Recycling Know-No’s – Some Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts on helping Bedford residents recycle smart and reducing how much trash they toss out each week.

Yard Waste

Pumpkins, mums, and other fall plants have been seen in trash carts. If you can’t get to the Compost Center, put them in a tall paper bag and put the bag at the curb.

The DPW’s curbside yard waste collection is underway and Republic Services will drop off your jack-o-lantern, etc., at the compost center.

CDs, DVDs, VCR tapes

So you’ve been going through the house and discovered the collection of CDs, DVDs, and VCR tapes. Can these things be recycled? No, but there are a couple of options. Bring them to Savers, Used Books Superstore, or Goodwill. No guarantee your entire library of entertainment will be accepted. What isn’t accepted should go in the trash. 

Alkaline Batteries and Incandescent Light Bulbs

Alkaline batteries and incandescent light bulbs also go in the trash. Some folks drop off alkaline batteries and incandescents at the DPW thinking they are going to get recycled. They don’t but the DPW has to sort through these items to make sure if there are any other types of batteries in the mix that contain a heavy metal. The DPW’s website ( has a list of what types of batteries and mercury-containing items are accepted.

Expired Smoke and CO2 Detectors

Residents are also dropping off expired smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors with batteries and fluorescent lights. These items can be thrown in the trash or mailed back to the manufacturer.

Can it be RECYCLED?

The DPW frequently gets calls from residents asking if something can be recycled. If you are wondering how to recycle, reuse, or dispose of something, check out the Recyclopedia link on the DPW’s website. This is a database managed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management and is very useful.

The DPW uses Recyclopedia to answer residents’ questions, so you can save a step and go there directly~).

Trash and Recycling Carts ~ Open? NO, CLOSED!

Trash cart lids should be closed. The majority of the time, Republic can empty a cart that has a trash bag sticking out of the top.

But, when a long item is sticking out 3 or 4 feet above the top of the cart, you run the risk of not having your trash cart emptied.

If it’s a choice of A) emptying your trash cart or B) protecting its equipment, Republic’s drivers will choose option B.



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