Program Seeks to Reduce Contamination of Residential Recycling Stream

The Department of Public Works has announced it will again participate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ grant-funded “Recycle IQ” initiative, aimed at educating residents about proper recycling methods and reducing the rate of contamination of the city’s residential recycling stream. The goal of the program is to reduce the city’s recycling-related costs, which increase in correlation with the percentage of contaminated recycled materials. The City currently pays nearly $120,000 each year in additional fees due to its current rate of 100% contamination.

 As part of the program funded through State grants, four part-time jobs have been created for staff to conduct checks of residential recycling bins, tag bins that are deemed contaminated, and follow-up with educational materials to help residents identify how they are contaminating the recycling stream.

 After an initial two-week warning period June 29 through July 10, recycling bins that have been identified as contaminated between July 13 and October 30 will be tagged and not collected. Information will be provided to residents about how to rectify issues.

 Educational materials will highlight the following common issues leading to contamination of recycling:

• Do not bag recyclables

• No plastic bags or plastic wrap

• No food or liquid (recyclables must be rinsed)

• No clothing or linens

• No tanglers (such as hoses, wires, chains or electronics)

 Residents with questions should contact Debra Anemoduris, Principal DPW Clerk, at 781-286-8100, extension 20038.

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