History of Recycling in Boston

2011

With the “Recycle More” single-stream recycling campaign, Boston residents recycled close to 30,000 tons, using their big blue recycling carts.  Residents recycled 45% more tons then they did in 2009, before the citywide distribution of the big recycling carts.

2010

Cart distribution begun in 2009 concludes in June 2010.

2009

In July, the City begins distributing large wheeled carts to residences citywide.

2008

In July, single stream recycling expands to Beacon Hill, West End, Bay Village, Chinatown, and Downtown. Residents may request one cart per building or use clear plastic bags. In August, households in West Roxbury receive large wheeled carts. Recycling in West Roxbury increases 44%.

2007

In May, 2500 households along one recycling collection route that spans parts of Jamaica Plain and Roslindale receive large wheeled carts. They may mix their recyclable material together in a new process called “single stream recycling.” Recycling increases 52% in this collection route. In October, residents in the South End may mix their recyclable material together in clear plastic bags. 500 carts are distributed to buildings in serviceable alleyways. Recycling increases 143% in the South End.

2003

City Council passes the ordinance “Regarding Access to City Recycling Programs for Large Apartment Buildings,” which requires owners of large residential buildings provide access to recycling services for their residents.

2000

City recycling services are extended to the Boston Housing Authority’s developments.

1999

The City begins curbside collection and recycling of cathode ray tubes, found in televisions and computer monitors.

1998

The City expands its household hazardous waste drop-off days from once per year to twice per year. STRIVE, the Boston School Department’s School-To-Career program offers recycling collection to all Boston Public Schools.

1997

A fourth surplus paint and used motor oil recycling center is opened.

1996

Nine new items are added to the curbside collection program and three permanent surplus paint and used motor oil recycling centers are opened.

1995

Citywide weekly curbside collection of household recyclables to residents living in large apartment buildings begins. Citywide seasonal curbside collection of leaf and yard waste begins.

1994

Weekly, citywide recycling collection is expanded to include bottles, cans, and two types of plastic containers.

1993

Citywide, weekly collection of newspapers begins.

1992

Eight monthly drop-off recycling centers were operating throughout Boston.

1990

A recycling ordinance is passed and a curbside collection program for 6,500 households in Jamaica Plain piloted.

1988

Boston enters into an agreement with the recycling volunteers to manage these monthly drop-offs.

1987

Volunteers organize drop-offs in several neighborhoods where residents can recycle their newspapers and bottles.

Announcements

  • Electronics Recycling & Paper Shredding: Fall Date

    The City will collect and recycle electronic waste for free from the Public.

    Residents can also safely shred and recycle unwanted confidential documents at no charge. Limit 10 boxes to shred, no businesses.

    October 25 from 9:00 AM- 3:00 PM at UMass Boston Bayside parking Lot, 200 Mt. Vernon St, Dorchester.

  • Hazardous Waste Disposal: Fall Drop-Off Dates

    Boston residents can safely dispose of hazardous waste for free at upcoming events:   

    October 25 from 9:00 AM- 2:00 PM at UMASS Boston, Parking Lot D, Dorchester 

    November 22 from 9:00 AM- 2:00 PM at West Roxbury Public Works Yard, 315 Gardner Street, Millennium Park

  • Missed Pickup

    If your trash or recycling was not picked up, please call the Mayor's Office (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) at 617-635-4500 or place an online service request by following the link below.

    Report Missed Trash/Recycling/Yard Waste/Bulk Item Pickup

  • Waste Reduction E-Newsletter

    Receive email updates about curbside recycling, compost bin sales, yard waste collection, hazardous waste drop-offs, and trash regulations.

    Subscribe Here

    View Past Newsletters

Online Services

Video

  • Single Stream Recycling

    Mayor Menino announces citywide expansion of the program.

    Watch Video

Related Links