Archive for May, 2013

11th Annual DPW Day Tomorrow!

DPW DAY 4th gradersWHAT Mayor Robert J. Dolan once again invites Melrose  youngsters to participate in the 11th annual Public Works Day. This event is  free.

WHEN & WHERE Thursday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the City  Yard, 72 Tremont St. (The rain date is May 31.)

Melrose residents are also invited to bring their children, grandchildren,  nieces and nephews, ages 8 or younger. The theme of this year’s DPW Day is “Public Works — Everyday Superheroes.”

Read the article here:

New Environmental Projects Internship

City-of-Melrose-Seal-150x150[1] - CopyThere is an exciting new internship opportunity for someone who has an interest in working on sustainability issues and learning more about the field. The intern would split their time on projects with the Melrose Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator and the Energy Efficiency Manager.

Please submit a letter of interest and a resume by June 7 to Jessica Schmitt, Public Works Operations Facility, 72 Tremont Street, Melrose, MA 02176 or by email to

Look at the job posting for more information:

Recycling Event: Saturday, May 18

Melrose DPW is holding a recycling drop off event this Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Public Works Operations Facility (City Yard), 72 Tremont Street.

Items collected at the event: CRT’s (televisions, monitors, and lap tops), CFL bulbs, tires, mercury items, clothes, books, dried latex paint, metal and white goods (microwaves, air conditioners, refrigerators, pipes, sofa beds, recliners, and exercise equipment). Some items have a small fee that helps defray the expenses associated with properly recycling the materials (checks only). Household recycling bins, recycling facility stickers and educational information will also be available.

CommuniTree Art Thank You Letter

The CommuniTree Art team, Martha Grover, Kris Rodolico, Jessie Schmitt and Jen Blesso, would like to thank everyone who supported the CommuniTree Art project over the past few months.

CommuniTree Art held a city wide park cleanup on April 6th when over 300 Melrose volunteers, including groups from PTOs, Girl Scout troops, Cub Scouts, and the Melrose Pedi/Bike Committee cleaned up over 20 parks and conservations areas. A huge thank you to all of those volunteers who came out on that chilly morning to make our parks sparkly clean!

The Melrose Arts Fest graciously allowed CommuniTree Art to hold its second event at their festival. Thank you to Deb Corbett and Melrose Arts for your support and encouragement and to those who participated in transforming the trash collected at the park cleanup into beautiful art pieces for the trees.

Thank you to Starbucks and Whole Foods for donating food to feed our wonderful volunteers.

A very special, heartfelt thank you goes out to Mike Skeeter Kuleszka, Ed Schmitt, Elizabeth Thomas, Mike Biddle, Steve Bryer (Hannaford and Dumas Printers), and Brian Timm who generously contributed their time, supplies and talent to make this project successful.

This project wouldn’t have been possible without funding from the Messina Grant and the Melrose Cultural Council grant.

Keep an eye out for the trees as they travel around the community and always remember to take pride in your CommuniTree!



Jessie Schmitt

Kris Rodolico

Jen Blesso

Martha Grover

School Textile Recycling Program to Benefit PTO’s

Hoover Textile Bin

Students at the Hoover School show off their new textile recycling bin.

Don’t throw away old clothing, teddy bears and linens – recycle them. Thanks to a new program by Bay State Textiles, old textile products can not only be recycled, they can also provide a source of revenue for Melrose schools.

Melrose PTOs and the Department of Public Works are partnering with Bay State Textiles to make this type of recycling easy. There will be white drop-off bins located outside the seven participating schools and items can be recycled at any time.  Bay State pays for the used textiles and the money will be used to support PTO projects such as enrichment programs, library books, field trips and classroom supplies.

The Melrose schools participating in the program are: Hoover Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Horace Mann Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School, Melrose Veteran’s Memorial Middle School, Melrose High School and the Early Childhood Center (Franklin School). This program, launched two weeks ago, is ongoing and will run through the summer and beyond.

“[Our company] was developed to address the problem of textile waste,” said Kathryn Larson, Bay State Textiles’ Recycling Development Coordinator. “About 520 million pounds of textiles end up in landfills and incinerators each year in Massachusetts alone, costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars in trash tipping fees”.

“By partnering with the schools it is a great way to educate the community about the problem of textile waste as well as generating revenue for the schools.”

School wide contest

The program kicked off with a contest, funded by Bay State Textiles, to see which school can collect the highest amount of used textile tonnage per student. The top three schools will receive $250, $150 and $100, respectively.

Accepted items

Bay State Textiles ( will take “the good, the bad and the ugly” as long as the used textile items are clean and dry, and packaged in a plastic bag. People should recycle their textiles the same way they recycle their paper, glass, bottles and cans, Larson explained.

Items accepted for recycling include:

  • Clothing and shoes
  • Stuffed animals
  • Linens and bedding
  • Curtains and table cloths
  • Purses/bags/backpacks
  • Hats, gloves, scarves

For a full list of acceptable items, visit

The recycling process

Textiles are brought to Bay State warehouse in Pembroke where they are baled and shipped out. Eight-five percent of the items are reused or recycled; the rest are broken down into fibers used for carpet padding, insulation in cars, wiping rags and industrial use.

Clearly, the program has many benefits. Students learn about the environmental issues created by trash, PTOs receive money to run programs and the City reduces trash disposal costs.

So don’t throw away those old textiles. Instead, drop them off at your nearest school textile donation location.

For further information, including the location of the nearest drop-off bin, contact Jessie Schmitt at

Compost Bins SOLD OUT!

The compost bins have now sold out. Check back next Spring if you’d like to order one.

CommuniTree at the Arts Fest

The CommuniTree Art project held it’s second event at the Melrose Arts Festival. Check out this article about the event.

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Compost Bins Still Available!

The initial order of the Earth Machine compost bins sold out so the city has ordered another shipment. Therefore, it’s not too late to order your bin but there are only 10 left so don’t miss out!The order form is available here:

*The pickup dates have changed. You will be contacted with the new pickup date after bins arrive at our facility.