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
By Stephen Saranosky
FRAMINGHAM – Have you ever thought about where your household refuse ends up? Most people I’ve spoken with have little to no understanding as to what happens to their rubbish once it’s picked up by their trash hauler.
The City of Framingham Department of Public Works handles and disposes of 13,136 tons or 26,272,000 pounds of waste on average each year.
Most rubbish ends up in a landfill in Fitchburg, while some of it is sent to Wheelabrator’s waste-to-energy burn facility in Millbury.
Some landfills are designated as “Ash Fills,” meaning ash from waste-to-energy facilities is handled there. The closest ash fill utilized by Framingham is located in Shrewsbury.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) website, in 2018, there were 20 active landfills in Massachusetts, with 17 of these landfills dedicated to servicing area municipalities such as Framingham.
In 2018, these landfills handled a reported whopping 2,435,980,000 pounds of material.
The City of Framingham utilizes Waste Managemnent, Inc. as a trash hauler who then brings our refuse to a landfill that is located in Fitchburg/
According to MassDEP website the Fitchburg landfill is expected to close in 2024, and all landfills in Massachusetts are expected to be closed by 2030.
Landfills are closing due to the fact they are reaching their capacities.
Currently, there is no clear solution as to what will happen once these landfills and ash fills cease to exist. What is clear, however is that we, as individuals and a community, should continue to reduce, recycle, and reuse items that lend themselves to these processes.
Q: How do I dispose of old paint?
A: Liquid latex paint is toxic until it is in a dried form. To properly dispose of latex paint, simply mix cat litter in with the paint and let it turn into a solid mass. Once formed into a solid, you can throw it away with your regular household trash.
Oil paints and stains should never be put in the trash.
Historically, Framingham DPW will hold an annual household hazardous waste event. Residents should take advantage of this opportunity to bring oil paints, stains, and aerosol paint too.
The Department will always announce information about events like this on the City website, Facebook, and Twitter.