The City no longer provides residents with the classic blue recycling bins. Instead, large wheeled carts were distributed citywide to buildings with 1-6 residential units. If you live in a building with 1-6 residential units and need additional carts, you may call 617-635-4500 or place an online service requestto request a cart. Carts available while supplies last.
If you have a blue bin, you may continue to use it. If you don't have a blue bin or need a replacement, you may use a container that is no larger than 32 gallons and has a lid. All recyclables may be mixed together in this container. Call 617-635-4500 or place an online service request to request a sticker to label this container for recycling.
If you live in a building with 7 or more units, the building is considered large. The building owner or condo association is required by law to provide large wheeled carts that go in a central location for all the building's residents to use. See Recycling in Large Buildings for more information.
What day do I set my recycling out for pickup?
Set your recycling out for pickup by 7am on your trash day. To find out what day of the week your recycling and trash are collected search by street on the Collection Schedule.
Who do I call if my recycling wasn't picked up?
Call the Mayor's 24 hour hotline at 617-635-4500.
What can I recycle?
Public Works collects over 30 different household items for recycling. Please see the directory for a detailed list, or search by item in the Household Waste Look-up.
Can you recycle Styrofoam even if it has a recycling symbol on it ?
No. Styrofoam, even if it has a recycling symbol on it, is not accepted in the City's weekly curbside recycling program. Please place it in the regular trash.
Does the City recycle Christmas trees?
Yes. Christmas trees must be clean of all decorations and stands. Do not put your tree in a plastic bag. Trees are composted at our compost site.
Is wrapping paper recyclable?
Yes. Include gift wrap paper with your paper recycling.
Can I recycle reusable doors, windows, bathroom fixtures etc.?
The City does not pickup building materials for recycling or trash. If they are in good condition, please donate them to the Boston Building Resources at 617-442-2262 ext.2. If they are not reusable, you must hire a commercial rubbish hauler. See the Yellow Pages for listings.
Where can I recycle plastic bags?
The City does not collect plastic bags for recycling. Many major supermarkets recycle plastic bags. Visit www.plasticbagrecycling.org for more information.
When are leaves and yard waste collected?
Leaves and yard waste are collected on your recycling day for four weeks in the spring and seven weeks in the fall. See Leaf and Yard Waste for more information.
How can I compost at home?
You can compost at home using a backyard compost bin. The Recycling Program sells discounted compost bins ($50) year-round at the Boston Building Resources, located at 100 Terrace Street in Roxbury (near Roxbury Community College).
The Recycling Program also sells compost bins on special dates and times at neighborhood community centers. Kitchen scrap buckets are also sold. See Yard Waste Collection for specific dates, locations, and times.
What should I do with my old paint?
Latex/Acrylic paint is non-toxic. Let it dry out and it can go in your regular trash. Oil paint is toxic. You may bring reusable oil paint to a paint drop-off site. See Paint and Motor Oil for more information. Oil paint in non-reusable condition should be taken to a hazardous waste drop-off day. See Hazardous Waste for more information.
What should I do with my household products that are hazardous?
You should bring household products labeled toxic, flammable, corrosive, and poisonous, as well as propane tanks, tires, and car batteries, to a hazardous waste drop-off day. See Hazardous Waste for more information.
What do I do with my tires, car batteries or propane tanks?
These items may be brought to a hazardous waste drop-off day. See Hazardous Waste for scheduled days and times.
What should I do with compact flourescent light bulbs (CFLs)?
CFLs contain mercury and are hazardous. You may bring unwanted CFLs to any of the City's household hazardous waste drop-off days. See Hazardous Waste for more information. Or, you can take CFLs to any Home Depot. Home Depot will safely dispose of CFLs free of charge.
What do I do with household batteries?
All batteries are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste day Event held 4 times a year. See Hazardous Waste for more information.
Many retailers will take back rechargeable batteries which are hazardous and regular household (non rechargeable) which are non hazardous. Staples', Best Buy, Radio Shack, etc. See Call2Recycling for more Retailers and locations.
Regular household non rechargeable batteries are non hazardous and can be thrown out in the regular trash or recycled at the Household Hazardous Waste Day Events. See Hazardous Waste for more information.
How do I dispose of old prescription medication ?
Drug disposal kiosks are located at several district stations. Residents can drop off their unused old prescription medication 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the following locations:
District A-1: 40 New Sudbury St., Boston, MA 02114
District A-7: 69 Paris St., East Boston, MA 02128
District B-2: 2400 Washington St., Roxbury, MA 02119
District B-3: 1165 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02124
District C-6: 101 West Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127
District C-11: 40 Gibson Street, Dorchester, MA 02122
District D-4: 650 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02116
District D-14: 301 Washington St., Brighton, MA 02135
District E-5: 1708 Centre St., West Roxbury, MA 02132
District E-13: 3345 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
District E-18: 1249 Hyde Park Ave., Hyde Park, MA 02136
These kiosks provide an anonymous, safe and environmentally-friendly solution for the proper disposal of unused/expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medication. Business or commercial medicine disposal is not allowed at the District Stations. Residents should have the medication in its original containers, with any names or prescription numbers erased, if possible.
Appliances & Electronics
Can I recycle my computer?
You can recycle your computer monitor by placing a service request online or calling at 617-635-4500 and scheduling a pickup. The other computer components are not hazardous; you can give them away or place them with your regular trash.
How do I get rid of an old television set?
You can recycle your old television set by placing a service request online or calling 617-635-4500 and scheduling a pickup. Note: limit 5 items per household, per year.
Do my refrigerator or air conditioner get recycled?
Yes, large household appliances are recycled. Place a service request online to have these items picked up.
Where do my bottles, cans, and paper that I put out for recycling go?
Items you set out for recycling are brought to a recycling processing facility located in Charlestown. The recyclables are sorted, baled, and delivered to product manufacturers for remanufacturing.
Can I recycle if I live in a large apartment building?
Yes. Owners of large residential buildings (7 or more units) are required by law to provide recycling services. Please call the recycling office at 617-635-4500 to place a large building recycling program request. See Recycling in Large Buildings for more information.
How can I recycle at work?
Contact your trash hauler. Trash haulers that pickup trash in Boston are required to provide recycling services.
Can I recycle at school?
Yes. All Boston public schools have paper recycling receptacles.