Keep our Recycling Program Effective … Please don't place Trash in Recycling Bins

The Department of Public Works, in coordination with JRM Hauling is cleaning up our curbside recycling stream over the upcoming months. This adherence to existing regulation is necessary to avoid substantial fines, which in turn impacts Melrose costs and service delivery to residents.

 This past summer, after being informed by JRM of increasing amounts of trash and non-acceptable items such as plastic bags and styrofoam in Melrose bins, DPW ran an educational campaign with Teachable Moment door knockers being dropped at homes.

“The door knockers were left at homes with questionable recycling bin contents in order to help educate residents on what and how to recycle,” according to Sadie Brown, DPW’s Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator.

Confused about whether plastic bags and Styrofoam can be recycled curbside with your paper, cardboard, bottles and cans? You aren’t alone! Along with trash, plastic bags and foam have always been on the list of items that are NOT recyclable in the city bins. This includes plastic bags specifically marketed to hold recyclables.

The most common examples of non-accepted items in recycling includes:

  • Recyclables bagged with garbage bags
  • Plastic retail bags
  • Food or liquid
  • Clothing or Linens
  • Cords, Hoses, Chains
  • Wood or Plastic Furniture
  • “Styrofoam” (cups, egg cartons, meat trays, etc.) 

JRM has now stepped up their efforts by leaving additional door knockers and stickers at stops that they cannot collect due to the contamination. “Unfortunately, we have to be a little more stringent with what we collect curbside. Plastic bags, styrofoam and other trash were always not allowed in our recycling stream but now we face major costs if collected,” said DPW Director John Scenna. If you receive these notices, please contact the Public Works office who can assist you in understanding the issue and coordinate the collection of said material. Learn more about the curbside recycling

If you have any questions about what to recycle, the services provided by DPW or other recycling issues please call DPW at 781-665-0142 or contact us at  Staff is on hand to assist and will be happy to talk you through any confusion, concerns or troubleshooting needs you may have.