1. Why should I recycle?
Recycling is responsible resource management. Recycling reduces pollution, saves energy and saves the Town of Reading money! By recycling, we save on the cost of incinerating our trash, currently about $60.29/ton. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees. The items that we recycle become other useful products.
2. When is my collection day?
The Town of Reading now has weekly mandatory recycling collection, your recycling is now collected every week on the same day your trash is picked up. Click here to view the street listing to determine your day.
3. What about holiday week collections?
When there is a holiday, collections will be delayed 1 day after holiday occurs (e.g. if your usual day is Monday and Monday is a holiday, your trash/recycling day will be Tuesday. Friday’s pickup will be on Saturday that week). If the holiday falls on a Thursday (e.g. Thanksgiving), only Thursday and Friday’s collections would be affected.
4. When should I put out my recycling?
Residents can place their recycling at the curb the night before after 4:00pm and no later than 6:00am on their recycling collection day.
5. Why didn’t the truck pick up my recycling?
- Check to make sure you put your recycling out on the correct day. See above.
- Was it recyclable?
- Were paper products separate from your plastic containers?
- Were your recyclables in a recycling bin and separate from your trash?
- Did you breakdown, flatten, and fold your boxes/cartons/cardboard into no larger than 4’ x 4’?
6. Who do I call if my trash/recycling is not picked up?
Call the D.P.W. Garage at (781) 942-9092 between 7:00am and 3:00pm Monday through Friday
7. What can I recycle?
PAPER: Newspapers including inserts, magazines, catalogs, phone books, junk mail, clean pizza boxes, clean paperboard such as cereal / pasta boxes and egg cartons and flattened cardboard no larger than 4 x 4’ are some of the paper type items.
COMMINGLED ITEMS: Metal cans, glass bottles and plastic containers labeled # 1 to 7. (excluding #6 Styrofoam)
8. How do I put items out for recycling?
All glass, plastic and metal containers, can be commingled and placed in your recycling bin. Extra recycling bins are available at the DPW Administration Office at 16 Lowell St or the DPW Garage at 75 Newcrossing Road.
All newspapers, cereal boxes, junk mail and magazines should be put in brown paper bags like those received at a grocery store and placed beside or on top of a recycling bin or in its own recycling bin. Cardboard should be flattened and in bundles no larger than 4 feet by 4 feet by 6 inches thick. Place your recycling separate from your trash.
9. Do I need to rinse out my bottles and cans?
Yes. Rinsing cans, bottles, and jars helps to reduce odor and discourage pests from invading your bin. An easy way to do this is to place cans and bottles and plastics in your dishwasher or rinse them with the rinse water after you have finished your dishes.
10. Do I need to separate cans, bottles and plastic containers from each other?
All glass, plastic and metal containers, can be placed (commingled) in your recycling bin.
11. What about Styrofoam, dirty pizza boxes, and microwave food boxes?
Styrofoam that has the recycling symbol with the number 6 in it, is now being collected Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 2:30pm at the DPW Garage, 75 Newcrossing Rd it must be rinsed and cleaned.
The grease and food particles from these containers prevent them from being recycled. Place them in your trash. However, if pizza boxes are clean and free of food particles, they can be recycled.
12. Can I put out more than one recycling bin?
Yes. But please keep plastic containers separate from paper products.
13. Where can I get a recycling bin?
Bins are available at the Department of Public Works Facility Garage, 75 New Crossing Road.
14. Does the Town collect yard waste (leaves, grass clippings and other easily raked material)?
Yes, the Town will schedule (5) weeks of curbside leaf collection per year. The contractor will pick up Kraft paper bagged leaves (3) weeks in the fall and (2) weeks in the spring. There is no charge for curbside collection.
15. Is there a drop off location for yard waste?
The Town operates a compost site at Strout Ave that is opened from April thru November. See Compost schedule. Residents are allowed to bring leaves, grass clippings, branches up to 8” in diameter and 8’ lengths. Residents must purchase a Community Access Sticker at the Police Station or a Compost Card Permit at the D.P.W. Administration Office in Town Hall.
16. What about Christmas trees?
Residents who want to recycle their Christmas trees are asked to bring them to compost facility when open. See Compost schedule.
17. Does the Town collect Construction & Demolition material?
The Town of Reading does not have the ability to pick up any construction and demolition material with either trash or recycling. This category generally includes asphalt, bricks, concrete and other masonry materials, soil, rock, wall coverings, drywall, plumbing fixtures, insulation, roofing shingles, plate glass, metal, wood waste, and electrical wires.
18. What can I do with old paint, used motor oil, and other chemicals?
Latex paint can be dried out (solidify with kitty litter or with specifically designed products that are now available) and placed in the trash. Oil based paints, chemical and other household hazardous waste should be brought to the Town’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection day, see schedule. For more information, call the Department of Public Works (781) 942-9077
19. What can I do with mercury containing items?
Thermometers, thermostats, mercury switches and button batteries can be brought to the D.P.W. Garage 75 New Crossing Rd during normal business hours.
Fluorescent lamps should be brought to the D.P.W. Garage 75 New Crossing Rd during normal business hours. For more information, call the Department of Public Works (781) 942-9077.
20. What do I do with unwanted appliances?
Household appliances are picked up weekly by calling JRM directly at 1-800-323-HAUL (4285) and arranging payment and scheduling the pickup. Once payment is received, no refunds are granted.
21. How about CRTs: television sets and computer monitors?
TV's and CRT's (computer monitors) are not allowed with regular trash or recycling. These items can be picked up weekly by calling JRM directly at 1-800-323-HAUL (4285) and arranging payment and scheduling the pickup.
22. How about microwaves and other electronics?
Countertop microwaves can be put out any week with the regular trash. Computers (except for computer monitors, see above) and accessories such as printers, scanners, and faxes may be discarded in the regular trash. However, if they are useable, first try to find a place where they can be put to use.
23. Do I have to use the official recycling bin?
No. You can use any re-usable container for your recycling. Just label it clearly with a "Recycling Sticker" available throught the DPW Administration office at 16 Lowell Street.
24. Can I recycle my old telephone books?
Yes. Throw them in with your mixed paper recycling.
25. Why do I have to cut up my cardboard?
It has to fit in the recycling truck.