How & Where to Recycle

Learn which materials belong in your bin, where to recycle or donate other items, and what to throw away. Do your part and recycle smart to enhance the environment, boost the economy, and save your community money.

Table of Contents

Recycling Search

Look up how and where to recycle specific items.

What to Put in Your Bin

Every Massachusetts town and city with curbside collection or a drop-off center accepts the following items for recycling, with the same restrictions:

Image of Smart Recycling Guide

If you're not sure whether something belongs in your bin, search the Recyclopedia above or visit: RecycleSmartMA.org

Recycling in Your Community

To learn more about local recycling, composting, and hazardous household product collection - including days and hours - contact your community's recycling or solid waste coordinator or department.

Zoom in ( + ) on the map, click on the icon for your city or town, and follow the link, or see the list below the map.

Additional Resources

Building Materials

A number of charities and non-profit organizations accept donations of old cabinets, counters, doors, windows, and other building materials that you may no longer need but can still be used.

Check the MassDEP Beyond the Bin Recycling Directory for nearby drop-off locations. Just type in the item you want to donate and click on Search for a listing and map.

Clothing, Footwear & Bedding

Old, unwanted textiles and bedding - from clothing and shoes to mattresses and box springs - shouldn't be thrown away.

Many towns and cities accept these items for recycling. Contact your local health or public works department to ask if your community does.

If not, a number of charities do. The MassDEP Beyond the Bin Recycling Directory can help you find nearby drop-off locations.

Many clothing and shoe manufacturers and retailers also take their products back for recycling. Check their web sites or store locations for details.

Additional Resources

Deposit Bottles & Cans

NEWS: Massachusetts Is Temporarily Suspending Bottle Redemption Enforcement

There is a five cent deposit on carbonated soft drink, beer, malt beverage, and sparkling water containers sold in Massachusetts.

You may return clean, empty containers to retailers that sell them, or to redemption centers. State law (the "Bottle Bill") requires retailers to redeem containers at full deposit value. It allows redemption centers to deduct processing fees from refunds.

To find nearby redemption centers: Zoom in ( + ) on the map below and click on icons near you for locations and phone numbers.

Please Note: Because redemption center hours and policies can vary widely, MassDEP strongly recommends that you call ahead.

Additional Resources

Electronic Devices

Many manufacturers and retailers of computers, smart phones, TVs and other electronics accept used devices for recycling - often at no charge. Visit the Electronics Take-Back Coalition, manufacturer web sites, or retail store locations for details.

To find charitable organizations that accept donations of unwanted consumer electronics, check the MassDEP Beyond the Bin Recycling Directory.

Hazardous Household Products

Old chemicals, cleaners, paint, pesticides, and other household products can contain hazardous ingredients and need to be handled with care.

These items don't belong in your recycling bin, in the trash, or down the drain. Please store them in a safe location until either your community schedules a hazardous household waste collection, or bring them to a local, regional, or commercial collection facility.

See Safely Manage Hazardous Household Products to learn more.

Plastic Bags, Foam & Wraps

Please avoid putting plastic bags, wraps, and packing materials such as polystyrene foam (Styrofoamâ„¢) in your bin. At recycling plants, these materials can get tangled in processing equipment, causing damage and worker injuries.

Most supermarkets and numerous other retailers accept plastic bags and wraps for recycling at no cost. Visit the Wrap Recycling Action Council to find a nearby drop-off location.

Many shipping companies accept loose fill foam "packing peanuts" for reuse. Contact a FedEx, UPS, or other pack-and-ship store near you for details.

If no locations near you accept plastic bags, foam, or wraps for recycling, throw them in the trash.

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