Health & Environment

Week One Under the New Trash Schedule; Tips on Recycling

Public Works installed signage for the new trash schedule with 2 days a week of pickups, Monday and Friday, for both trash and recycling. This sign is located on Hanover Street. (NEWF Photo)

From the way the streets looked last week, some residents are confused about the new trash and recycling schedule. Some of that could be blamed on the holiday week. Many streets had trash out on Wednesday and there was a long delay in pickup of recycling on Friday. We have been trying to get the information out and hopefully things will improve from here as the new contractor, Sunrise Scavengers, gets more practice in clearing trash from the neighborhood.

Interestingly, we have been getting a lot of questions about recycling and maybe, just maybe, the added recycling day is getting more residents interested. Recycling should be separated from regular trash and put out on the curb in blue recycling carts or clear plastic bags. Below is a list of acceptable and unacceptable recycling items.

Acceptable Materials for Recycling
  • Newspaper (with inserts)
  • Magazines/Catalogues
  • Junk mail (remove free samples; plastic envelope window is ok)
  • White & colored paper/brown bags
  • Telephone books
  • Flattened food boxes
  • Paperback books
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Juice/soy milk boxes
  • Flattened cardboard boxes
  • Pizza boxes (empty)
  • Glass bottles/jars. (lids and labels ok)
  • Tin and aluminum cans, foil, and pie plates (lids and labels ok)
  • All plastic containers (caps & lid may stay. No motor oil or chemical containers)
  • NEW! cardboard/spiral cans (potato chip, coffee, nut cans, etc)
  • NEW! rigid plastics (laundry baskets, buckets, toys, etc)
Unacceptable Materials for Recycling
  • Styrofoam
  • plastic bags
  • motor oil containers
  • chemical containers
  • ceramics or dishes
  • light bulbs
  • window glass, mirrors
  • yard waste
  • food waste
  • televisions
  • computer monitors

For more information on how to properly dispose of trash and recycling, see the City’s website.

Here are the details on the new trash schedule, including times when trash can be put out on the sidewalk:

Trash Header Cleanliness Logo

Residential Trash / Recycling

  • Beginning July 1, 2014, North End residential trash and recycling will be collected on Mondays and Fridays only. Please note the added recycling day. Trash will no longer be collected on Wednesdays.

  • Trash must be placed for collection no later than 7:00AM on the scheduled day. Late placement contributes to missed pick-ups. Trash/Recycling cannot be placed curbside for pickup any earlier than 5:00 PM on the preceding evening.   However, residents are urged to place trash out on the morning of pick-up by 7:00am, rather than the night before. This will significantly reduce the opportunity for spillage and rodent foraging.
  • It is illegal to place residential trash at street corners.       Trash must be placed on the curbside in front of the residence or in rear alleys for collection, depending on your street’s current collection method.
  • Properly and securely containing your trash and recycling is the most critical component of keeping your neighborhood clean. Trash must be placed in a container with a lid or a sturdy trash bag. Please note that many kitchen trash bags are too thin and not compliant.
  • Beacon Hill has single-stream recycling and all eligible recycling materials can now be co-mingled and placed out for collection in a clear plastic bag. These are available at most retail supermarkets. The City has formally discontinued distribution of the small recycling blue bins and encourages neighbors to use only the clear plastic bags for their recycling.
  • It is illegal to utilize City sidewalk litter barrels or solar-powered compactors for the disposal of residential or commercial trash and carries a fine of up to $1,000 per day. No building or construction materials shall be put out for residential collection.
  • Failure to comply with the above regulations will result in fines issued by the Code Enforcement Division. Offenses may be reported to the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500.
  • Comprehensive trash and recycling guidelines, including a listing of recyclables can be found at

General Cleanliness

  • Residents and merchants are responsible for picking up any loose litter on the sidewalk and gutter areas in front of their properties.
  • Dumpsters must have lids and be closed at all times.
  • Pet owners are responsible for picking up after their pets and following proper disposal methods.

Reporting City Service Requests

Residents can report service requests on a wide variety of maintenance and other City-related issues in your neighborhood.

  • Through the Citizens Connect program, residents can use their mobile phones in five different ways to alert the City of Boston to neighborhood issues such as potholes and graffiti. For application download and to start reporting, please access Citizens Connect at the City’s website at
  • Residents can also call the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500 or report on-line service requests at .   All available 24/7/365.

One Reply to “Week One Under the New Trash Schedule; Tips on Recycling

  1. Thanks, Matt.

    On Wednesday morning, I emailed Frank O’Brien from The Public Works Department, informing him of the bags of trash that were on the streets that morning. I also informed him that many residents claimed they never received a postcard in the mail regarding the new pick-up schedule.

    He wrote me back, saying he had been in The North End that morning, and that there was “Well over 80% compliance with the worst sections being up around Salem, Charter, Foster. Three CEP officers were assigned there and have been issuing the warning notices (fines if improperly contained).”

    He added “PWD trucks will be getting the trash after 11:00AM today. We anticipated that there would be a learning curve for the first several weeks. We’ll get full compliance soon enough. Beacon Hill and especially Chinatown and Bay Village had great compliance.”

    REGARDLESS / Even if that was true, as long as people are aware of the new pick-up policy and abide by it, coupled with enough enforcement from Code Enforcement in regards to those that are noncompliant, HOPEFULLY the state of our streets will improve…

    We ALL need to work together on this, folks.

    After all, do we have a choice?


    -David Marx-
    North End Waterfront Neighborhood Council
    Public Safety Committee Chair

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