Archive for December, 2016

Jan. 7 Recycling Event Reminder

Recycling all your post-holiday stuff has never been easier! Looking forward to seeing you on Jan. 7th. More details in the flier below, and in our earlier blog post.


City Yard Closing Early Friday 12/23 & 12/30

The DPW Operations Facility and Recycling Center (City Yard) will be closing at 1:30pm on Friday, Dec. 23rd and reopening on Tuesday, Dec. 27th at 7:30am. The City Yard will also be closing at 1:30pm on Friday, Dec. 30th and reopening on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd. Happy Holidays, Melrose!


2017 Collection Calendar & Recycling Event Info

The 2017 Curbside Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Schedule is now available! This schedule (see below) will be mailed out to Melrose residents this week. Copies will also be available at the City Yard starting on Thursday, Dec. 22.

A PDF file of the collection calendar can also be downloaded from the city website:

Please note the additional recycling info, including a list of the 2017 recycling events.


Tree-cycling Curbside and Drop-off Schedule for Jan. 3-13

Soon the winter holidays will be behind us, and it will be time to bid adieu to the winter greenery that is currently adorning many of our homes. Melrose DPW will pick up Christmas trees (absent of stands, plastic bags, or any decorations) from household curbsides beginning on Tuesday, January 3 and culminating on Friday, January 13. The pickup schedule will follow the trash and recycling routes, so residents can lay their trees alongside their trash and recycling containers. Due to the observance of the New Year’s holiday on January 2, the first week of tree collection will be on a one day delay. Therefore, Monday’s route will be collected on Tuesday, Tuesdays’ route will be collected on Wednesday, and so on through Saturday, which is when Friday’s route will be collected.

Trees, wreaths, garlands and other greenery – all without decorations, stands, wires or plastic bags – can also be brought to the DPW City Yard and Recycling Center (72 Tremont Street) during normal hours of operation (7:30am – 3:00pm) starting Tuesday, January 3rd through Friday January 6th, and Monday, January 9th through Friday, January 13th.

Residents also have the opportunity to bring their trees, as well as other post-holiday recyclables, to the City Yard on Saturday, January 7th from 8:00am until 12:00pm. Details on this exciting new collection event can be found on DPW’s Melrose Recycles blog (

If you have any questions please call Melrose DPW at 781-665-0142 or email

Holiday Schedule for Trash & Recycling Dec. 26-Jan. 7

The Department of Public Works wishes all Melrosians a happy holiday season and reminds residents that the Operations Facility and Recycling Center (City Yard) will be closed and there will be no curbside collection on Monday, December 26th or Monday, January 2nd. Curbside collection of recycling and trash will also be on a holiday schedule both weeks, with a one day delay starting Tuesday, December 27th and Tuesday, January 3rd. Therefore, for both of these weeks, Monday’s trash and recycling route will be picked up on Tuesday, Tuesday’s trash and recycling route will be picked up Wednesday, and so on through Saturday, which is when Friday’s route will be picked up.

Please be aware that solid waste and recycling streams are always over-saturated during this time of year. As a result, our hauler (JRM) has informed us that there may be collection delays due to congestion at the disposal and recycling facilities during the coming weeks. So if it is late afternoon and you see that your neighborhood’s trash and/or recycling have not yet been picked up please leave your barrels or bags curbside until they have been taken.

If you have any questions or are concerned that your specific residence may have been missed please call Melrose DPW at 781-665-0142 or email

Jan. 7th Holiday Recycling Event!

holiday-recycling-event-flier_clear-textDo the winter holidays leave you buried under piles of wrapping paper, cardboard, Sytrofoam®, plastic bags and film wrap, bottles, cans, Christmas trees and perhaps old home/office electronics, used textiles, books and more?  Unburden yourself from that baggage and give all those things a festive goodbye at the City Yard on Saturday, January 7th from 8:00am until 12:00pm!  Please read the event details (below and in the flier above) carefully.

Melrose DPW will be hosting its first ever post-holiday recycling event in order to reduce the amount of solid waste generated by our community. Every piece of trash that gets picked up by the curbside hauler here in Melrose has to get hauled over 30 miles to Haverhill, where it is incinerated and its ashes are landfilled. The costs of doing this (financially and environmentally) are far greater than if the recyclable and compostable materials are diverted out of the waste stream on the household level, prior to being picked up curbside. Curbside set-out is always greater during the holiday season, and delays in pickup often result from these excessive loads and congestion of hauler vehicles at the waste disposal facilities.

Looking back over the past 10 years of records, December is frequently the month in which Melrose produces the greatest amount (by weight) of trash, but this year could be different! On January 7th Melrose DPW can help you get rid of your unwanted packaging materials, Christmas trees and certain old possessions you no longer want, while simultaneously keeping Melrose green by properly recycling these materials at this special recycling event.

DPW staff and volunteers from the Melrose Recycling Committee hope to see you there to start the New Year off on the right foot! Call Melrose DPW at 781-665-0142 or email with any questions.

Advice for Snowy Weather

As any Melrose resident will know, winter weather conditions can be treacherous in this area. As the snow begins to fly, the Department of Public Works would like to remind everybody of the city’s laws and safety regulations regarding snowy and icy conditions.

During snow emergencies, our plow operators are hard at work getting our roadways back to safe driving conditions. An unfortunate but necessary drawback to keeping the roads and sidewalks clear is that snow will often be plowed in front of driveways. This is a simply unavoidable result of plowing the roads; please understand that it is not done on purpose. It is the property owner’s responsibility to remove this snow.

There are several steps residents can take to make the plowing process go more smoothly for everyone involved. Narrow, steep streets are particularly difficult for our equipment to navigate, so please avoid parking in these areas during a snowstorm. Please do not park your car in any spot that may inhibit the plowing of streets, such as across the front of driveways. If the Mayor has declared a Snow Emergency Parking Ban, no vehicles are allowed to park on any streets. Violators will be subject to ticketing and possible towing. Moving snow and/or ice onto public roads or sidewalks is also illegal and punishable by fine.

If your driveway entrance or grass strip appears to have been damaged by our plows, please call the City Yard at 781-665-0142. Private mailboxes damaged during snow plowing are the property owner’s responsibility to repair. Additionally, it’s important that basketball hoops and other obstructions are not left on the street in winter months.

Private businesses are required to clear all public sidewalks on their property of snow and ice. Residents are also requested to clear their sidewalks. Please clear all snow from fire hydrants and catch basins near your house, as access to both is important to prevent emergencies. If you wish, you may obtain winter salt/sand mix at the City Yard, located at 72 Tremont Street, during normal working hours only. Please do NOT enter the yard during snow emergencies; it is dangerous due to all of the DPW vehicles coming and going during storms.

Most importantly, please be safe! Avoid driving in snowstorms whenever possible, and be mindful of weather conditions. Please remember that we are doing everything we can to keep our roadways clear and our citizens safe. “Winter storm situations are a time when a community must work together. Shoveling hydrants, clearing catch basins, checking on neighbors, and making sure sidewalks are kept clear and accessible to walkers – including children trying to get to school – are all ways in which you can work together with the DPW to make Melrose a safer community during the winter season,” said DPW Director John Scenna. You may contact us at the DPW City Yard with questions related to snow safety and rules at 781-665-0142.

For more detailed information, check the Melrose Snow Manual.

‘Tis the Season to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

During the holiday season, Massachusetts’ residents produce about 25 percent more trash compared to any other time of year. To trim down on all that waste – and save you time, money, energy, and stress during this busy time of year – the Melrose Department of Public Works (DPW) offers some simple tips and events to “be green” this holiday season:

  • Buy green.
    • Purchase recycled-content gifts and/or non-material gifts.
    • Consider the life expectancy and frequency of use of the gifts you purchase.
    • About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buy rechargeable batteries. Melrose DPW, as well as many stores, have drop-off bins for the safe recycling of old batteries.
    • Thousands of paper and plastic shopping bags end up as litter or in landfills every year.  Reduce waste by remembering to bring your reusable tote bag while shopping. Support the Melrose Recycling Committee’s single use bag initiative!
  • Choose green wrapping.
    • Decorative boxes, gift bags, and tins can be reused, instead of disposable wrapping paper (much of which is not recyclable).
    • Use old calendar images, paper bags, or newspaper to wrap your gift and then use a reusable ribbon, bow, or beads to decorate it.
  • Green your holiday card.
    • Use old holiday cards or old calendar images to create new cards by cutting the picture off and using it to make a new card or a gift tag.
    • If you buy cards, find ones made of recycled content.
    • If so inclined, you can save paper by sending E-cards, which is gaining in popularity.
  • Recycle as much as possible. This year Melrose DPW will be hosting a post-holiday recycling event at the City Yard on Saturday, January 7th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. where all residents can recycle their:
    • cardboard boxes
    • bottles, cans and other “commingled” plastic and aluminum recyclables
    • Styrofoam® packing blocks (white polystyrene foam ONLY, all tape removed, no packing peanuts or foodware; these will be inspected and sorted into a specific container)
    • wrapping paper (no foil or tissue paper)
    • Christmas trees (free of all decorations)
    • old TVs and home office/entertainment electronics (laptops & screens cost $20)
    • metal goods ($25)
    • textiles
    • books
    • fluorescent bulbs (fee for large quantities)
  • Save gas and reduce air pollution. Spare the air, and commit to minimizing your car use whenever possible. Take public transportation, carpool with friends, or walk when you go shopping or to holiday parties. You’ll be rewarded with both more exercise and cleaner air.
  • “Tree-cycle” after the holidays. Melrose offers 2 weeks of curbside pickup of Christmas trees starting the first week of the new year, as well as drop-off at the City Yard during open hours Jan. 3 – 13. Trees are chipped and then recycled into compost and mulch.

Stay tuned to the DPW’s Melrose Recycles Blog ( for details on upcoming events and more.


Melrose DPW thanks MassDEP for providing some of the tips above. MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources in Massachusetts.

Holiday Schedule for Curbside Collection (Weeks of 12/26 & 1/2)

The Department of Public Works wishes all Melrosians a happy holiday season and reminds residents that the Operations Facility and Recycling Center (City Yard) will be closed and there will be no curbside collection on Monday, December 26th or Monday, January 2nd.

Curbside collection of recycling and trash will also be on a holiday schedule both weeks, with a one day delay starting Tuesday, December 27th and Tuesday, January 3rd. Therefore, for both of these weeks, Tuesday’s trash and recycling route will be picked up Wednesday, Wednesday’s route will be picked up on Thursday, Thursday’s route will be picked up on Friday and Friday’s route will be picked up on Saturday.

Saturday Hours Ending Dec. 10 (Resuming April 2017)

DPW reminds residents that Saturday, December 10th will be our last scheduled Saturday opening of the year.

The City Yard/Recycling Center at 72 Tremont Street will remain open Monday through Friday 7:30am – 3:00pm throughout the year.

The facility will re-open on Saturdays for next season in April of 2017.

If you have any of the following items that need to be recycled and cannot bring them down to our facility during a weekday please bring them in on either Saturday, December 10th (8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) or on our special upcoming Saturday recycling event on Jan. 7th from 8:00 am – noon:

  • cardboard
  • paper (no tissue or foil paper please)
  • commingles (plastic, glass & aluminum bottles & cans)
  • CFL bulbs (DPW only accepts fluorescent bulbs; fee for bulbs longer than 4′)
  • books
  • clothes & other textiles
  • yard waste (leaves, brush <1 inch in diameter)
  • propane tanks (20lb)

Please call DPW at 781-665-0142 with any questions.