Melrose DPW Reducing Trash through Educational Campaign

Currently just over a quarter of the total waste produced by Melrose households is recycled, and doing so saved Melrose over $160,000 last year, in addition to reaping environmental benefits. Recycling can be tricky, and unfortunately some of the materials put out curbside and brought down to the commingles container (for plastic and glass bottles and metal cans) at the City’s Recycling Center contaminate the recycling stream and result in recyclable material going to the solid waste incinerator instead of the recycling facility.

In order to help make recycling easier and more effective for Melrose residents, DPW is implementing an educational campaign over the next several weeks that will help clarify some of the common questions that residents and wishful recyclers encounter when sorting their household waste (e.g. where do plastic bags belong, can large rigid plastics be recycled curbside, and how much trash can Melrose residents put out each week).

Beginning this Wednesday, July 12th, a team of DPW summer employees will be distributing friendly informational brochures to inform residents when their recycling bins contain non-recyclable items, or if their curbside trash is over the limit, and to remind non-recyclers (who make up less than 24% of Melrose residents) of the availability of free weekly removal of unlimited amounts of single stream recyclables. It is our hope that this outreach will help Melrose continue to improve its waste diversion rate and recycling efforts, since every pound of waste diverted to recycling (or reuse, repair or a backyard compost bin) helps keep our air clean, saves the city and taxpayers money, and gets us one step closer to the numerous city, state and regional waste reduction and zero waste goals that will greatly impact quality of life for future generations.

DPW created these tags (pictured below) using graphics designed by The Recycling Partnership (which are in use in cities throughout the country), with partial funding from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and editing assistance from the Melrose Recycling Committee.

JRM will still be collecting trash and recycling as normal during this educational campaign. If you have any questions (whether or not you receive a door hanger) please call the city’s Recycling Coordinator, Sadie Brown, at 781-665-0142 or email Other helpful community resources include the recycling guide on the City Website, the Melrose Recyclopedia and this resource page on the Melrose Recycles blog.