Framingham Recycles: What Should and Should NOT Go In Your Trash Carts

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


FRAMINGHAM – Last year, Framingham Department of Public Works (DPW) serviced over 17,000 households in regards to it’s refuse and recycling needs.

On a weekly basis, DPW collects over 35,000 refuse and recycling carts and provides additional services at its Recycling Drop Off Center.

In 2018, DPW collected a whopping 26,126,000 pounds of refuse; all destined to end up at an energy to waste facility or landfill. Reducing this waste will go a long ways towards a cleaner more healthful Framingham.

Did you know that every year each American produces over 3,285 pounds of hazardous waste material that is disposed of incorrectly?

Contrary to popular belief, everything thrown in the trash shouldn’t go to a landfill.

Many items in landfills can take hundreds of years to decompose. And once decomposed, the contents of these items can poison the ground.

Massachusetts Regulatory Law 310 CMR 19.017, better known as Waste Ban Items, prohibits certain items from trash carts if the item presents a potential adverse impact to public health, safety or the environment, or will promote reuse, waste reduction, or recycling. This article will help you understand what not to put in your refuse cart.

Trash, as we know it, isn’t the term used to describe non-recyclable materials. In fact, trash can contain recyclable materials. Trash is considered an umbrella term for refuse and recyclable items.

Refuse is the term used to describe any item that shouldn’t be recycled, or in other words, any solid waste.

Items That Shouldn’t Go Into Your Refuse Cart

Recyclables. Recyclables are items that can be reused or used as an ingredient in a process to make a marketable product.

Yard waste. Yard waste includes leaves, grass and brush.

Yard waste can be brought to the City’s Recycling Drop Off Center located at 255 Mt. Wayte Ave. Do not put sod, dirt, sand, gravel, or rocks in your cart. Carts containing these items will not be collected.

Construction debris and material. These materials include wood, concrete, asphalt, brick and drywall. Please call a private hauler or transport it to a commercial transfer station.

Household hazardous waste and chemicals. These include oil-based paints and solvents, caustic cleaners and degreasers, cleaning solvents, herbicides and pesticides, motor oil and chemicals of any kind.

When funding permits residents can dispose of hazardous material at DPW’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. Rechargeable lead-acid batteries and rechargeable, NI-Cd or lithium-ion batteries should be disposed of properly.

Medical waste of any kind is not permitted in your trash cart and should be disposed of according to state and federal law.

Mercury containing items such as television sets, laptops and computer monitors should not go into trash carts.

The City of Framingham hosts an electronic recycling event annually at the Recycling Drop Off Center. E.L. Harvey, Westborough also helps with electronic recycling and is the sponsor of the City’s annual e-recycling event.

Lastly, automotive waste or any automotive debris shouldn’t be put in trash carts. These materials can include tires, antifreezes, motor oil and lubricants and filters and can be recycled at the Recycling Drop Off Center or your local garage.

Recycling Q&A

A reader recently asked “what happens to the recycling that I put in my cart?”

This is a great question and it’s an even better question to answer in a future article.

In short, recyclable materials collected from your cart goes to Framingham’s recycling processor where it is sorted by item, bailed and then shipped to buyers. Buyers resell the items to manufactures and are
then remanufactured into all sorts of items. Stay tuned for an in-depth article on this subject.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: Phone: 508-315-7176

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