Watertown's New Recycling Program Begins Aug. 6

The new program is a single stream recycling program, also known as "no sort."


The following information was provided by the Watertown Department of Public Works:

Recycling is Mandatory in Watertown and Easy!

A Begins Monday, August 6, 2012. Toters will be delivered to residents the first or second week in July.

Watertown is pleased to announce a new program for collecting trash and increasing our recycling efforts. A new automated trash collection program will begin on Monday, August 6, 2012.

The Town believes the chosen program is the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible program available.

One 64 gallon toter for trash and one 64 gallon toter for recycling will be given to each legal address in Watertown, free of charge.  

All toters will have a serial number assigned to a specific address. If you move, the toter stays in Watertown.

  • Trash must be placed in bags – then placed into the toter with the lid closed!
  • No extra bags, no extra barrels will be collected
  • Old recycle bins and trash cans may be dropped off at DPW, Mon-Fri  8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., after Aug 6th.
  • White goods and yard waste curbside collection will remain the same
  • Recycle bins that we currently have will not be collected after August 6, 2012
  • There will be no additional requests for trash toters
  • Contact the Department of Public Works if your toter is damaged or stolen – 617-972-6420
  • Cardboard boxes must be flattened and placed inside the toter for recycling
  • A mechanical arm will be lifting the toters off the street and dumped into the truck
  • The Toter should face the street, placed away from telephone poles, trees, fences mailboxes and other obstacles by three feet. LIDS MUST BE CLOSED. 

Residents now have the convenience to “Single Stream” (co-mingle, no sort) recyclables. Paper and mixed containers, such as colored glass, cans and plastics all in one toter. The toter may contain mixed paper (magazines, junk mail, newspapers, brown paper bags and telephone books) aluminum, tin cans and plastics 1 through 7, colored glass. No Styrofoam! 

Each household will receive one 64 gallon trash toter and one 64 gallon recycling toter – free of charge.  

Recycling Schedule: Recycling will remain bi-weekly; continue to refer to your current collection calendar for collection dates.

Recycling Center Hours: Remain the same. Friday and Saturday – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Holiday Impact of Pick Up:  A legal holiday will delay pick up by one day.

Building Materials / Construction Debris: Collection of any refuse left by building or building renovations or repair work will NOT be picked up by the Town. When at all possible, use the hired Tradesman who did the work to dispose of the material.

Please contact the Watertown DPW at 617-972-6420 or visit the town’s website   www.watertown-ma.gov for further up-dates.Cardboard will not be picked up in the trash, it is a recyclable item!

Charlie Breitrose August 07, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Good question, Sonny. The single stream means you can put all your recyclables (cardboard, paper, plastic, cans, etc.) in the same bin. The colors refer to the weeks when the DPW picks up the recyclables. I think it corresponds to the color of the old recycling bins.
Sonny Beaches August 07, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Now I understand. Thanks.
Jeremy August 07, 2012 at 10:56 PM
I received the same mailing today. I too noticed the same line about each toter being embossed red or green. However, I do not believe any of the toters I have received are embossed with information. Is this a mistake on the part of the author of the flyer or am I overlooking where each toter is labeled red or green?
K Coyne August 08, 2012 at 01:41 PM
FYI: The words green/red are on the top of the bin(I had to look for it too as it was not obvious to me)...at least my toter does say Green on the top lid. I also don't really know which bins are suppose to be mine vs my downstairs neighbors. We only really use one garbage/recycling for the entire house anyway but this information was not on the flyer stuck in the toters. I also agree that any elderly/handicap person may have a problem with the weight of the toter and a smaller toter(s) may solve this?
AHM August 09, 2012 at 09:38 PM
The lady I was trying to help because it would be impossible for her to use this system at the last moment is getting by with the help of a neighbor. Otherwise she was going to be out of luck using this system. But others in the same position might not be so lucky. The lady we spoke to for this system was nice but she didn't know of any way the city could could do this. I was considering hiring a private company to come and take her trash as I am too far away to help. At least if they did like othger cities and have you buy special bags you could put out she could have gotten by while she is still here. She is a long time resident and pays taxes. Her place is up high and has no driveway so the barrels have to go up and down the stairs. She can hardly get herself up and down. At least with bags she could just roll them down the stairs and into the street.


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