City of Boston
In 2009, the City of Boston’s Public Works Department (PWD) launched the Recycle More campaign in order to increase its recycling efforts and reduce the amount of trash the City pays to throw away. At that time, PWD provided residents with big, blue, wheeled, recycling carts into which residents could throw all their recycling, including paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal containers.
Since the program has started, however, a number of residents downtown and in other neighborhoods found it difficult to use these big recycling carts because residents did not have space to store them on their property. In response, PWD has begun allowing residents in these neighborhoods to use designated clear plastic bags for their recycling instead of the bins, making it easier than ever for all Boston residents to continue their recycling efforts. To participate, residents can easily buy the official City of Boston clear plastic recycling bags in many neighborhood stores throughout the Boston area. (Local retailers receive these bags directly from WasteZero, a PWD-authorized firm who manufactures and distributes trash and recycling bags nationwide.)
Question and Answer
What are the advantages of the city’s new recycling bags?
The City’s new recycling bags provide a number of advantages for residents.
- Can be stored easily, taking up little room in your home or apartment.
- With drawstrings, reduce litter by preventing paper and other items from being blown out of the recycling container.
- Are lighter than recycling bins, and so are more easy to use.
- Allow you to add more recycling capacity any time you need it.
Where do I buy the recycling bags?
City of Boston recycling bags are available in a variety of stores across the City, including:
|Back Bay||Deluca's Market||239 Newbury Street|
|Back Bay||Marlboro Market||45 Massachusetts Ave|
|Back Bay||Shaw's Supermarket||53 Huntington Ave|
|Beacon Hill||Beacon Hill Market||55 Anderson Street|
|Beacon Hill||DeLuca's Market||11 Charles Street|
|Beacon Hill||Rite Aid||100 Cambridge Street|
|Beacon Hill||Roche Brothers||10 Summer Street|
|Beacon Hill||Tedeschi Food Shops||126 Cambridge Street|
|Beacon Hill||Whole Foods||181 Cambridge Street|
|Charleston||7-11||140 Main Street|
|Charleston||777 Convenient Store||269 Main Street (Opening soon)|
|Charlestown||Charlestown Ace Hardware||5 Austin Street|
|Charlestown||Whole Foods||50 Austin Street|
|East Boston||Walgreen’s||1 Central Square|
|East Boston||Shaw's Supermarket||246 Border Street|
|Mission Hill||Boston Building Resources||100 Terrace Street|
|North End||Green Cross Pharmacy||393 Hanover Street|
|South Boston||Rite Aid||710 East Broadway|
|South Boston||Stop and Shop||713 East Broadway|
|South End||Foodies Boston||1421 Washington Street|
|South End||South End Food Emporium||465 Columbus Ave|
|South End||Walgreens||1603 Washington Street|
|Symphony Area||Economy True Value Hardware||219 Massachusetts Ave|
|Symphony Area||Whole Foods Symphony||15 Westland Ave|
|West End||Whole Foods||181 Cambridge Street|
Which neighborhoods are allowed to use clear plastic bags?
The following neighborhoods are being served by the recycling bag program:
- Back Bay
- Mission Hill
- South End
- Bay Village
- North End
- West End
- Beacon Hill
- East Boston
- South Boston
What if my local retailer doesn’t carry the bags?
If you can’t find the official City of Boston clear plastic recycling bags at a store near you, feel free to contact us in one of three ways:
- Visit our website at www.wastezero.com/boston
- Call the City at 617-635-4500
- E-mail us at BostonBags@wastezero.com
- Use a clear bag that meets the following specifications:
- 15-gallon or 30-gallon in size
- Minimum thickness of 0.85 millimeters
Why is recycling important?
Recycling benefits Boston both economically and environmentally.
For every ton of bottles, cans, and plastic containers that residents recycle (rather than throw away in the trash), the City saves $80. That means that a 1% change in the City’s recycling rate would save more than $200,000 each year.
Your efforts in the Recycle More program help the City reduce its costs, preserve services, and make important investments in our neighborhoods.
Recycling helps conserve the planet’s natural resources, including oil, water, trees, air, and minerals.
What can I put in the recycling bags?
You can put all of your recycling in the clear recycling bag. Here are lists of whats acceptable and what is not.
Acceptable Materials for Recycling
- Newspaper (with inserts)
- Bulk/junk mail (remove free samples; plastic envelope window is acceptable)
- White & colored paper/brown bags
- Telephone books
- Paperback books
Boxes, Cartons, and Food Containers
- Flattened food boxes
- Flattened cardboard boxes
- Juice/soy milk boxes
- Pizza boxes (empty)
- NEW! Cardboard/spiral cans (potato chip, coffee, nut cans, etc.)
- All plastic containers (caps & lids are acceptable. No motor oil or chemical containers)
- New! Rigid plastics (laundry baskets, buckets, toys, etc.)
- Glass bottles / jars (lids and labels are acceptable)
- Tin and aluminum cans, foil, and pie plates (lids and labels are acceptable)
Unacceptable Materials for Recycling
- Light Bulbs
- Window glass, mirrors
- Ceramics or dishes
- Computer monitors
- Motor oil containers
- Chemical containers
- Plastic Bags
- Yard Waste
- Food Waste