Recycling can be confusing. In honor of America Recycles Day, we decided to break down the details so you can make sure you’re recycling correctly in Boston.
Why is this important?
The city’s Climate Action Plan is working to have Boston become carbon neutral by 2050, and part of that plan is moving toward a Zero Waste Boston. Did you know that in 2021, households threw out an average of 2,250 pounds of trash? According to the Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection, that’s an average of ~43 pounds a week.
To help curb this, the city provides residents with curbside collection for recycling of metal, glass, plastic, and paper. The good news is, there is no need to sort the recyclables. All items can be added in one bin, aka a single stream service. Check your trash schedule to know when scheduled pickup is for your neighborhood.
If you have a question about if you should recycle something or not, use this tool to ensure you’re recycling right. Here are the basics to keep in mind and a quick list of what shouldn’t go in your recycling bin:
- Plastic bags — The City of Boston has had a ban on single-use plastic bags for retailers since December 2018.
- Clothing and textiles — donate them at a local clothing drive, bring them to a drop box + reuse store, or sign up for a .
- Food waste — sign up for the city’s compost program.
- Scrap metal — find your closest local scrap metal recycling location, like A Street Metal+ Second Street Iron and Metal.
- Electronics and batteries — bring your batteries and unwanted or broken electronics to a Household Hazardous Waste Days.