Contact Information

Transfer Station & Recycling Center
195 Massachusetts Ave
Acton, MA 01720
(978) 939-7742

Town of Acton

Effective Tuesday, September 1, 2015, the Town of Acton will be converting its residential waste collection program to the new SMART (Save Money and Reduce Trash) pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) program.  With this program, residential trash is only accepted at the Transfer Station when residents place it in Acton’s official light blue bags which will be available to buy at local area merchants.

You can cut your trash costs by recycling more, since recycling is free. The new SMART PAYT program lets you take control of your waste disposal costs!

The new Acton trash bags will be conveniently available at retail outlets throughout Acton (and other nearby stores). They will be available in three sizes: large (30 gallon), small (15 gallon), and mini (8 gallon).


What are the benefits of this program?

  • Residents can save money. With the new, more equitable SMART PAYT program, residents pay only for the garbage they throw away—not for their neighbors’ trash too!
  • PAYT provides for long-term cost-effective management of Acton’s Transfer Station and enables the Town to budget for Transfer Station expense
  • Increased recycling keeps local dollars in Massachusetts, boosting our state economy by creating local jobs and increasing our energy independence
  • PAYT helps conserve our natural resources. When residents throw away less and recycle more, landfills last longer, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, millions of BTUs of energy are saved, and natural resources last longer.



Where do I buy the bags?

The Acton SMART PAYT trash bags are available in a number of area stores. Acton’s trash bags are available in three sizes:

  • Large, 30-gallon PAYT bags are sold in rolls of 5 for $7.50.
  • Small, 15-gallon PAYT bags are sold in rolls of 8 for $6.40.
  • Mini, 8-gallon PAYT bags are sold in rolls of 10 for $5.00.

Store names, addresses and phone number will be provided as stores finalize their participation in the program.  Please check back in the coming days for an updated list.

Store NameStreet AddressCityPhone Number
Acton Ace Hardware210 Main StreetActon978-263-7754
Acton Pharmacy563 Mass AvenueActon978-263-3901
Aubuchon Hardware222 Great RoadLittleton978-486-4400
CVS Pharmacy344 Great RoadActon978-264-9130
CVS Pharmacy400 Mass AvenueActon978-263-3385
Donelan's Supermarket248 Great RoadActon978-635-9893
Donelan's Supermarket236 Great RoadLittleton978- 486-8985
Idylwilde Farm366 Central StreetActon978-263-5943
Market Basket301 Constitution AvenueLittleton978-486-0828
Rite Aid100 Powder Mill RoadActon978-897-1600
Roche Brothers387 Mass Avenue Route 111Acton978-263-0404
Stop & Shop100 Powder Mill RoadActon978-897-6449

Trash Collection Rules and Guidelines

Beginning September 1, 2015, all regular household trash should be bagged only in the official light blue Acton trash bags for disposal. Items not in designated bags will NOT be accepted.  No exceptions will be made.

The following items may not be placed in the trash:

  • Recyclable plastic, glass, paper, cardboard or metal
  • Yard waste
  • Dirt, sod, concrete, or rock
  • Construction/demolition debris
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Hot ashes or flammable materials such as oil, gas, or paint

What can I recycle?


Recycling at Acton’s Transfer Station will remain exactly the same – recycling is free and no bags are needed. Remember, the more you recycle, the more you can save on the cost of trash disposal. A complete guide to recycling at the Acton Recycling Center can be found here.

Check out the new Swap Shop at the Transfer Station to give away or adopt gently used items! Swap Shop guidelines can be found here.

Listed below are common items that are accepted for recycling at the Transfer Station.

In the mixed bin of “commingled” material including glass, metal and plastic, the following are accepted:

  • All plastic containers labeled #1 through #7
    • do not flatten plastic containers
    • no Styrofoam (Styrofoam packing material can be recycled in a separate Styrofoam container at the Transfer Station)
    • clean plant pots OK to include
    • OK to leave plastic caps on
  • Glass bottles
    • remove metal caps because they sort to metal
    • do NOT include window glass, drinking glasses, light bulbs, Pyrex – send to trash
  • Steel, tin, and aluminum cans –
    • do not flatten
    • no scrap metal – this goes to scrap metal pile
    • no wiry material because it tangles and jams the sorting equipment
    • no aerosol cans because of fire hazard
  • Clean aluminum foil and pie plates, trays – foil is captured best if balled at 3-4” minimum size
  • Milk cartons, juice cartons and other cartons with the same gable-top shape – do not flatten
  • Aseptic containers with a rectangular shape such as soy milk containers – do not flatten
  • Absolutely NO plastic bags because they tangle and jam the sorting equipment – plastic bags may be recycled at the market where you received them

In the paper and cardboard bin, the following are accepted:

  • Newspapers and inserts
  • Corrugated cardboard (please flatten boxes)
  • Paperboard (cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, etc.)
  • Junk mail
  • Phonebooks, magazines, catalogs
  • Pizza boxes OK, but no food waste or paper inside
  • Hard & soft cover books
  • Office paper
  • Wrapping paper
  • Clean paper plates and paper bags (no grease or food waste)
  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • NO shredded paper (cannot be recovered – send to trash)
  • Paper goods with staples, spiral bindings or plastic envelope windows are OK

The following materials are also accepted for free recycling – look for the designated areas at the Transfer Station:

  • Yard waste
  • Scrap Metal
  • Rigid plastics (such as plastic sleds and rigid wading pools)
  • Styrofoam packing material
    • no food containers because of contamination
    • please bag Styrofoam peanuts so they don’t blow away
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • E-waste (computers, printers, scanners)
  • Clothing and textile donations
  • Clean wood can be added to yard waste for chipping into mulch (clean wood only – no metal, no paint or stain, no plywood, no pressure-treated wood, 4-foot length max)
  • Concrete, bricks, cement
  • Used motor oil
  • Used antifreeze

Finally, a number of materials will continue to be handled at the Transfer Station for a modest “bulky items” coupon fee – this program is also unchanged. This includes computer monitors, televisions, refrigerators, small propane tanks and a variety of other items – information on the “bulky items” coupon fees can be found here.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact the Acton Transfer Station and Recycling Center?

Call (978) 929-7742 or visit the Transfer Station website for general questions regarding recycling and trash disposal.

Is there a limit to the amount of materials I can recycle?

No limit. Recycling is free for Transfer Station users, and the Town encourages residents to recycle as much as you can. The more you recycle, the fewer trash bags you will need to purchase and the more money you save.


“SMART” stands for Save Money and Reduce Trash and “PAYT” stands for Pay-As-You-Throw. This system is one in which residents pay a significantly reduced sticker fee which covers the basic costs of the Transfer Station, plus a small fee per trash bag to cover the actual cost of disposing of the trash in the bag—much like the way we use and pay for electricity, water, or gas.

How does this program work?

Light blue Acton trash bags will be available at retail stores in Acton (and in nearby towns as well). Simply buy these light blue bags and dispose of your trash in them at the Transfer Station as you usually would. Only the trash you put in these bags will be accepted.

What are the benefits of this program?

Residents can save money. With the new, more equitable SMART PAYT program, residents pay only for the garbage they throw away—not for their neighbors’ trash too! It also provides for long-term cost-effective management of our Transfer Station and allows the Town to better budget for Transfer Station expenses. Increased recycling keeps local dollars in Massachusetts, boosting our state economy by creating local jobs and increasing our energy independence. Finally, PAYT helps conserve our natural resources. When residents recycle more and throw away less, millions of BTUs of energy are saved, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, water and soil are protected from contamination and landfill capacity is extended.

What if I have a quality issue with a bag?

Contact WasteZero Customer Service at 1-800-866-3954 for a replacement bag. When calling, please provide the 5 digit code located just below the toll-free number on the bag.


More information

The Acton Transfer Station and Recycling Center is open Tuesday through Thursday 8:00 am to 3:00 pm; Friday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm; and Saturday 7:00 am to 4:30 pm.