepted. Dried-up latex paint can be disposed of Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. -3 p.m., at the Public Works Operations Facility.

Fuels/auto products
Gasoline, kerosene, antifreeze, motor oil, engine degreaser, brake fluid, carburetor cleaner, transmission fluid, car wax, polishes

Gardening fluids
Poisons, insecticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, weed killer

Household items
Rubber cement, airplane glue, fiberglass resins, photo chemicals, chemistry set, furniture polish, floor and metal polish, oven cleaner, drain and toilet cleaner, spot remover, rug and upholstery cleaner, hobby supplies, artist supplies, mothballs, flea control products

Driveway sealer, roofing tar, swimming pool chemicals


To safely transport these items, leave the materials in their original containers. Make sure to tighten caps and lids.

Oil paint, pesticides and household cleaners should be sorted and packed separately. It’s also a good idea to pack containers in sturdy upright boxes and pad with newspaper. Drive directly to the collection site as soon as the car is packed. Never mix chemicals or smoke while handling hazardous material.


Empty containers/trash, commercial or industrial waste, radioactive waste, smoke detectors, infectious and biological wastes, pressurized cylinders, ammunition, fireworks and explosives, prescription medicines/syringes, asbestos, oil filters

Please do not throw these items in the trash. To properly dispose of them, call a private disposal company.


For more information, email Jessie Schmitt at jschmitt@cityofmelrose.org or call the DPW Office at 781-665-0142.

Swap Day 2014 – A Huge Success!

Our Second Annual Swap Day last Saturday was a huge success! The weather was beautiful and many people showed up to drop and swap items.

The event was run by the Melrose Department of Public Works and the Melrose Recycling Committee in partnership with Birth to Five and the Friends of the Library.  The items not swapped were donated to Goodwill and other charitable organizations.


Sierra and Zoe, Melrose High School students, organized the books, CDs and DVDs section as volunteers for the Friends of the Melrose Public Library.

Swap 6 Library 1


Ali Reeder, a community volunteer, helped a resident pick out clothes for her newborn.

Swap 5 B25 2.1

The kids clothes section was busy all day with families coming and going – this family picked out new shoes for their little ones.

Swap 2 B25

Mike Lindstrom and Andrew Schuyler, volunteers from Birth to Five.

Swap 4 Bike

A happy boy goes home with a new bike!

Swap 3 Rackets

Swap 8

Swap 1



Swap 9 Volunteers


Thank you to all of the amazing volunteers who helped organize and run the event! Without all of you, this event would not have been possible.

Swap Day this Saturday!

Melrose’s Second Annual Swap Day will be held this Saturday, September 27 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot behind City Hall at 562 Main Street. The event is run by the Melrose Department of Public Works and the Melrose Recycling Committee in partnership with Birth to Five and the Friends of the Library.

Swap Day is a community reuse event which provides an opportunity to save reusable items from the trash and give them a new life and a new home. You don’t have to bring something to take something.

All items must be clean, only gently used and able to be carried by one person. All items will be inspected and approved before entering the event. Please enter the parking lot in between Memorial Hall and the Fire Station.

Acceptable items:

  • Textiles, shoes
  • Books, CDs, DVDs
  • Sports equipment
  • School/office supplies
  • Small furniture (nothing upholstered) and home décor
  • Small electronics

Unacceptable items:

  • Large electronics (TVs, monitors)
  • Large appliances, metal goods
  • Large upholstered furniture

All items not swapped will be donated to Goodwill and other charitable organizations. For a complete list of items, go to the Swap Day 2014 page.

Victorian Fair Fun!

The 34th Victorian Fair was a great one! The Melrose Recycling Committee had a table placed in the section with the Sustainable Melrose Coalition. The Coalition is a group of organizations and people in Melrose working to make our community more livable, healthy and environmentally sustainable. Since early 2013, the coalition has been working together to share unique knowledge, skills and interests. The goal is to raise awareness and support of our shared community responsibilities of environmental stewardship, social well being and economic prosperity over the long term.

The Sustainable Melrose organizations that participated in the fair were: Conservation Commission, Friends of the Fells, Melrose Native, Melrose Energy Commission, Melrose Recycling Committee, Melrose Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market and Unitarian Universalist Church Green Sanctuary Group.

It was a beautiful day and we all had a wonderful time. Thanks to the Melrose Chamber of Commerce for another great Victorian Fair!

Victorian Fair 1

Vic Fair 2.1
Vic Fair 1

Vic Fair 3

Vic Fair 4

Recycling Center Open Late Monday Nights

The DPW Recycling Center on 72 Tremont Street is open extended hours on Mondays this fall. The Center will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Mondays from September 15 to December 1. Take advantage of these extra hours to drop off regular recyclables (paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum) textiles, books, yard waste, CFL bulbs and more!

Rigid Plastics Recycling Event, Sept. 20

On Saturday, September 20, DPW is holding a rigid plastics recycling drop off event. It will be held at the DPW Recycling Center at 72 Tremont Street from 8 a.m. to noon. Rigid plastics include: lawn furniture, children’s toys, laundry baskets, storage containers, recycling bins and more.

If you decided to use a different bin or barrel for Melrose’s new recycling program and would like to get rid of your old recycling bin, bring it to the event to be recycled.

The items collected at all events include: CRT’s ($10-15) including televisions, monitors, and lap tops, CFL bulbs, tires ($2-4), mercury items, clothes, books, dried latex paint, metal and white goods ($20) including microwaves, air conditioners, refrigerators, pipes, sofa beds, recliners and exercise equipment. The fees help defray the expenses associated with properly recycling the materials (checks only). Recycling stickers and educational information will also be available.

For a listing of additional events or for more information and questions, please visit our website www.cityofmelrose.org or call 781-665-0142.




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