Six Pack Of Pale Blue Donation Bins Set To Help Residents Get Rid Of Unwanted Textile/Clothes

Photo: One of the bins in Belmont, at the cemetery entrance on Fairview Avenue.

Did you know as of Nov. 1, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection banned all textiles from being thrown in the trash? Now that you do, it has become imperative for Belmontians to find an alternative way of ridding their closets of last decade’s fads and yesterday’s fashion.

The town is now offering residents a solution as Belmont has begun a partnership with Northborough-based textile exporter CMRK to locate six donation bins to collect clothing and shoes now barred from the black waste carts.

This new partnership will provide a primary method for residents to recycle clothes, blankets, bedding, and shoes in six pale blue bins located throughout Belmont:

  • 310 Trapelo Rd. in the VFW parking lot
  • Grove Street tennis courts
  • The entry to Belmont Cemetery on Fairview Avenue
  • The Belmont Street delta adjacent to the Oakley Country Club
  • Two bins at the Claflin Street parking lot in Belmont Center

Donations left in the bins are limited to textiles, clothes, shoes and rags. All contributions must be placed in a secured/tied plastic trash bag.

Other municipalities working with CMRK include Winthrop, Bedford, and Pittsfield.

In addition, residents can schedule a home pick-up by the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation by going to the website or calling 800-483-5503. Pick-ups offer a larger number of items to donate, including household items (dishes, pots, pans, LPs), books, DVDs, and even art.

Belmont Is The Gold Standard – For Solid Waste; Town Set To Vote On New Five-Year Trash Contract

Photo: Waste Management automated truck (credit: WM)

When the Belmont Solid Waste and Recycling Committee and representatives of the town’s Department of Public Works visited Waste Management’s Material Recycling Facility in Billerica in May – the place where your recycling goes – the group witnessed one of the bales of recycled material was audited for contaminates. That would demonstrate how careful Belmont households are in placing the proper materials in the 96-gallon barrels.

While most communities are in the 30 percent range – examples of contaminates from other towns include cider blocks, aluminum bats, and a boa constrictor thrown in recycling bins – Belmont is at seven percent. “We are one of the towns with the lowest contamination rates. Waste Management is very proud of that,” gushed Mahesh Jayakumar, the chair of the collection committee.

With Belmont being the ”gold standard” with its recyclables program and demonstrating a double-digit percentage reduction in trash collection in the past half-decade, “we are doing very well over the past five years,” Jay Marcotte, DPW director, told the Belmont Select Board during a presentation on the next five-year solid waste contract on Nov. 14.

It’s been since 2018 that the town signed its first contract with Waste Management – the largest US waste removal company with about a quarter the market – involving automated collection, with recyclables, are processed as a “single stream,” which allows residents to mix paper, cardboard, glass, and plastics.

Besides the automated collection of trash and recycling, the current contract includes picking up one “bulky” item a week, yard waste collection from April to December, Christmas tree removal for two week in January and a fee-based removal system for TVs and appliances.

Category Old Contract in FY ’18New Contract in FY ’22
Trash 7,326 tons or 1,465 lbs. per dwelling6,215 tons or 1,243 lbs. per dwelling
Recycling2,118 tones or 423 lbs. per dwelling 3,209 tons or 642 lbs. per dwelling
Credit: Belmont Department of Public Works

In the five years since the switch from manual to the automated collection, Belmont is a recycling juggernaut, increasing the amount it recycles by nearly 52 percent to about 642 lbs. per household – while other communities that also changed saw about half the gains. During the same time, the trash removed from Belmont dwellings has been reduced by 15 percent, double what other communities have seen. WM also removed an estimated 2,500 “ex”-Christmas trees and 3,200 “bulky” items.

Yet, while Belmont will receive a premium rate from WM for being a recycling-friendly community, the town can expect a steady increase in the price to remove trash in the coming five years. That’s because there is a Brave New World of recycling economics, so much so that “we have to pay for it, and it’s now more expensive than trash [removal],” said Marcotte.

The market changed radically in early 2018 when the Chinese government suddenly banned accepting recyclables from the rest of the world. Today, Belmont’s “recyclables are subject to market swings and commodity prices,” said Jayakumar. The recycling processing fee was affected the most, which increased from $45 per ton in fiscal year ’18 to $101 per ton in fiscal ’23. In the proposed contract extension, the processing fee will jump 36 percent to $137 per ton in fiscal ’25, with 3.5 percent increases in the remaining four years.

Belmont will also face two significant cost increases under the WM extension: a 23 percent jump in the prevailing wage for WM employees and annual inflation rates of eight-to-nine percent. To spread out expenses over the five years, the group has worked with WM on a plan which would see a 4.5 percent increase in the first year, fiscal ’24, with years two to five, increasing 3.6 percent annually.

In the proposed five-year WM contract, curbside collection expenses – which includes trash, recycling, and yard waste collection along with Christmas trees and bulky items – will increase from the current $2.449 million in fiscal ’23 to $2.948 million by fiscal ’28.

After reviewing the data, the committee recommended on Oct. 18 that the best option would be a five-year contract extension with WM. An extension will ensure no disruption in service for five years while providing a “reasonable rate” of increase given the expected elevated inflation.

While the Select Board decided to push back a vote on the recommendation to its Monday, Nov. 21 meeting, it appears ready to follow the advice of the Collection committee and DPW.

Snow Emergency Starts Thursday Night; Town Buildings Closed Friday; Friday Trash Pickup Delayed

Photo: If it’s on the street Friday, you might see it going away

With a foot of snow ready to be dumped on the heads of residents, the town of Belmont has declared a snow emergency effective Thursday, Feb. 24 at 11:45 p.m. until the town says otherwise.

A parking ban will also be in effect for all roadways and municipal and school parking lots. If the town finds your vehicle in said areas, it will be towed at your expense.

Due to the expected inclement weather and unsafe road conditions, Belmont town offices and the Belmont Public Library will be closed on Friday, Feb. 25.

And due to the Presidents Day holiday, if your usual trash and recycling pick-up day of Thursday was pushed back a day, the snowstorm will give you the distinction of having your stuff removed on Saturday. The Department of Public Works is asking residents to keep barrels off the streets and sidewalk on Friday until the snow is removed. And be sure the trash and recycling is ready to go at 7 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.

What’s Opened, Closed In Belmont On Veterans Day; Trash Delayed A Day

Photo: Veterans Day

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday in 1938.

Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

There will be a short ceremony at the Veterans Memorial at Clay Pit Pond at noon.

Trash and recycling pickup will NOT take place Thursday; it is delayed until Friday.

What’s Closed:

  • Belmont Town offices and Belmont Light are closed. 
  • US Postal Service offices and regular deliveries.
  • Banks; although some branches will be open in some supermarkets.

MBTA: Operating on its regular weekday schedule.

What’s Opened:

• Retail stores

• Coffee shops; Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are serving coffee

• Supermarkets

• Convenience and drug stores (CVS) open regular hours

• Establishments that sell beer and wine are also allowed to be open.

Trash/Recycling Pick-Up Delayed A Day By Holiday; Weekly Yard Waste Collection Starts Oct. 25

Photo: Put your carts out a day later than usual

Whether it was once Columbus Day or, now, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the holiday on the second Monday of October causes trash and recycling pickup to be pushed back by one day through town. So in the collection universe, Tuesday is actually Monday so don’t be surprised when you go out to collect your carts only to find them still filled.

With gardens shutting down and flower beds begin laid to rest, residents will still need to hold off placing their yard waste for curb side collection other than on the designated recycling day.

Weekly fall yard waste collection begins Oct. 25, and ends on Dec. 9.

And what exactly is yard waste? According to Belmont’s Department of Public Works, it’s leaves, twigs, grass, weeds, flowers, plants, hedge and shrubs prunings that are one inch or less in diameter and other easily raked yard waste. No tree limbs or branches greater than one inch in diameter.
NOT ALLOWED are food scraps, animal waste, trash of any kind, soil or plastic bags.

Just a reminder, yard waste must be placed in 30 gallon biodegradable paper bags or barrels marked with yard waste stickers. Close the bags by folding over; do not use staples or tape. Yard waste should be put out by 7 a.m. on collection days.

Saturday Trash Collection In Parks, Business Centers Approved By Select Board

Photo: Barrels in Belmont playgrounds and park will get add attention on weekends

With money “saved” in the Department of Public Works budget and a few tweeks to the pickup schedule, the Select Board approved a plan which they expect will make Belmont’s public spaces a bit more tidy.

At its Monday, Oct. 4 meeting, the board heard from town officials on a new initiative to reinstate weekend trash collection in Belmont’s business centers and public parks and playgrounds after residents this summer pointed to a ever increasing amount of garbage and waste overwhelming recepticals and sites near town eateries.

John Marshall, assistant town adminstrator and director of recreation, told the board that while bringing back Saturday collection does come at a cost – estimated at $10,000 a year – a funding source was identified that will allow the weekend collection to take place through fiscal year 2022.

“Luckily we had some [DPW] positions that took a little longer to fill … which opened up some salary items that we can use for the overtime to cover the weekend trash pickup,” said Marshall.

The new Saturday collection of the business centers by the DPW crew will begin around 4:30 p.m. while a Recreation Department truck will pickup at town parks and playgrounds starting between 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., said Assistant DPW Director and Highway Division Manager Michael Santoro.

Santoro told the board the collection times during the week in the business centers, including Bemont Center and Waverley Square, “have been tweeked a bit more” to provide greater coverage over the time leading and following the weekend when a majority of the trash complants occur.

On Fridays, the town’s trash hauler, Waste Management, will make collections after they service the town schools as they exit Belmont sometime after 2:30 p.m. On Mondays, Waste Management trucks will start the day collecting at Belmont Center when they arrive in the morning around 7 a.m. Santoro said DPW staff will also monitor the pickup sites during the week.

While funding is secured for the current fiscal year, “we’ll have to go back to the drawing board for funding in ’23. That will now be part of the budget process,” said Marshall.

Bag Your Trash To Help Out Those Who Take It Away

Photo: Waste Management truck

Washing your hands, putting on a cloth mask and staying indoors; those are acts all people should be doing to protect themselves and others during this long pandemic.

Add to that list one more thing: Bag your trash.

That’s the advice coming from Waste Management, the town’s trash and recycling hauler.

According to the national collector, due to increased concerns for worker safety due to the COVID-190 coronavirus, residents are being asked to place all household trash into large trash bags before placing them into the black carts and taking them to the curb for collection. The company also asks that all bags are properly sealed to prevent contents from spilling out as it is placed into the trucks.

The company reminds all customers that latex and other gloves used to protect individuals from spreading the virus be placed in the trash; they do not belong in the blue recycling containers.

New Rules For Wintertime Trash/Recycling Pickup

Photo: Not the way to leave your trash. (

As wintertime ice and snow begins to pile up on sidewalks and roadways, the Highway Division of the Belmont Department of Public Works want to inform homeowners and businesses of some simple rules that will allow for efficient removal of trash and recycling over the next few months.

  • During the winter if there is snow and/or large snowbanks please park on one side of the road. This will allow the trash and recycling trucks to maneuver streets quickly and not become blocked. The DPW has called the Belmont Police to certain addresses to assist with on street parking.
  • Do not placed carts on snowbanks.
  • Carts must have lids closed and placed in front of snowbanks.
  • The trucks can’t reach the cart if it is on or behind the snowbank. The carts can be placed on the street in front of snowbanks after plowing has ended. This means carts should be set out the morning of pick-up before 7 a.m.
  • Do not leave carts out overnight during a snow storm.

Got questions? Call the DPW at 617-993-2680.

New Trash/Recycling Carts Start Arriving Monday … And What To Do With The Old One

Photo: Belmont residents can expect to see their new “carts” this and next week.

They’re here!

For the next two weeks, residents will discover something left behind on trash day: the delivery of the long-awaited “carts” for automated garbage and recycling collection by Waste Management, Belmont’s new trash collector.

The pair of carts will be left curbside during the last week in June and the first week of July. Each cart will have a serial number corresponding to the resident’s address.

If residents are not home during the drop-off, make arrangements for a neighbor or friend to place the carts on your property.

This week will be the final one for curbside removal of unlimited “bulk” items – large items such as couches or mattresses. 

Overflow bags will be sold at:

  • Hollingsworth, 89 Trapelo Rd.                               
  • Hillside Garden/True Value, 280 Blanchard Rd.
  • DPW Office, 19 Moore St. (Homer Building) Some of these locations only accept cash or checks.

Residents living in townhouses at Hill Estates will have their recycling changed from Monday Blue to Wednesday Green. This change is for recycling only.

For residents who are on a Tuesday Green recycle collection schedule, check the list below to see if your collection has changed to Wednesday Green. This change is for trash and recycling.

Change trash and recycling from Tuesday to Wednesday: 

  • 60-144 Blanchard Road
  • 11-157 Bright Road
  • 3-16 Dana Road
  • 5-65 Gale Road
  • 4-68 Glenn Road
  • 9-21 Mannix Circle
  • 17-90 Richardson Road
  • 10-49 Sharpe Road
  • 2-96 Taylor Road
  • 3-336 Washington Street
  • 16-176 Watson Road

What to do with your old garbage barrels?

Residents can continue to use them for personal use. But if a homeowner wants the barrel taken away, according to DPW Assistant Director Mike Santoro, place a large note on the barrel(s) on the next trash day that reads something like: PLEASE TAKE THIS BARREL. If you don’t take advantage of this one time removal, just remember that barrels are considered a “bulky” item and residents must call DPW Office to schedule pick up by noon before the next regular trash day.

The 411 On The Town’s New Trash Collection System

Photo: A 64-gallon bin being lifted into an automated trash collecting truck.

Note: Below is a letter from the Belmont Department of Public Works with details on the new automated trash collection system approved by the Board of Selectmen.

At their meeting this past Monday, Sept. 25, the Board of Selectmen voted in favor for the Department of Public Works to obtain competitive bids for automated trash collection. This change in service will require residents to place their trash in the provided 64-gallon wheeled cart and set in front of their residence. After the RFP is put out in October and a hauler is chosen there will be information on more specific details. However at this time here are the known details: 

This change in service will require residents to place their trash in the provided 64-gallon wheeled cart and set in front of their residence. After the Request For Proposal is put out in October and a hauler is chosen there will be information on more specific details.

However at this time here are the known details: 

  • Only trash will have automated collection 
  • The Town will provide wheeled 64-gallon containers. There will be a consideration for residents that have concerns maneuvering their carts to the curb. DPW will set up a home evaluation to determine the best method to accommodate the resident. 
  • The option to buy an overflow bag will be available. 

The selectman also voted for the following curbside services to be bid on the next contract. All of the services will remain the same except for bulky items. Residents will now only be allowed one bulky item per week and it must be scheduled through the DPW Office. Residents are now doing this for CRT’s and appliances. 

  • One bulky item per week 
  • Every other week dual stream recycling collection 
  • CRT’s (televisions, computer monitors and laptops) 
  • Appliances 
  • Yard waste collection 

The Belmont DPW feels that the automated collection with 64-gallon carts will balance Belmont residents’ expectations between services, costs and environmental impacts. This will put the Town in a better position now and in the future. 

There will be additional detail information with more specific details in the months after the RFP is awarded. Any questions or suggestions, please contact Mary Beth Calnan/Belmont Recycling Coordinator at or 617-993-2689.