Framingham Recycles: Summertime Do’s & Don’ts

Editor’s Note: This is a weekly column by the Recycling Coordinator for the City of Framingham. Residents can submit questions to Recycling Coordinator Stephen Sarnosky via SOURCE at editor@FraminghamSource.com

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FRAMINGHAM – Now that summer is in full swing, many people enjoy spending their time at small & large outdoor gatherings with family and friends.

Very often these gatherings include an assortment of plastic utensils, serve ware, and aluminum and glass drink containers.

Recycle conscious people will try to recycle items they think are recyclable but are not.

To help distinguish which summertime items should be recycled from those that are not, I have compiled some recycling do’s and don’ts to make it easy for you to “Recycle Smart”. These do’s and don’ts are by no means exhaustive, and you’ll notice that recycling don’ts out number recycling do’s.

Recycling do’s include all single-use plastic water bottles, including juice bottles, water jugs and clear plastic cups with lids and straws removed.

Aluminum and metal cans are always welcome, and when recycling single-use aluminum chafing trays, always remember to clean the trays before putting them in your recycling cart.

Recycling don’ts include single-use plastic utensils such as forks, knives, and spoons, and serve wear like plastic platter plates and bowls.

Whenever possible, these items should be reused at future summertime gatherings otherwise toss them in with the refuse.


Colored plastic (solo) cups with recycling symbol #6 should not be recycled because they are made from polystyrene, and expanded polystyrene and are difficult to recycle due to their chemical makeup. These cups can be reused and then trashed.

Paper plates and plastic-lined table covers should not be recycled along with paper cups and paper napkins whether they are used or not.

Other summertime items that cannot be recycled include old backyard grills.

Please don’t put these in your recycling cart (yes, we do find them in recycling carts).

Rather, schedule a curbside pickup using the Sanitation Department’s online bulky pickup program. The cost is $15 plus a $5 pickup fee.

Patio furniture can also be picked up, as can propane tanks of any kind.

Soft plastic inflatable pool toys, noodles and foam flotation devices should be disposed of as trash.

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Recycling Q&A

A SOURCE reader asked a question about how to recycle shredded paper?

Unfortunately, shredded paper cannot be recycled even if it’s been bagged.

The reason being is that shredded paper in small quantities is unmanageable once it’s mixed with other paper. In a sense it becomes confetti.

Please place shredded paper in your trash cart.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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