Westford Recycling Commission (WRC)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Please practice the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) as one of your New Year's resolutions!
For help with this, please check out this video by our Westford youth:
To help you achieve this resolution, the youth of Westford have worked hard to make a difference in Westford’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle efforts through the production of the Waste Pyramid Video. In a very creative way they have driven home how we as residents can do better in this effort. Erin McEwan developed this project as part her successful efforts to achieve the Girl Scout Gold Award with a focus on reducing single-use plastic in Westford. The video is presented by 5 girl scouts who she recruited for this effort and their message is very compelling. The Westford Recycling Commission is very honored to host this wonderful video and applauds this effort.
Be sure to follow our Facebook page:
This week trash and recycling pick-up are on a NORMAL schedule. The icon on the right tells you if it's a blue or green week. Stay up to date on the schedule by view the recycling guide available via the link on the left.
Please Note: Trash and recycling holidays for the period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 are listed below. Your Trash and Recycling are DELAYED on the following holiday weeks ONLY:
- Labor Day
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
Questions or Problems:
Issues with trash, please call: ACME Waste Systems (781) 935-6339: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Issues with recycling, please call: Waste Management at 1-800-972-4545: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
Please call the phone number(s) listed above for any issues with trash or recycling. If your issue is not resolved within 24 hours, you may contact the Town Manager’s Office at (978) 692-5501, ext. 1.
- Trash barrel 35 gallon max size, limit 3 barrels - if your barrels are larger than 35 gallons, you do not need to purchase barrels but the maximum allowed is 105 gallons (or 3 x 35 gallons).
- You can also you plastic garbage bags in lieu of barrels.
- If there are recyclables in your trash and/or there is no recycling container out on your recycling day, the trash hauler will not pick up the trash.
- Please do not put plastic bags in recycling bins or toters, or recycle items in plastic bags as these bags will jam the recycling sorting machines. (Both Market Basket and Donelan's are now accepting plastic bags for recycling).
Better Recycling: Cardboard
A successful recycling program is the result of contributions from everyone in the Town of Westford
The market for recyclables has become stricter and, as a result, recyclers are not able to profitability recycle paper, cardboard, and plastics unless it's properly prepared. For instance, containers need to be rinsed and cleaned in order to be recycled -- otherwise, they are diverted to the waste stream. In this video, WRC's longest serving member, Ellen Harde, teaches us how to prepare our cardboard for recycling (cardboard is one the most valuable recycling commodities). Ellen explains that cardboard must be:
- Cut down to 3’ x 3’
- Bundled (with packing tape or string) if it’s more than what you can carry in one go
With these small steps, we are helping to contribute to better recycling.
Keep watching to the end to learn how to recycle books!
Earth Machine Composters for Sale
Earth Machine composters for sale to help support our local composting efforts. To purchase an Earth Machine backyard composter for $25, call Denise Seyffert at 978-692-6986 to arrange for payment and delivery. More details, click here for our brochure.
Recycling with our vendor, Waste Management
Both residential and municipal recycling in Westford are picked up by Waste Management. Please review the following information for our best practices in making our recycling program successful:
- Recycling in plastic bags will be rejected. PLEASE NO PLASTIC BAGS.
- Please rinse and clean any glass, plastic or metal containers as best as possible.
- Recycling and trash must be at the curb no later than 7 a.m. for pick up.
- Recycling and trash pickups may be delayed by 1 day, see the holiday schedule above for specific dates.
- Recycling and trash must be separated (either side of the driveway is best) and clearly marked.
- Cardboard must be flattened and cut into sizes no greater than 3' x 3', placed in a container or box. If it doesn't fit, it may be bundled with tap or string, set next to the toters.
- Please continue to use existing yellow and black toters (owned by the Town) and other acceptable recycling bins and toters.
Westford Plastic Bag Reduction Program
Please note that Westford’s plastic bag reduction program goes into effect on January 1, 2019 and has been reinstated (after being suspending during the height of the pandemic). For more information, please contact the Westford Board of Health at (978) 692-5509.
Westford Recycling and Trash Statistics
In the FY 2019, Westford trash data show overall increase of 91.3 tons of trash, hence we had 1.2% more trash removal than the previous year and trash tipping fees were increased accordingly. Recycling data show decrease of 99.0 tons of recycling, hence we recycled 3.8% less than the prior year.In Westford, the 11-year trend of trash tonnage data show an overall reduction in trash generation by residents whereas the 14-year trend in recycling tonnage data shows an overall positive trend with an increase of recycling, barring the exception of the last 3 years, we’ve seen a decline in recycling activity and a slight rise in trash tonnage.
The town budgeted $509K for the cost of collecting curbside recyclables this current fiscal year as compared to the $1.220 million budgeted for curbside collection of solid waste (trash). During the October Special Town Meeting, voters approved an additional $80K to cover the cost of tipping fees that jumped from $45K to $125K this fiscal year. A tipping fee is the amount charged for disposal based on weight.
For additional information view the Trends in Westford Recycling Efforts (PDF).
Successful Audit for Westford Recycling
Members of the Westford Recycling Commission visited Westford’s recycling vendor, Waste Management, over 11 days in early February as part of an audit to verify if Westford’s recycling composition matched the requirement in the contract. Essentially, if the audit showed that Westford residents are putting non-recyclables in excess of 10% by weight, this would trigger penalties as removing non-recyclables from the stream incurs additional costs. However, the audit showed that only 8.4% of the recyclables contained contaminants meaning that our residents are doing a good job separating trash from recycles.
Waste Management found some interesting “contaminants” in our recycling.
Our recycling guide has helpful reminders for what can be put in the recycling.
On behalf of the Recycling Commission, we want to thank our residents for your efforts and saving the town money. Please see the letter we sent to the Select Board.
Policy & Useful Tips
- Recycling & Trash Pick-up Policy (PDF)
- How to Use Your Recycling Guide (PDF)
- Home Composting (PDF)
- Westford Litter League Green Team
- How to Recycle Most Everything (PDF)
- How to Reduce Your Waste
- Useful Recycling Tips
- Recycling in Westford New Tips and Reminders
- Recycling Information and Enforcement Policy FAQ