Cardboard Drop-Off On Saturday, Jan. 25, At Town Yard

Photo: Cardboard drop-off on Saturday.

Do you have too much cardboard for your recycling cart? Then come to the DPW cardboard drop-off event on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Town Yard at the end of C Street off Waverley Street.

This drop-off is for Belmont residents only, so bring ID verifying your address.

It is important to flatten all cardboard to keep the line moving. The DPW will not take cardboard that has been wet or not flattened. Details below.

DPW Recycling Day Oct. 19; Cardboard, Paper Shredding on Oct. 26

Photo: DPW recycling is here!

The Belmont Department of Public Works will be holding it’s next Recycling Day on Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. at the DPW Yard at 37 C St.

Cardboard drop off and paper shredding will take place on Oct. 26 from 9 to noon at the same location.

The material that will be recycled on Oct. 19 include (click on each item for more information)


ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE – Separate towels and sheets from your textiles to donate to this organization. 

CIRCLE OF HOPE – Donate new and gently used clothing of all ages especially shoes and Mens Clothing, towels, sheets and blankets

RIGID PLASTICS – Will Not Be Collected

STYROFOAM – Will Not Be Collected (Company out of Business)

New Rules And Times For Leaving Your X-Mas Tree For Pickup

Photo: New rule on X-Mas tree pickup.

As Christmas is fading into the distance, the annual “de-dressing” of o’ Tannenbaum has begun and it’s off to the sidewalk for the family Christmas tree. 

And the Department of Public Works has a message to all residents:

Starting this year, Christmas trees will only be picked up during the two weeks from:

Jan. 7 to Jan. 17. So residents will have two opportunities to have trees picked up.

Please plan accordingly, according to the DPW, or you will have to hold on to your tree for a year (!) or you’ll need to have it hauled away by a private contractor. (Or you can recycle your tree yourself. They make a great covering for flower or vegetable gardens.)

Since the trees are being chipped and composted, they must not have any ornaments, tinsel or lights on them.

Also, the trees can’t be in a bag.

Finally, per the DPW, make sure that your tree is not covered by snow and ice, to facilitate putting it in the truck.

The trees will be recycled this year and will be diverted from the Waste to Energy plant.

Trash/Recycling Update: Carts Are (Still) Coming; A Day For The Old Barrels: Sept 29

Photo: Carts and barrels are on the way.

It was anticipated Belmont’s new automated trash and recycling collection program would be up and running by the first week in July. That was the plan developed by the town over half-a-year of preparation; it turns out the weather had other plans.

According to a Friday, July 6 press release from the Belmont Department of Public Works, the intense temperatures generated by the week-long heat wave slowed the carts distribution to a crawl.

The new deadline for all of Belmont to receive trash and recycling carts is Thursday, July 13.

“Please be patient and we appreciate your cooperation,” asked the DPW news release.

The DPW has also set the day for residents to drop off their old trash barrels: Saturday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m. to noon at the Town Yard, 37 C St.

The DPW is telling the public not to place old trash barrels or recycling bins on the curbside to be picked up. In fact, they are advising residents to use barrels that are 32-gallon or smaller as Yard Waste receptacles. The blue and green recycling bins can be used as storage or a way to bring your recycling from your house to the cart. 

The town will also be accepting cardboard on Sept. 29; it will need to be cut and folded to be accepted.

Trash Update: Keep Using The Old Barrels If Your ‘Carts’ Haven’t Arrived

Photo: Ready to go!

“Where’rah my barrels?”

That clarion call has been heard from homeowners throughout Belmont as the slow rollout of the new trash and recycling carts scheduled for the past week has reached just about half of Belmont’s households.

And while the new automated garbage and recycling collection system starting today, Monday, July 2, don’t fret that you’ll need to store your trash during the ongoing heat wave. According to the Department of Public Works, if you haven’t seen your new trash and recycling carts, just continue using the old barrels. At least for one more week.

Micheal Santoro, head of the DPW’s Highway Division, said Waste Management – Belmont’s new collection provider –  has supplied just about 50 percent residences with a pair of carts. Santoro said that percentage of carts is what Waste Management expected to deliver the first week with the rest of the households receiving their either this week or next week. Some streets such as Pleasant and Beech received new carts this morning.

No resident who still hasn’t obtained carts will be left holding the bag (of garbage); just keep using existing barrels until the new ones arrive, said Santoro.

Now, what to do with your old barrels and recycling bins? Well, the DPW hopes you’ll keep them around for collecting yard waste (they’ll need “Yard Waste” stickers), leaves and other for other uses. The reason they aren’t being disposed of by the town? Apparently, there currently isn’t a market for “rigid plastics” which the old barrels are considered. The DPW is hoping to take the old barrels during the annual DPW Recycle Day in October when it will be profitable or breakeven. If not, the DPW will likely hold a day to collect these items and dispose of them as trash.

Belmont Households To Receive 96-Gallon Recycling Barrels This Fall

Photo: An example of recycling barrels from Cambridge.

In the past, whenever the topic of trash and recycling was on the Board of Selectmen’s agenda, it was likely the board’s second-floor meeting room at Town Hall would be overflowing with interested residents. So with the future of recycling collection as the only item before the Selectmen on Monday, Feb. 12, the board decided to move the meeting into the cavernous Town Hall auditorium anticipating a good number to attend.

But times have changed in the past few months as the special meeting began with only four citizens in attendance and that was cut in half by the end of the 80 minutes of deliberation and discussion. 

Whatever the reason for the lack of interest in what was once a hot topic in town, at the end of the meeting, the Selectmen unanimously approved the recommendation of the Belmont Department of Public Works that by the fall all recyclables – paper, plastic, glass, metal cans and cardboard – will be collected biweekly using a 96-gallon wheeled barrel that will be issued to every household in Belmont.

And like the weekly trash collection, recyclables will be collected curbside by a truck using an automated “arm”. 

“This is a major sea change for the town,” said Selectman Mark Paolillo.

The move to an automated system was out of necessity and economics, according to DPW Director Jay Marcotte. From radical changes in what type and condition recyclables will be accepted by China – which for the past two decades has been called “the world’s garbage dump” – to the sudden collapse in the secondary materials market, haulers and recycling facilities are streamlining their operations to remain in business.

One area that new efficient methods are taking place is with recyclables, where Belmont’s long-standing dual stream recycling – paper in one bin and everything else in another – is being replaced with the one-barrel system as recycling facilities will no longer maintain two separate staging area at its plants. 

“There’s not debate, it will be single stream” recycling going forward into the future, said Marcotte. 

Marcotte pointed out that over a decade, the cost of the automated pickup will fall below the current-used manual method (in which person throws the recycles into the back of a truck) as the cost of approximately 10,100 barrels is paid off. In the initial fiscal year, 2019, the manual pickup would cost $688,200 compared to $716,850 under the automated system, while in fiscal 2024, which would be the option year with a five-year contract, automated costs dip to $747,400 while the manual method would soar to $817,300. 

In addition, the automated system with the large containers have several advantages over the manual mode, according to Recycling Coordinator Mary Beth Calnan including less liter – windy days wreak havoc with the uncovered bins as papers and other recyclables are blown around neighborhoods – the covers keep the material dry lessening contamination, and the barrels will prevent rodents and squirrels from rummaging through the recyclables. 

And why did Belmont select the sizeable 96-gallon barrel for recycling? “It’s the industry standard,” said Marcotte.

While agreeing to the change in the coming contract – Marcotte said the town is very close to signing a five year agreement with one of the three firms that submitted acceptable proposals – the Selectmen advised the DPW to conduct an extensive public outreach on the recyclables  especially targeting older residents so they will be comfortable with the changes coming, including providing smaller recycling barrel options as the DPW is doing with garbage collection containers.

Marcotte said while the new garbage and recycling collection contract begin on July 1, the new containers will not be delivered to residents for about two months so the current system will continue until that time.

Paolillo said he believes household recycling rates through town will increase as residents have a single container to store their recycables.

Recycling Event Cancelled Again; Rescheduled to Jan. 13

Photo: Cardboard recycling.

The weather does not want to cooperate.

With a foot of snow earlier in the week, anticipated temperatures in the single digits and the demands on the Department of Public Works has forced the town to once again cancel the town-wide cardboard recycling event this Saturday.

The event has been rescheduled to Saturday, Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Town Yard, 37 C St. 

Holiday Cardboard Recycling Set for Saturday, Dec. 3


For the first time, Belmont’s Highway Department will accept uncut cardboard packaging for recycling. 

Residents will be able to drop off cardboard – which will need to be folded at the Department of Public Works Town Yard – on Saturday, Dec. 3 between 9 a.m. and noon.

While Belmont’s trash and recycling contractor accept cardboard, it must be cut into pieces no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet and tied or taped together to make a stack no more than nine inches high.

The new pilot program will take place on three Saturdays – the other dates are Jan. 7 and Feb. 4 – during the holiday season. The DPW will evaluate the scheme in February to determine if it will become an annual service. 

Belmont DPW Recycling Event, Saturday, May 14

Photo: Recycling event, Saturday, May 14.

Belmont is holding its annual town-wide Recycling Event this Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Department of Public Works Town Yard, 37 C St.

It will be a one-day drop off of the following items:

  • Rigid plastics
  • Textiles
  • Styrofoam
  • Paper shredding (with a secure mobile document shredding)

For more information: call 617-993-2689 or learn more online at:


Spring Clean All Electronics at Butler Elementary’s Recycling Day

Photo: Recycle all electronics.

The annual Butler Elementary PTA Electronics Recycle Day will take place this Saturday, May 14, from 8:30 a.m. at the school, 90 White St.

It’s time to “Spring Clean”, so head out to your garages, into the forbidden closets and damp and scary basements. Prices charged are:

  • $10 each for computer monitors
  • $15 each for TVs 27” diagonal or less
  • $20 each for TVs more than 27” diagonal or wood console TVs
  • $25 each for projection TVs
  • $15 each for large appliances (examples: washers, dryers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, etc.)
  • $35 for “all you can bring”: laptops, CPUs, cameras, CD-ROM/DVD drives, servers, speakers, iPods & accessories, computer accessories, mice, keyboards, video equipment, copy/fax/scanner/printers, wires and parts, plugs, audio equipment, phones and phone systems, DVD players, stereos, UPS (backup systems), VCRs, walkmans & microwaves

Prices are lower than the town, and no need to purchase pickup stickers. Don’t miss this opportunity to de-clutter and free up space. We look forward to seeing you there! Please share with others!

We accept cash or checks only!