Please refer to the following list to learn how you can recycle or dispose of certain items in your home. If your item is not listed, call the Solid Waste and Recycling information line at (781) 274-8334.
Appliances/White Goods: Call EL Harvey at (800) 321-3002 to schedule an appliance pick-up for items like stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and water heaters. Call by 3 p.m. the day before your regular trash day for collection on your regular trash day.
Asbestos: You must use a licensed asbestos removal contractor to dispose of asbestos. Check the yellow pages for licensed contractors.
Batteries: Alkaline batteries manufactured after 1994 can be thrown out with the regular trash. All alkaline batteries manufactured before 1994, NiCad, button, zinc and lithium batteries should be disposed of through the Minuteman Household Hazardous Products Facility. To recycle rechargeable batteries, call (800) 8-BATTERY or visit Call2Recycle
Bicycles: Bikes not Bombs, a non-profit organization located in Roxbury, is working to promote community development and alternative transportation. Donated bikes are shipped to third world countries and used locally to train young people as bicycle mechanics. Kids can also build/recondition a bike through the Earn-A-Bike program. Part of the program involves the kids participating in community service (617) 442-0004.
Books: More Than Words empowers youth who are in foster care, court-involved, homeless or out of school to take a charge of their lives. More Than Words opened their bookstore on Moody St. in Waltham in 2005 and is a non-profit organization (781) 788-0035. Donate almost any kind of book to Got Books? Got Books? is a registered professional fundraiser that sells donated books and gives a portion of the proceeds to local non-profit organizations. Donations are not tax deductible (978) 664-6555.
Building Materials: Homeowners and contractors can donate good quality used and surplus building materials to
- Building Materials Resource Center. Save on disposal fees and earn tax deductions. Call (617) 442-8917 to schedule a pick-up.
- Habitat for Humanity ReStores in Tyngsboro, Leominster and Worcester. A global nonprofit dedicated to providing housing to families.
Visit the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection website for more options and information.
Carpet: May be disposed of curbside if cut into 4 ft. lengths, rolled and tied. No more than 15 rolls of carpet at a time. Considered a bulky item and each household is allowed only one bulky item per week.
Cell Phones: Lots of options:
- Drop off your old cell phone at Staples (located in Burlington and Bedford) as part of a Sierra Club recycling effort
- Visit the Verizon Wireless website for information on getting cash for your old cell phone
- Visit Call2Recycle for other drop off locations
- Drop off your old cell phones at the Universal Waste Shed located at 60 Hartwell Ave. Compost Facility
Christmas Tree Recycling: See your recycling flyer for instruction
Computers, Keyboards, Printers, Monitors: See CRTs
Construction Debris: This will not be accepted for curbside disposal. Insulation, brick, drywall/plaster soil, gravel, asphalt, shingles and other similar materials are considered construction debris. Residents should properly dispose of this waste by having the contractor completing this work be responsible for removing it. Or contact a local disposal company listed in the yellow pages or newspaper.
CRTs: Cathode Ray Tubes like televisions, computers, keyboards, printers, a mouse, or computer monitors may be disposed of curbside by appointment. Call EL Harvey at (800) 321-3002 by 3 p.m. the business day before your regular trash day to have them picked up on your regular trash day.
Clean Harbors Environmental, Inc. Clean Harbors holds collections Saturday mornings from April 1 - October 31 at their facility in Braintree. Click through for their hours, cost, directions and contact information.
Electronics: See CRTs You can also throw away electronic equipment, other than computer monitors and TVs, in the trash.
Fire Extinguisher: Empty fire extinguishers can be thrown away in the curbside trash. If an old fire extinguisher is full, discharge it into a trash bag and then dispose of the bag curbside.
Fence: For wood fences, see "Wood" below.
Fluorescent Bulbs: Dispose of expended or broken fluorescent bulbs at the Minuteman Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Fluorescent bulbs, including energy saving compacts, contain a small amount of mercury. If a fluorescent bulb breaks in your home, do not inhale the vapor and do not use a vacuum for cleanup. Sweep the pieces together with a brush or broom - not with your hand - and clean up bits of glass with a wet rag or towel, then place the towel and the pieces into a plastic bag. Fluorescent bulbs emit no mercury unless they are broken.
Furniture: Mattresses, box springs, sofas, chairs, recliners, and lawn furniture may be disposed of curbside. Considered a bulky item and each household is allowed only one bulky item per week. Several area charities will also accept donated furniture. To arrange a pickup of furniture and other items at your home call Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless (781) 595-7570 x13, Second Time Around toll free (866) 768-3325, St. Vincent DePaul (800) 675-2882, or the Salvation Army (617) 542-5420.
Grill: Call EL Harvey to schedule a pick up for a gas and charcoal grill (800) 321-3002. Propane tanks must be removed. Empty propane tanks must be taken to the Minuteman Household Hazardous Products Facility.
Household Goods: Bring items in good condition like clothing, linens, household goods, etc. to the Goodwill trailer behind Walgreens on Bedford St. in Lexington. Monday - Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. or Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Medical Waste: You may drop off sharps, needles, syringes and expired medicines on scheduled collection days in the parking lot behind the Town Office Building.
Mercury-Containing Products: The Health Department will accept mercury-containing products on a limited basis. Acceptable products include thermostats, switches, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs and barometers. Long fluorescent bulbs and energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, however, will not be accepted but can be disposed of through the Minuteman Household Hazardous Products Facility or at the Universal Waste Shed located at 60 Hartwell Ave. Compost Facility. Please call in advance before bringing products in for disposal at (781)698-4522.
Metal: Large metal items like a desk, wood stove, exercise equipment, bed frame or file cabinet may be disposed of curbside or at the Universal Waste Shed located at 60 Hartwell Ave. Compost Facility. Call EL Harvey at (800) 321-3002 to schedule a pickup. Scrap Metal: Johnny Carrolls on Waltham St. will accept scrap metal (781) 861-6060.
Paint: Dried out latex paint can be disposed of in the trash, curbside. For small amounts, leave the lid off the paint until dry. For larger amounts, mix with kitty litter or pour into shallow cardboard boxes lined with a trash bag to dry. Dispose of dry paint in trash. Oil based paint will not be accepted curbside, but may be taken to the Minuteman Household Hazardous Products Facility.
Plastic Bags: Any plastic bag with the recycling triangles on it may be taken to local grocery stores for recycling, including Stop and Shop on Bedford St. in Lexington and Roche Bros on Rte. 3 and Market Basket on Middlesex Turnpike in Burlington.
Sink: A sink may be disposed of curbside. Considered a bulky item and each household is allowed only one bulky item per week.
Smoke Detectors: Most smoke detectors contain small amounts of a radioactive material, Americium 241 and are therefore, by law, labeled as having radioactive content. Smoke detectors may be disposed of through curbside trash collection or recycling (without the batteries and with a 3-triangle recycling symbol) or by returning them to the manufacturer for disposal as a hazardous waste. Send smoke detectors by surface or ground mail so they do not end up in an airplane. First Alert Corporation will take back any smoke detector made in Aurora, IL. Send to: First Alert, Radioactive Waste Disposal, 780 McClure Road, Aurora, IL 60504-2495.
Sneakers: Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program collects old sneakers of any brand. This program grinds up the shoes and uses them in the surfacing of playgrounds and athletic courts in underprivileged communities. See the website for details on where you can drop off or mail your old sneakers.
Snow blower: Snow blowers may be disposed of curbside as long as the gas and oil are drained. Call JRM at (800) 323-4285 to schedule a pick up.
Styrofoam Peanuts: Bring these to the UPS store at 405 Waltham St. for reuse (781) 861-7770.
Television: See CRTs.
Thermometer: See Mercury-Containing Products.
Tires and Rims: One tire, without rim, may be disposed of curbside per week. Considered a bulky item and each household is allowed only one bulky item per week. Tire rims ($2 each) may be taken to J.P. Carroll Company, 700 Waltham Street, Lexington (781) 861-6060.
Toilet: A-1 New & Used Plumbing and Heating Supplies in Somerville will accept toilets as long as they are not chipped, cracked or broken (617) 625-6140. Also considered a bulky item and each household is allowed only one bulky item per week in the regular trash.
Wood: Lexington residents may dispose of 5 bundles of wood per week curbside. Wood or limbs may only be 1-3 inches in diameter, less than 3 feet long, and less than 75 pounds. They must be bundled and tied. Wood fences, which have not been painted, stained or treated, may be cut down and prepared as stated above. For pressure treated wood, please click through to the DEP website.
Wood Stove: Call EL Harvey to schedule a pickup (800) 321-3002.