Recycling Tips

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.

  1. Recycling bins are available at the DPW Garage at 75 New Crossing Road.
  2. If you are unsure of which day you have rubbish and recycling pickup, click here to view the street listing to determine your collection day, or call the DPW at (781) 942-9077.
  3. Recyclables will only be picked up if they are in red recycling bins or in clearly marked containers with a "Recycling" Sticker, and meet the requirements listed below.
  4. If you have more recyclables than will fit in the bin, place them on top of or beside the bin, or you can use a barrel marked "Recycling". There is no need to sort your glass, metal, and plastic recyclables; they can all be placed in the bin together. Corrugated cardboard and mixed papers should be prepared as outlined below.
  5. If collectors leave items in the bins, it may be because they are not recyclable, or not properly prepared. For these items, please put them in your regular trash, or contact the Department of Public Works (DPW).

What you can recycle:

All bottles and jars, clear and colored, deposit and non-deposit.
No other glass (e.g. window glass, ceramics, mirrors, light bulbs, Pyrex).

Deposit and non-deposit aluminum cans.

Any household plastic containers marked code 1 through 7.
No plastic bags, packaging peanuts, plastic wrap, newspaper sleeves, or plastic film.
No styrofoam containers.

Steel ("tin") and mixed metal cans.
No cans with plastic or paper parts, paint cans, scrap metal.

How to prepare containers:

  1. All containers must be rinsed thoroughly.
  2. Aluminum items must have labels removed.
  3. For glass items, remove all metal and plastic lids, rings, and wrappings. Labels may be left on.
  4. To save space, large plastic containers should be crushed.
  5. Metal containers must have labels removed. Bottoms may be removed and cans flattened.

What you can recycle:

  • Newspaper (Including Sunday supplement)
  • Magazines (Including catalogues)
  • Telephone books (Including yellow pages)
  • Mixed paper: Mixed paper includes windowed envelopes, glossy fliers, 3rd class mail ("junk mail"), manila envelopes, white paper, and colored paper. Types of papers that can not be recycled are paper with crayon on it, wrapping paper, and paperback books.

How to set out paper:
Put all paper items in recycling bins or in paper bags, not plastic. They can also be tied in bundles and placed on top of or beside the recycling bin. Plastic windows and staples need not be removed.

Corrugated Cardboard
What you can recycle:

Corrugated cardboard boxes, which does include cereal boxes, tissue boxes, shirt boxes, pressboard, etc.

How to set out cardboard:

  1. Cut up and bundle with string, maximum size of 4’ x 4’.
  2. All boxes must be flattened.
  3. Do not include items such as pizza boxes with food wastes on them. Clean pizza boxes can be recycled.

Leaves and Yard Waste
Residents may take leaves, grass clippings, and yard waste to the Reading Compost Area, with the Community Access Sticker, which is open from April through November. Call the DPW office at (781) 942-9077 for days and hours or check the Reading website under Compost hours. The Compost Area is located on Strout Avenue, off Grove Street.

Tree trimmings may be a maximum of 8 feet in length and 8 inches in diameter.

Tires/Batteries/Waste Oil
Tires and car/truck batteries are not collected at the curb, but may be taken to the DPW Garage at 75 New Crossing Road during Household Hazardous Waste Collection, held one day in the spring and one day in the fall. Check the above-mentioned advertising media for dates.

Information regarding nickel-cadmium and lead-acid battery recycling is available by calling 1-800-8-BATTERY

Waste Oil may be taken to the DPW Garage at 75 New Crossing Road, Mon - Fri from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m and Saturdays 9-12. There is no charge.

Furniture/Household Goods
Bulk items (table, chairs, mattresses, etc.) will be collected curbside on your regular collection day no sticker required. Maximum of (1) bulk item per week per household.

We encourage the donation of furniture and household goods to charitable organizations such as Mass. Coalition for the Homeless, (617) 482-3733, and Mission of Deeds, 944-9797.

White goods (refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners, etc.) will be collected curbside each week by calling JRM directly at 1-800-323-HAUL (4285) and arranging payment and scheduling the pickup.

An appointment and payment must be made with JRM for these items to be removed.

Fluorescent Bulb Collection
Fluorescent light bulbs, which contain dangerous mercury, should no longer be thrown out in the trash. Improper disposal of fluorescent bulbs has been proven to have serious consequences for the environment and for people’s health. So that residents can safely dispose of their fluorescent lights, and in an effort to protect the air we breathe and our local water supplies, the Town of Reading applied for and received a state grant from the Department of Environmental Protection for a Universal Waste Shed. This shed, constructed at the Reading DPW facility, 75 New Crossing Road, will be used for the collection and storage of fluorescent bulbs from residents and municipal facilities in the Town. This grant was made possible through the work and cooperation of the Reading Solid Waste Advisory Committee and the Reading Women’s Club.

Fluorescent bulbs may be delivered to the DPW facility on the following days:

Monday through Friday 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM, also the third Saturday of each month 9:00 AM - 12 Noon.

Further Information

For further information regarding the collection of trash or recyclables, call the Department of Public Works Garage Monday through Friday at (781) 942-9092 (7:00 am to 3:00 pm) or Town Hall (781) 942-9077 M, W, Th 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, Tues 7:30 am to 7:00 pm,  Friday - Closed

Whenever a scheduled collection day falls on a holiday, that day’s collection and all remaining collections for the week will be delayed one day.

To request a free brochure about products with recycled content, call the Department of Environmental Protection Information Line at (617) 338-2255.