Archive for February, 2013

First Recycling Event of 2013: Styrofoam Recycling, Mar. 16


Styrofoam recycling day will be held on Saturday, March 16 at 72 Tremont St. from 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m. This is the second year of this program that enables Melrose residents to safely dispose of Styrofoam, which is a difficult product to recycle and cannot be placed in curbside recycling.

ReFoamIt will collect the Styrofoam and transport it to its recycling facility in Ayer, MA. Visit to see what types of Styrofoam will be accepted at the event.

New 2013 Information/ Blog update

Check out the new information at the top of this blog in the menu section:

  • Curbside collection schedule (including metal pickups)
  • Saturday recycling events calendar (next event: Styrofoam Recycling, March 16)
  • Trash and recycling guidelines
  • Street listing of trash and recycling routes

These are also available at

Guest Post: Cardboard Do’s and Don’ts

Written by: George Stubbs (Melrose Recycling Committee volunteer since 1990)

What to recycle, what not to recycle? What’s permissible to put in the green and red bins, what isn’t?

Even those of us who have acquired the habit of putting the recycling bins out on the curb every other week don’t always know which waste objects belong and which ones should be discarded with the trash. We have the general idea, and get it mostly right, but every now and then, we discard an item that could be recycled, or we put in the recycling bin something that may not belong there—at least as the rules currently stand.

One column isn’t enough to list all the items that can be recycled, and all the ones that can’t—and why, in each case—but we can get the discussion rolling with one, very ubiquitous category of our discards.


It comes in so many forms, weights, and sizes, packaging so many items that make their way into our homes, from those smaller boxes containing books from to the larger ones bringing in the new appliance. Then there are those kitchen items, like boxes of cereal, that seem to be cardboard, and are certainly related, but are actually referred to as “paperboard” (I was confused about this for a long time).

Paperboard is similar to cardboard for recycling. You can flatten out both paperboard and cardboard items and recycle them with your newspapers and magazines in a labeled bin. The only difference is where they are placed if you drop them off at the Department of Public Works City Yard on 72 Tremont Street. Paperboard and paper are placed in the mixed paper large container and large pieces of cardboard are placed in the large container for cardboard.

So that’s one important thing to know. Another very important fact is that, under Massachusetts law, cardboard is banned from regular trash. That doesn’t mean the Trash Police will be inspecting what you put on the curb and coming to your door to give you a warning if they find cardboard in your trash. It does, however, mean that our city’s garbage trucks will be inspected at the disposal site or transfer station, and if there are banned items in what’s delivered there, the city risks a warning and possible fine. In fact, we as a city have been delivering too many banned items with our trash, and we are being fined. That’s our taxpayer dollars.

In the category of cardboard and paper, here’s what’s banned from trash disposal, according to the state’s Waste Ban Regulations (310 CMR 19.017): all paper, cardboard, and paperboard products, but not tissue paper, toweling, paper plates and cups, wax-coated cardboard, and other low-grade paper products that cannot be used by paper mills as a result of normal intended use.

So, you may ask, what about those pizza boxes, which invariably have those oily stains left on them when the pizza’s all gone? Any cardboard products “contaminated” (for lack of a better word) by oil, grease, or other food residue should be placed in the trash. If you can rip off any unsoiled portion of the pizza box, you can recycle that portion. Otherwise, it’s trash.

That’s the “what.” Now for the “how.” It’s pretty simple.

Like paper, cardboard must be kept separate from the other “commingles”—the plastics, metals, and glass. Cardboard does not need to be kept separate from the paper and paperboard. Break down the cardboard—i.e., flatten it—and place it in the bin, inside another cardboard box or leaning neatly next to your other recyclables.

You don’t need to cut up the cardboard any more. Just flatten it out. Also, you don’t need to tie it all in a bundle for curbside pickup either, but you probably want to take steps to prevent it from blowing around the neighborhood on a windy day. If the items are small, maybe put them in paper bag, as you do your newspapers. Putting flattened cardboard in an un-flattened box is also okay. And remember, you can take the larger items to the DPW yard for disposal in the dumpsters marked “flattened cardboard.”

By recycling cardboard, we take a big bite out of the consumption of virgin materials and thus help to protect an imperiled resource base. Indeed, recycled cardboard has a “multiplier” effect that other categories of recyclables can’t claim, in that it can be reprocessed into new cardboard many times rather than just once or twice. And while the markets for recyclable commodities can be volatile, when the market is up, the sale of recycled cardboard brings more back into the city that the sale of other recyclables.

So, let’s pick up our recycling rates for cardboard. It takes a little effort, but it more than pays for itself.

Trash and Recycling Pickups on Schedule: Monday, 2/11

Trash and recycling will be picked up on a regular schedule on Monday. Continue to check Mayor Dolan’s blog for storm updates and call 781-665-0142 for snow related issues.

Mayor Dolan’s Storm Update: Saturday Evening Briefing

Storm Update: Saturday Evening Briefing.

Trash and Recycling Pickups on Schedule: Fri, 2/8

Trash and recycling pickups are on normal schedule for Friday, February 8. Please place your trash and recyclables out by 7 a.m. as DPW will be working to finish pickups early. Please read Mayor Dolan’s storm update for all other storm information. Call 781-665-0142 with snow related calls.

Here is Mayor Dolan’s Snowstorm Update. Stay safe everyone!

Mayor Infurna's Blog

For all snow-related calls, call the City Yard, 781-665-0142.

At the moment, the forecast is for 16 to 24 inches of snow, beginning sometime Friday afternoon and continuing into Saturday. This is going to be a long storm, and we are preparing accordingly. We will have over 75 pieces of equipment on the road, sanding, salting, and clearing. However, we are expecting dangerous conditions. Please stay off the roads during the storm and afterwards so we can clear the streets. Conditions will be dangerous and our snow operations will be in full effect.

Melrose Public Schools will be closed on Friday.
Kids Club has been canceled.
All municipal buildings, including Memorial Hall, the Milano Senior Center, and the schools, will be closed from noon Friday until 7 a.m. Monday.
The Melrose Public Library will close at noon Friday and reopen at 10 a.m. Monday.
All sports and school activities scheduled…

View original post 221 more words