UPDATE: The City of Watertown has delayed the start of some of the changes to the City’s trash and recycling collection rules. See details by clicking here.
Watertown residents will be seeing changes to the City’s trash and recycling program. Beginning Sept. 12, 2022, the recycling center will be open an additional day, composting is available, and there will be changes in how to dispose of large items, appliances and mattresses.
The Watertown Department of Public Works announced the changes to the trash/recycling program this week. The changes were made in response to ratification of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan which sets a goal to reduce disposal tonnage by 30 percent by 2030.
See the full announcement further down in the story, or by clicking here.
Starting the week of Sept. 12, 2022, the Watertown Recycling Center will be open three days a week, instead of two. Residents will be able to access the facility at 76 Stanley Ave. on Tuesdays, along with Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. People can now also drop off their compostable materials at the Recycling Center.
New state regulations prohibit the throwing away mattresses and boxsprings. They must be recycled. To schedule a curbside pickup call 617-378-7619 or go to www.handupmattress.com/curbside-pickup (click Schedule town pickup).
For pickup of bulky items that do not fit into trash toters, residents must schedule curbside pickup and pay in advance by calling the City’s trash/recycling contractor Republic Services at 844-737-8254. This includes burnable items (except mattresses). There is a limit of two items per week, and the cost is $25 per item for small and medium items, and $50 for large items.
Pickups of TVs, appliances and other white goods can be scheduled and paid for by calling Republic Services at 844-737-8254. Small/medium items cost $25 per item, and large items at $50 per item. A zero cost option is provided by MassSave, see more here: www.masssave.com/shop/recycling/refrigerator-and-freezer-recycling
The City of Watertown offers a set price of $20/item for those customers who meet certain income based criteria. Watertown residents living in an owner occupied property and receive a Section 17D or Section 41C real estate exemption qualify for the set price. Also, if you are a Watertown resident and receive fuel assistance, you qualify for this set price. Send a letter of interest for the program with appropriate documentation of fuel assistance or real estate exemption to the Recycling Division, at email@example.com.
Public Works Superintendent Greg St. Louis sent out the following information on the new trash and recycling rules:
Citywide Recycling and Disposal Policy Changes
The City of Watertown recently ratified the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan. This plan establishes the goal of a 30% statewide reduction in disposal tonnage between now and 2030.
The Watertown Department of Public Works is implementing new programmatic changes that will allow Watertown to achieve the 30% reduction in our disposal tonnage based on a 2019 baseline. New programs and policies have been created to increase diversion of materials away from disposal through reduced consumption, reuse of existing items, and expansion of recycling programs. Thank you to all Watertown residents for your support and patience as we transition into these new policy changes.
All new policy changes will be effective as of Monday, September 12th, 2022.
76 Stanley Ave. Recycle Center: Open Tuesday, Friday, & Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. to Watertown residents.
• Open hours are transitioning to 3 days a week starting Monday, September 12th, 2022.
• Materials collected: Cardboard, single stream recycling, yard waste, e-waste, batteries, textiles (clothing, shoes, bedding), scrap metal items, hard plastics (outside furniture, toys, etc.), compost collection.
• New addition to Recycle Center: Compost collection.
Food Scraps/ Compostable Materials: Watertown is partnering with Black Earth Compost to provide free food waste collection.
• Residents that would like to participate in the curbside collection program must register at: blackearthcompost.com/watertown
• Curbside collection pilot available for residents in buildings with 4 units or fewer.
• Compost drop off will also be available at the Recycle Center for all residents.
o All food scraps must be emptied into communal totes directly. NO bags of any kind.
o Acceptable items: Meat, bones, dairy, vegetables, leftovers, coffee grounds and filters, eggs, eggshells, seafood and seafood shells, napkins.
o Complete list of items that are allowed into the bins:
• Food waste collection will begin at Watertown Public Schools for the 2022-2023 school year.
Bulk items: Burnable items (excluding mattresses) will now have to be scheduled and paid for curbside pickup by phone at 844-737-8254 through Republic Services. These items will be collected curbside on Wednesdays. Please consider donating, selling, or gifting furniture and items that are in workable condition. This keeps large items out of disposal and decreases the need to create and transport new items. Changes will begin the week of September 12th, 2022.
• All burnable bulk items will now need to be scheduled for pickup. Schedule and pay for a pickup by phone at 844-737-8254 through Republic Services. Residents may also use an outside vendor if preferred.
• Items placed on the curb that have not been scheduled through Republic Services will not be collected and will be considered illegal dumping, which can result in a fine.
• Places to donate or sell include Facebook Marketplace, Buy Nothing-Watertown Facebook page, craigslist.org … etc.
• Each household can schedule collection for two burnable items per week.
• Prices for bulk item collection will depend on the item, size, and shape. Small/medium items will be capped at $25/per item, and large items such as couches will be capped at $50/per item.
TVs/ White Goods: These items cannot go into the trash and must be recycled properly. White Goods refers to household appliances like stoves, fridges, dehumidifiers, ovens, and microwaves … etc. Changes will begin the week of September 12th, 2022.
• TVs/White goods will require payment and scheduling through Republic Services.
• Schedule and pay for a pickup by phone at 844-737-8254 through Republic Services.
• Collections will occur every Thursday.
• Prices for White Goods/ TV collection will depend on the item, size, and shape. Small/medium items will be capped at $25/per item, and large items will be capped at $50/per item.
• MassSave provides zero cost appliance pickup and recycling. Consider scheduling a collection with them. To learn more, visit: www.masssave.com/shop/recycling/refrigerator-and-freezer-recycling
Mattress Recycling: Per MassDEP laws going into effect November 2022 mattresses and box springs will become waste ban items. This means they cannot be thrown away and must be recycled. Watertown is partnering with HandUp, a mattress recycler. Schedule a curbside pickup by phone (617-378-7619) or at www.handupmattress.com/curbside-pickup. Click the “Schedule town pickup” button to sign up. Changes will begin the week of September 12th, 2022.
• Website to learn more: www.handupmattress.com
• The City of Watertown has negotiated a price of $46 per item. HandUp accepts both mattresses and box springs.
• Watertown will have curbside collection one day per month.
• Mattresses left on the curb that have not been scheduled for a pickup with HandUp will be considered illegal dumping, which can result in a fine.
• Republic Services will not be collecting mattresses at all.
The City of Watertown offers a set price of $20/item for those customers who meet certain income based criteria. If you are a Watertown resident in an owner occupied property and receive a Section 17D or Section 41C real estate exemption, you qualify for this set price. If you are a Watertown resident and receive fuel assistance, you qualify for this set price. Please email a letter of interest and appropriate documentation of fuel assistance or real estate exemption to the Recycling Division, at firstname.lastname@example.org.