Refuse and Recycling

Please look for links to information about recycling events in the grid below!
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Resident Information
2017 Holiday Refuse and Recycling Schedule Earth Machine Composters
Household Hazardous Waste Product Collection 2017 Schedule Recycling of Clothes, Shoes, Books, ect ( New )
Second Cart Wait! Don't Flush That!!
Pick up of Bulk waste Hazardous Waste
2017 Yard Waste Notice ( New )  


Upcoming Recycling Events

Compost Center opens for the season April 8


Curbside Yard Waste Collection, April 10-14


Household Haz Waste Collection, April 15 at Lexington DPW, 201 Bedford Street


May 20 Spring Recycling Event at DPW, 314 Great Road, 9 a.m. to noon.




You can contact Republic Services (formerly Allied Waste) directly at 800-442-9006

To separate or not separate?

That is the current question with regard to Bedford’s Recycling program.

The town renewed its contract with Republic Services in July and one question that came up during the discussion was: “Should residents continue to separate paper and cardboard from glass, metal and plastic containers?”

The answer is residents do not have to separate their recyclables.

“Residents don’t have to separate their recycling but if they prefer to continue separating they don’t have to change what they’ve been doing,” said Ed McGrath, Bedford’s Recycling Coordinator.

Bedford’s recyclables are taken to the Waste Management Material Recover Facility (MRF) in Billerica. This is a single-stream facility where cardboard, all types of paper, and plastic, metal and glass containers are processed in one sorting line. Republic will still be using dual-stream collection trucks on some routes and rear loading vehicles on others routes.  So regardless of which truck picks up your recycling, everything will ultimately be mixed together at the MRF.

 “Because of its proximity to Bedford, we really don’t have any other options on where we can bring our recyclables,” said McGrath. “To go to another facility in Eastern Massachusetts would increase the town’s costs.”

Residents can put all their recyclables in one container but the container can’t weigh more than 50 pounds. If the container is too heavy, Republic’s workers may not be able to lift it.

McGrath suggests residents use the larger barrels or carts for containers (glass, metal and plastic) and place newspapers, magazines and other paper items in a paper bag and place it in the barrel, in a recycling bin, or alongside the barrel. This will help the collection workers loading the truck. If a resident only uses a gray recycling bin, the weight of the bin will be less of an issue.

“The global recycling markets change and I know some MRFs are getting a premium price for paper that was not collected with glass.” McGrath added. “My suggestion is if separating your paper from the other recycling isn’t a burden, then keep doing it. The day may come when the MRFs will want the paper delivered separately.

“However, do not put any plastic grocery or trash bags in your recycling container,” McGrath stressed, noting that Waste Management’s policy in Billerica is that any plastic bag will be pulled from the line and thrown in the trash, including plastic bags filled with recycling.

“If you put your recyclables in a plastic bag, your efforts to recycle will be for naught,” McGrath said. “If you collect recyclables in plastic bags in your home, please empty the bag into your recycling container.”

Bedford’s curbside program is for paper, cardboard and containers (glass, metal and plastic). Plastic bags, dry cleaning bags, case wraps (e.g. water bottles), paper packaging wrap, and other plastic films can be dropped off at any grocery store. This material will be recycled by the TREX Company, makers of composite decking materials and outdoor furniture.

“Also, Styrofoam should not be put out with your recycling,” McGrath said. “Right now, it should go in the trash. The company we’ve been using to recycle Styrofoam closed in May. We’re researching other options, but for now, the only option is to put Styrofoam in the trash.”

Automated Refuse Collection


REFUSE MUST BE PLACED AT CURBSIDE BY 7AM. Refuse is collected through the use of automated collection trucks and 48-gallon town-supplied refuse carts. The cart must be 3' (three feet) away from any obstacles (trees, mailboxes, fences, othercarts, recycling bins, etc.). The handles and wheels of the cart must face away from the street, and the cart lid must be closed. Excess refuse that does not fit in the cart with the lid closed must be placed in an Official Bedford Overflow Bag which are available for sale at Moison's Ace Hardware, Whole Foods, and Stop and Shop. Bags are sold in rolls of five for $7.50 ( $1.50/bag).

Residents may apply for the use of a second refuse cart at the Department of Public Works at 314 The Great Road. The annual fee for a second cart is $150 for the first year and $100 thereafter. The fee includes the cost of the cart and the collection and disposal of the additional refuse.

BULKY ITEMS: Call Republic Services at 1-800-442-9006 by Friday at 5pm to schedule the collection of one (1) bulky item per week on Monday. Examples of bulky items include tables, chairs, mattresses, box springs, couches, and a single unmounted tire. Bulky items are too large to fit in the refuse cart but DO NOT include items covered in Special Collections. All refuse, including bulky items, must be placed at the curb by 7am on collection day.


Compost Bins

The Department of Public Works is offering compost bins for home use to Bedford residents at the cost of $45.
Please call (781)-275-7605 with any questions.




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