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Somerville Environmental Service Guide title graphic

 

Banner reads: Introducing Uniform Trash Carts: Click here to learn more

 

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Look up your trash and recycling pickup day

To find out when your trash and recycling collection day is use our online address lookup. For weeks with a city holiday, trash pickup is delayed by one day for that day and for each remaining weekday that week.


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What time should I put out my trash and recycling?

Trash and recycling bins may be placed on the curbside no earlier than 4 p.m. the day prior to your scheduled pickup, and no later than 7 a.m. on pickup day. Empty barrels must be removed from sidewalk by 7 p.m. on trash collection day.

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Be a good neighbor: Cover your trash barrel 

Trash barrels must be stored with covers during the week, but covers may be removed once barrels are placed on the sidewalk for collection to avoid damage to the cover or loss. Keeping your barrels covered keeps litter of our streets by preventing trash from blowing out of the barrel and helps with rodent control.

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Where can I get a copy of the Yard Waste & Hazardous Waste Calendar?

A copy of the Environmental Service Guide is mailed to all Somerville households each April. You can also print your own guide from the online version or call 311 for a copy.

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What can I recycle?

Somerville offers recycling for a wide range of items from paper and glass to electronics and yard waste. See each category below for details on 

  • Zero-Sort Recycling for household waste
  • Yard Waste
  • Electronic Waste Recycling
  • White Goods Recycling
  • Christmas Tree Recycling
  • Food Waste Composting

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Zero-Sort Curbside Recycling

Most household packaging, plastics, papers, and aluminum can go in your City-issued Zero-Sort recyling cart. No need to sort. It all goes in one cart. Here's an A to Z list of clean items you can put in your Zero-Sort cart:

  • Aerosol cans (metal): Must be empty. Remove cap from can. PLEASE dispose of paints, cleansers, automotive sprays via household hazardous waste drop-off.  
  • Aseptic packaging: Wax-covered or foiled line containers such as juice boxes
  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil: Only completely clean foil can be recycled.
  • Books: Paperbacks only (hardcover books are not recyclable). 
  • Bottles: Glass bottles and glass containers 
  • Boxboard and paperboard: Cereal boxes, dry food boxes, paper egg cartons, shoe boxes, tissue boxes, paper towel and toilet paper cores, pizza boxes. PLEASE remove all food wasteand remove plastic liners. Large amounts of cardboard boxes must be broken down into 3ft x 3ft pieces, bundled up and tied together.
  • Cans (metal): Food and beverage cans only. Labels are OK. Place lids in can.
  • Cans of compressed gas/air duster: Make sure there is no compressed air left in the can. Once it is empty, puncture the can.
  • Cardboard (corrugated): Empty. Staple, tape and labels are OK. NO strapping or string, NO wax-coated cardboard, no paint or oil stains, no foam/Styrofoam packing materials.
  • Envelopes and opened mail: White, colored, gummed and window envelopes. Remove non-paper items such as plastic cards or CDs. Labels are OK. NO Tyvek or plastic envelopes or bubblewrap-padded envelopes.
  • Egg cartons
  • Foil: Clean
  • Glass: Rinse clean. Food and beverage containers only. NO lightbulbs, window glass, Pyrex, or ceramics.
  • Magazines: Staples and labels are OK.
  • Newspapers: All sections and advertising inserts. NO plastic wrapping. Do not tie with string.
  • Paper (white & colored): Plain and glossy, printed, letterhead, copier paper, brochures, file folders (leave on plastic tabs and metal strips), manila folders, craft paper, index cards, construction paper, non-metallic wrapping paper, tissue paper, cards. Stapels are OK. NO paper towels, facial tissues, stickers, or sticker backing paper.
  • Paperback books: Paperback books, phone books, and catalogs. NO hardcovers. NO plastic wrapping.
  • Pie pans (aluminum): Clean
  • Pizza boxes: Only clean boxes
  • Plastics 1-7: Any plastic item numbered 1-7 (look on the bottom for the number), as well as rigid plastics such as plastic toys, plastic chairs, etc. Includes plastic bottles, jugs, containers, dairy tubs (for yogurt), laundry baskets, take-out containers, flower pots and trays. NO Styrofoam, filmy products such as plastic bags, housewares, motor oil containers, biodegradable plastics. 
  • Shredded Paper: Place with recycling in a clear see-through plastic bag
  • Wrapping paper: Matte, glossy, non-metallic. NO metalic papers.

Zero-Sort image

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Yard Waste Recycling 

  • Seasonal Yard Waste Curbside Pickup (mid-April to early December): To recycle your yard waste into compost, place it curbside on your regular trash pickup day during highlighted weeks on the Environmental Services calendar (below)
  • Year-round Yard Waste Drop-off at DPW: Bring proof of residency (utility bill and valid picture I.D.). Drop off at DPW, One Franey Road
  • Yard Waste Do's and Don'ts: 
    • Store in paper bags or barrels marked with City-issued “Yard Waste Only” stickers. Call 311 for stickers or visit DPW at One Franey Road or the City Clerk at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave.
    • Cut and tie bush and tree limbs into 3ft x 3 ft bundles. 
    • No plastic bags allowed. Do not place yard waste in plastic bags.

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Days
  • When and where: Second Saturday of the month from April to November, 9 a.m.—12 Noon, at the DPW yard, One Franey Road. 
  • Residents only: Bring proof of Somerville residency (a utility bill or driver's license). No businesses or rental property owners are eligible. 
  • Do's and Dont's: Do not place in plastic bags! 
  • Accepted material: 
    • Automobile Tires (remove rim & hub cap): You may bring up to four tires to DPW Monday- Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (You don't have to wait for Hazardous Waste Day.)
    • Antifreeze
    • Brake Fluid: One gallon or less; otherwise, dispose of privately.
    • Batteries: Rechargeable batteries or car batteries.
    • Driveway Sealer: Up to two buckets. Larger amounts must be disposed of privately.  
    • Fire Extinguishers: Commercial grade or non-empty household extinguishers.
    • Fluorescent lights bulbs
    • Insect spray cans
    • Mercury and lead sheets
    • Motor oil
    • Paints and thinners: To prevent spilling, please bring cans with paint in a box. Do not put in a plastic bag.
    • Pool chemicals: Small quantities can be brought to the DPW; large amounts must be disposed of privately.
    • Propane tanks and propane torches
    • Thermometers (mercury): If broken, place inside a covered glass jar and keep in a well-ventilated area away from children's reach until it can be brought to the DPW on Hazardous Waste Day.
    • Transmission Fluid: Up to 1 gallon; larger amounts must be disposed of privately.'

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Televisions and Monitors

Call 311 to schedule free, curbside pickup of TVs and computer monitors. Or drop them off at the DPW Yard, One Franey Road, weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as Electronic Waste. Old TVs or monitors with broken glass will not be accepted for electronic waste recycling.

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Christmas Tree Recycling

Place curbside with regular trash in December and January. Remove all decorations. Do not place in a plastic bag. Trees picked up through January are mulched. Trees picked up in February are disposed of as trash. Pick up free mulch through February.

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NEW! Electronic Waste Recycling

Drop off for recycling at the DPW Yard at One Franey Road, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proof of residency (driver's license or utility bill) or business location/license is required. 

  • Desktop computers and laptops: With keyboard and mouse
  • TVs and monitors: No broken glass 
  • Electronic cables
  • Servers and server racks
  • Networking equipment
  • Electronic instrumentation
  • Printers, copiers and scanners
  • Telephones
  • Projectors
  • Battery backups
  • Electronic and audio equipment
  • Toner and ink cartridges
  • DVDS, CDs, VHS tapes
  • Household electronics and small appliances such as: 
    • Blenders 
    • Microwave ovens 
    • Irons, toasters, coffee makers 
    • Most small household items that can be plugged in

White Goods: Large Appliance Disposal

Large appliances require a $25 White Goods Sticker that can be purchased at the DPW (by check or money order) or at City Hall (by cash, check or money order). Neither office can accept credit cards. When placing your white goods, curbside, be sure not to block pedestrian traffic. 

  • Air Conditioners
  • Dryers
  • Refrigerators: Remove door before placing item on sidewalk.
  • Stoves
  • Washers
  • Water Coolers (bubblers)
  • Water Heaters

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Regular Trash

These items may disposed of with your regular trash.

  • Appliances: Small household appliances including radios, VCRs (including tapes), toasters, irons, etc. can be disposed with regular trash, but please consider dropping them off for Electronics Recycling any weekday at DPW, One Franey Road, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Basketball pole & net: The pole must be cut down to three feet in length.
  • Alkaline Batteries: Only regular household alkaline batteries (such as A, AA, C, or D) may be disposed of with regular trash. Rechargable batteries, button cell batteries, and lithium batteries must be disposed of as Hazardous Waste. Laptop battery packs should be disposed of with Electronic Waste.
  • Bicycles
  • Building or construction material: These items will be picked up by the City only if there is a building permit on display with the green sticker. Otherwise you must contract with a private disposal company.
  • Camping stove: The City will pick these up if there is no propane tank attached.
  • CDs/DVDs and their covers: But please consider dropping them off for Electronics Recycling any weekday at DPW, One Franey Road, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • China/ceramics
  • Christmas trees: Artificial trees can be put out with regular trash.  Real trees will be picked up by DPW for mulching in January. Trees put out after January, will be picked up for regular trash.
  • Computer accessories: The tower, printer, keyboard, computer laptops, and toner and ink cartridges can be placed with regular trash. But please consider dropping them off for Electronics Recycling any weekday at DPW, One Franey Road, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Dehumidifier
  • Door: Wooden doors must be cut in half. Tape storm doors with glass to prevent shattering. Multiple doors would be considered construction material, which requires private disposal.
  • Fan
  • Fire Extinguishers: Small, empty household extinguishers can be disposed with regular trash. Larger or non-empty ones (regardless of size) must be brought to the DPW on Hazardous Waste Days.
  • Furniture: The City will pickup two pieces of furniture per week. Any mirrors or glass should be taped on both sides to avoid shattering. Drawers and doors should be tied down or removed to avoid injury.
  • Glass: Wrap the glass in heavy paper and/or with tape to ensure that it won't break easily. If wrapped in paper, please write on it that it is glass and must be handled with care. (Includes mirrors, table top glass etc.)
  • Kitty Litter
  • Ladders: Wooden and metal ladders may be put out for pickup, but must be broken down into pieces no longer than 4 feet in length.
  • Lawn mowers: Non-motorized mowers may be placed with regular trash; motorized mowers must be disposed of privately.
  • Medical equipment: Call 311 to arrange a pickup of hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, etc. Some of these items can be donated to Council on Aging, if in good condition. To donate, call 311.
  • Mattress and Box Spring
  • Microwave ovens But please consider dropping them off for Electronics Recycling any weekday at DPW, One Franey Road, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Pools: Children's rubber pools may be placed with regular trash; adult, aboveground rubber pools must be cut down to pieces no longer than 3 feet in length and tied with string or twine. Metal pools must be disposed privately.
  • Paint cans: If they are dry and empty, place in regular trash. Non-empty cans must be brought to the DPW on Hazardous Waste Days.
  • Pots and Pans
  • Rugs/ Carpets: Must be rolled and tied with string/twine. Roll must not exceed three feet in length.
  • Sewing Machines
  • Styrofoam: Peanuts/pellets must be disposed of with regular trash. Do not place in recycling. But please consider saving clean Styrofoam for drop-off at one of our twice-yearly Styrofoam Recycling days.
  • Swing Sets: A wooden set must be dismantled in order to be picked up. A metal set must be disposed of privately.
  • Trash barrels & Recycling Bins- To dispose of damaged barrels or bins, place a sign indicating that item is broken and you wish to dispose of it.
  • Vinyl Records
  • Wood: Small quantities cut into pieces no longer than 3 feet in length and tied into a bundle with string or twine. Large amounts are considered building/construction materials, which require private disposal.

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Private Disposal

These items will not be accepted for disposal by the City and must be disposed of privately:

  • Building or construction materials: Toilets, sinks, windows, wood, masonry, siding, shingles etc. must be disposed of privately, unless there is a building permit on display with the green sticker (issued on construction jobs for less than $5,000).
  • Business hazardous waste
  • Car parts
  • Dirt/loam
  • Heavy metal items: These include exercise equipment, exercise bikes and metal cabinets.
  • Kerosene, gasoline or heating oil
  • Lawn mower (motorized)
  • Pools (aboveground metal)
  • Snow blowers
  • Windows: These are considered construction material and will therefore be picked up only if a building permit with green sticker is displayed.

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Charitable Donations

Please consider donating gently used household items (furniture, clothing, books, etc.) to area charities, including those listed below. When you donate items that are still in useable condition, you are saving money for the city and its taxpayers by reducing bulk waste trash disposal costs and you help local charities serve those in need. At the same time, a donation for reuse is a valuable form of recycling, which helps all of us fulfill our shared commitment to sustainability and environmental quality.

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