Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Single-stream recycling comes to Boston on July 1, the mayor announced today. We'll no longer have to sort our paper and plastics. More items than ever will be accepted and residents will get 64-gallon buckets to place their recyclables curbside. This should increase the number of people who take part in the recycling program, as well as make it easier for all of us.


Anonymous said...

So does everybody get one of these? did the money come from the Federal stimulous?

JohnW said...

The City will issue bins as described in the linked Globe article.

Here is the official word from the City's recycling e-news brief:
As of July 1, 2009, you no longer have to separate paper and cardboard from cans and bottles. Instead, you may mix all recyclables together in one large container. Less sorting, more RECYCLING!

To provide you with more space to recycle, over the next 12 months, the City will be delivering large wheeled carts to residences with one to six units. You will receive notification shortly before your cart is delivered. When you receive your cart, put your address on it and please take care of it; it will not be replaced. If you move, please leave your cart behind for the next resident.

Other Recycling Options
While you are waiting for your cart, or if the cart isn't the right size for your household, you can:

Convert a trash can into a recycling container. When you recycle more, you'll have less trash and won't need as many trash cans. Convert an unneeded can into a recycling container. The can must be no larger than 32 gallons and have a lid. Call 617-635-4500 to request an official sticker to label one of your existing trash cans as a recycling container.

Continue using your blue bin. You may continue to use your blue bin; however, the City will no longer provide new or replacement bins.

Items Acceptable for Recycling
The following items can be mixed together in your recycling cart or container as of July 1, 2009. Leaving plastic windows, staples, paper clips, and spirals in paper is okay. Please rinse out cans, bottles, and jars. Leaving labels and lids on is okay.

Newspapers with inserts
Magazines and catalogs
Junk mail, colored paper
Flattened food boxes
Paperback books
Pizza boxes (empty)
Flattened cardboard boxes
Telephone books
Milk and juice cartons
Juice/soymilk boxes
Glass jars and bottles
Aluminum and tin cans
All plastic containers
NEW ITEM! Spiral cans (potato chip/coffee/nut cans, etc)
NEW ITEM! Rigid plastics (laundry baskets, buckets, toys, etc)

N.starluna said...

This is great for us. I had some students who looked into why the recycling rate in Boston is so low, especially compared to other cities in New England. One of the things they found that might improve the recycling rate was using a single stream disposal system.

They also found that there is also a space issue. Many people do not have or make the space in their apartments or condos to set aside recyclables. I'm wondering if people here have that problem too.

Anonymous said...

That's nice, though I haven't' had any trouble separating paper from plastic thus far. OTOH, I hope the new containers similarity to garbage containers doesn't create a problem of people using them as general garbage cans.

Anonymous said...

What will be wrong in having these big blue bins will be garbage pickers at night searching for plastic bottles and cans, having one will defeat the purpose. P.s who reads newspapers these days.