Plastic and Film Packaging

Did you know that in addition to plastic shopping bags, you can also recycle plastics bags like cereal box liners, dry cleaning bags, bread bags and paper towel wrap? Please note that we cannot put plastic bags or film in our curbside recycling containers. You have to find a store drop-off center. I have done the research for you. In the Metrowest area these are the places where you can bring your plastic bags and film: Target, Whole Foods, Lowe’s, Staples, Market Basket, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Roche Bros. and Best Buy.

Please recycle only clean, dry plastic bags and film. Remove receipts or any other items from bags.

If In Doubt, Throw It Out: Recycle Right

Last week, The Happy Bee organized a tour at the Recycling Facility in Framingham, MA with Stephen Sarnosky, Recycling Coordinator. Here are 3 important things to remember. This applies to all communities in the Metrowest Area:

  1. Do not place plastic bags of any kind in your recycling bin. They do not belong there. They jam the machines at the recycling facilities and they will end in the landfill. If you want to recycle plastic bags, you need to bring them back to the stores to be recycled. Most grocery stores have recycling containers for plastic bags.
  2. If In Doubt, Trow It Out. Please recycle right. Only put in your recycling bin what you know for sure your town will take. Just because something is made of metal, doesn’t necessarily mean it belongs in the curbside recycling bin. The same applies to plastic.
  3. Flatten all cardboard before placing it in your recycle bin. This is important to save space and energy.

Know what your town accepts in your curbside recycling bin. Click on this green link to view the RECYCLING & WASTE DISPOSAL GUIDELINES for the Town of Framingham. This applies to all communities in the Metrowest Area.

10 Odd Things You Can Recycle

To find out specific information on how to recycle these odd items, please click on the green links. Some of these items can simply be dropped-off at a center near you and some others need to be shipped.

  1. Bikes, helmets and bike parts. Bikes Not Bombs is a great organization based in Boston, MA. They collect roughly 6,000 used bicycles every year and tons of used parts. They ship most of these bikes overseas to economic development projects in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. You can bring your bike to Jamaica Plain (Boston, MA) or look for a bike drive near you.
  2. Prescription drugs and sharps. Bring your unused or expired medications, pills, creams or patches and sharps to any of these Permanent Residential Waste Medications Kiosks in Massachusetts. Besides police stations, there are some Walgreens that will collect all your unwanted medications.
  3. Plastic plant pots, plant trays and tags. Bring them back to Lowe’s.
  4. Trophies. Send your old dusty trophies, old plaques and medals to Lamb Awards or Total Awards.
  5. Holiday lights. Ship your unwanted holiday lights to HolidayLEDS.
  6. Eyeglasses. Bring them to any drop off location of the Lions Clubs.
  7. Packing peanuts. Bring your packing peanuts (expanded polystyrene) to Handle with Care Packaging Store at 33 Highland Ave in Needham, MA. Call them for hours of operation at 781-455-8199.
  8. Leftover paint and building materials. Bring them to Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Worcester, MA
  9. Tennis Balls. Ship your unwanted tennis balls to Rebounces.
  10. Crayons. Send your used and unwanted crayons to the National Crayon Recycle Program.

The Problem with Shredded Paper

What’s the big deal about tossing shredded paper into the recycling bin?

The reasons why shredded paper is not accepted in your recycling bins:

  • The process of shredding degrades the quality of fibers that hold the paper together.
  • It falls through the cracks of the sorting facility creating a huge mess.
  • Shredded paper that makes it past the cracks will end up in the glass pile, ultimately contaminating the glass.

What can you do?

  • Rip semi confidential paper by hand three or four times, then throw it into the recycling bin.
  • Rip off the confidential part of the document and place the rest into the recycling bin.
  • Documents that require shredding can be brought to a recycling facility that handles confidential shredding like E.L. Harvey and Son’s in Wesborough, MA. You can also bring your documents to Staples, first pound is free, 99¢ per additional pound.

This information was provided by E.L. Harvey and Son’s, Wesborough, MA.

Update: Some municipalities accept shredded paper as long as it is inside a clear plastic bag or paper bag clearly marked “Shredded Paper”.

Did You Know You Can Recycle These?

Did you know you can recycle all these items, even if worn out, ripped or stained?

  • Used underwear and bras
  • Old worn socks, even if they have holes
  • Clothing in any condition, including stained and ripped
  • Footwear in any condition
  • Used pillows and pillow cases
  • Stuffed animals
  • Ratty bath and kitchen towels and old and falling apart pot holders
  • Accessories like scarves, hats, belts, ties even if old and worn
  • All linens including stained aprons, faded curtains, ripped blankets, etc.

Bay State Textiles will take all your unwanted and worn out textiles as long as they are dry and clean (stains are OK). They export half of its collections to developing countries. These textiles primarily are reused as clothing and shoes providing thousands of jobs for small entrepreneurs, their families, and employees. They grade, repair, wholesale, and retail this product in local marketplaces. The other half is resold to companies through the United States or shipped to fiber mills.

Where to take your textiles? Bay State Textiles has drop-off bins in the Metrowest Districts of: Dover-Sherborn, Hopkinton, Natick, Southboro and Wayland. The bins are located in the parking lots of all the public schools in the towns mentioned here. For more towns in Massachusetts, please visit www.baystatetextiles.com/schools.

Recycle Plastic Bags and Film

Most people know that they can recycle plastic bags but, did you know that you can also recycle other plastics like cereal box liners, dry cleaning bags, bread bags and paper towel wrap? Please note that we cannot put plastic bags or film in our curbside recycling containers. You have to find a store drop-off center. I have done the research for you. In the Metrowest area these are the places where you can bring your plastic bags and film: Target, Whole Foods, Lowe’s, Staples, Market Basket, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Roche Bros. and Best Buy.

Please recycle only clean, dry plastic bags and film. Remove receipts or any other items from bags.

  • Retail, Newspaper, Dry Cleaning, Bread, Produce, and also other Plastic Bags labeled #2 and #4
  • Zip Close Food Storage bags (clean and dry)
  • Furniture and Electronic wrap
  • Plastic cereal box liners (if it tears like paper do not include)
  • Plastic shipping envelopes, including Tyvek, bubble wrap and air pillows (Remove labels and/or deflate)
  • Product Wrap (used on paper towels, diapers, bathroom tissue, water bottles)
  • Any film packaging or bag that has the How2Recycle Label shown at right

For more info, visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.

Green and Gorgeous: Recycle Cosmetics

Recycling cosmetics packaging is tricky. Some can simply be washed and placed in your curbside recycle bin. Some great brands have recyclable programs and you can just return the packages back to the manufacturer.

Origins has an amazing Return to Origins Recycling Program for its customers. They accept empty cosmetic containers from any brand, every day in an Origins store near you. In the Metrowest they are located in the Natick Mall.

Aveda collects any of their packaging that curbside recycling programs don’t accept through their Full Circle Program. In the Metrowest they are located in the Natick Mall.

M·A·C will give you a free lipstick for every six containers through the Back to MAC Program. In the Metrowest they are located in the Natick Mall.

LUSH will give you a free face mask for every five black pots you bring back. In the Metrowest they are located in the Natick Mall.

TerraCycle and Garnier have partnered to create a free recycling program for hair care, skin care, and cosmetic product packaging, as well as a fundraising opportunity for participants.