Archive for November, 2016

Curbside Collection Alert

Collection on today’s recycling and trash routes is ongoing and will be continuing into the late afternoon. Please leave your items curbside if your neighborhood has not yet been picked up.

Last Yard Waste Week

Melrose DPW reminds residents that this is the last week of curbside yard waste collection. Residents may place up to 10 paper bags or labeled barrels (please no plastic bags!) on the curb for pickup by 7 a.m. on your trash and recycling day.

All Melrose residents are also welcome to bring leaves and brush down to the City Yard (72 Tremont Street) during any open hours of operation, including the next two Saturdays (Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. year-round, Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. through Dec. 10).

Please contact Melrose DPW at 781-665-0142 or email with any questions.

Updated Thanksgiving Week Schedule

Please note the updated schedule for this Thanksgiving week:

  1. DPW offices, operations and the recycling center on Tremont Street will close on Wednesday @ 2:00 p.m.;
  2. Thursday curbside services will take place on Friday; Friday curbside services will take place on Saturday;
  3. The recycling facility will be closed on Friday but will be open on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.;
  4. All school buildings will remain closed through the weekend with the exception of scheduled activities;
  5. All offices and operations will resume on regular schedule, Monday, November 28, 2016 at 7:00 a.m..
  6. The week of November 28th is the final curbside yard waste collection week.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Yard Waste, Trash, Recycling & City Yard on Holiday Schedule Thanksgiving Week

The Public Works Department would like to inform residents about a few upcoming fall reminders including Thanksgiving collection delay, DPW Recycling Center hours and curbside yard waste collection.

Thanksgiving Collection Delay
Trash and recycling collection will be delayed one day due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Therefore, Thursday’s pickup will be done on Friday and Friday’s pickup will be done on Saturday.

DPW Operations Facility & Recycling Center Hours
The DPW Operations Facility & Recycling Center at 72 Tremont Street will be open regular hours Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, but will close at 2:00pm on Wednesday, November 23. DPW will be closed on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 in observance of Thanksgiving.

The City Yard will be open on Saturday, November 26 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, December 10 will be our last scheduled Saturday opening. The facility will re-open on Saturdays in April of 2017.

Curbside Yard Waste Collection
There will be NO curbside collection of yard waste Thanksgiving week. There will be collection on the week of November 28 (the final week curbside pickup of yard waste is scheduled for the year).

Yard waste includes leaves, grass clippings, brush, and small branches less than 1 inch in diameter. Yard waste does not include dirt, gravel, sand, tree stumps and branches larger than 1 inch diameter or longer than 4 feet. Branches and brush must be bundled and tied. Yard waste must be set out by 7 a.m. in paper leaf bags or in barrels labeled “yard waste” and all bags and barrels must weigh less than forty-five pounds. There is a 10 barrel or bag maximum per pick up. Free yard waste stickers are available to residents at the City Yard.

For more information and questions, please visit our website or call 781-665-0142.

America Recycles Day!

Today is America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful initiative and a nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. In honor of this day, the City of Melrose urges all residents to step up and take on increased personal responsibility for preserving a healthy environment for the citizens of our city (and the greater world) to live, work and play in – now and for future generations. One quick and easy way of doing this is to take the “I Recycle” pledge in honor of America Recycles Day today.

In addition to curbside recycling service, Melrose DPW offers access to paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum recycling to all members of the public – including businesses – at the City Yard and Recycling Center. In addition, Melrose DPW offers special seasonal Saturday recycling events for hard-to-recycle items as well as materials that are easily recycled but cannot be put in curbside bins (e.g. plastic bags and styrofoam). By doing so, Melrose DPW endeavors to make recycling easily available to all Melrose residents and businesses, regardless of their living situation or access to recycling pickup services at their home or business.

In the past year (2015), Melrose residents recycled more and threw out less than ever before, after Melrose converted to weekly “single stream” (non-sorted) recycling pickup two years ago. In a recent 2016 observational curbside collection survey conducted by Melrose Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Melrose Recycling Committee (MRC), 76% of households in the city participating in the city’s curbside pickup service were found to be recycling.

The increase in residential recycling accompanies a decrease in trash tonnage compared to previous years. These promising trends reduce environmental costs and save taxpayer dollars because Melrose’s recyclables are hauled to Peabody and recycled free of charge, whereas the city must pay a per ton fee for trash to be hauled and incinerated in Haverill (30 miles away).

In addition, trash tonnage generated by Melrose residents has dropped almost 15 percent since 2010, while recycling tonnage has increased almost 28 percent over this same time period.[1] These numbers suggest an encouraging trend towards recycling and away from solid waste disposal – an accomplishment for Melrose residents to feel proud of.  These numbers also indicate that overall waste generation (the total tonnage of trash plus recycling) appears to be increasing in Melrose.

In order to continue making progress for the health of our community, environment and children, we all need to embrace the importance of reducing consumption (recycling as the third step in a 3-part cycle, after reducing and reusing). Looking forward, the city commits to continue providing education and opportunities for residents to conveniently recycle as much as possible. We also strive to lead by example by improving practices in municipal buildings and continuing to educate and inspire the next generation of citizens by engaging students in the schools. But we can’t accomplish all of this alone. Will you join us in pledging to help do your part, too?

For those interested in getting involved with other passionate residents, please consider joining the Melrose Recycling Committee. Contact Sadie Brown, Melrose’s Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator, at for details.

[1] These figures capture the solid waste generated by residential households of 6 units or less as well as trash collected from municipal buildings and public land in Melrose.

Holiday Trash, Recycling & Yard Waste Reminder

The City Yard and Recycling Center will be closed on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. It will be open as usual on Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. for yard waste and recycling to be dropped off.

Due to the holiday schedule, Friday’s curbside trash, recycling and yard waste will be picked up on Saturday.

Improvements in Melrose on Household Hazardous Waste

Cars were lined up at 7:45 a.m. this past Saturday with residents eagerly waiting to safely dispose of their household hazardous waste at the city’s annual event. Once the gates opened at 8 a.m. residents were greeted by a team of DPW employees and volunteers from the Melrose Recycling Committee, as well as workers from Clean Harbors who came to collect the waste. The lines moved quickly throughout the day, with 10 minutes being the longest anyone claimed to have waited.

This year 163 households from Melrose (and 62 from Stoneham) took advantage of this opportunity, which helps keep toxic chemicals away from children and pets, as well as our water, soil and air. Many residents commented about the peace of mind they felt after properly getting rid of these hazardous materials. Ann Waitt, DPW’s Assistant Director who has been working these events for the past 9 years, stated that she has seen the volume of material drop over the years, and that residents appear to have cleaned out a lot of their old toxic materials.

One resident said that she comes to the event every year, but has less and less to bring each time because she now thinks carefully about what she actually needs – and how much she will use – when buying hazardous chemicals for her home and garden. Another resident stated that she no longer buys lawn fertilizer or pesticides now that she has converted to managing her lawn organically with compost and other non-hazardous amendments.

Some residents were surprised to learn that Melrose DPW accepts electronics, CFL and fluorescent bulbs and other mercury-containing items, rechargeable batteries, propane tanks and dried latex paint at the City Yard and Recycling Center every Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fees do apply to some items, though many are free. Details can be found on the city’s website.

For those who missed this event, please stay tuned for next year’s dates to be announced. Melrose will likely partner with Stoneham again, which means Melrose residents should be able to bring their items to Stoneham’s event in the spring (date TBD). Melrose residents may also be able to bring household hazardous waste to another town’s event this year if need be. Call Sadie Brown, the Solid Waste & Recycling Coordinator, at 781-665-0142 for details.


City to Host Sign-Up Session on Nov. 2nd for Discounts and Exemptions

Did you know the City of Melrose offers a variety of discounts and tax exemptions for senior and low income residents? Mayor Rob Dolan invites you to come to an informational open house on Wednesday, November 2nd at Memorial Hall. Come meet with City Departments to see if you qualify and also sign up for a wide variety of discounts that include:

  • Senior Property Tax Exemption (Age 65+)
  • Water & Sewer Discounts (Age 65+ or income eligible)
  • Solid Waste Fee Discounts (Age 65+ or income eligible)
  • Property Tax Work Program (Age 60+)
  • Veteran Financial and Medical Benefits / Assistance
  • Help Understanding Your Energy Bill

This is an initiative that was delivered as part of Mayor Dolan’s 2016 Inauguration and highlighted in the recent needs assessment completed by the Council on Aging.  “Our goal with the open house is to educate and enroll eligible citizens in our discount programs for water, sewer, property taxes, and solid waste, as well as veterans’ benefits. We invite all citizens to meet personally and confidentially with a City Hall team in a ‘one-stop shopping’ environment to help eligible citizens continue to live and thrive in our community,” said Mayor Dolan.

What residents should bring:

  • Photo Identification
  • Recent Tax Bill
  • 2015 Tax Return (Social Security Statement if no tax return)
  • Electric Bill
  • For veteran’s assistance please bring DD214

The sign up session will take place on Wednesday, November 2nd from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Memorial Hall located at 590 Main Street in Melrose.