Waste Reduction

Chelmsford has curbside pickup of wastes and recyclables, as explained in detail in the Annual Flyer mailed to all residents at the end of June. The basics:

  • Two 32-gallon barrels or bags of trash are picked up weekly at no extra cost (covered in your taxes)
  • Unlimited amounts of recyclables are picked up biweekly

Some special recyclables such as electronics or appliances are picked up curbside for a fee, as explained on the Town's Recycling and Solid Waste website and in the flyer.

Minimizing trash and maximizing recyclables saves on our taxes, on energy use, and on pollution from burning the trash and landfilling the resulting ash. The Town pays for trash disposal at Covanta in Haverhill which incinerates the trash using fossil fuel.


The easiest way to reduce trash is to ensure that everything possible is going into your recycling. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to recycle as much as you throw out. Information on what to recycle and how to start is provided at the Town website.


Another easy way to reduce trash is to compost kitchen and yard waste. Yard wastes are prohibited from trash anyway, and mixing in your kitchen wastes with some leaves will eliminate these wet, heavy materials from the trash we're trying to burn. Guides on composting include:

Read more about recycling initiatives on The Blog.

Re-using materials is another easy way to reduce wastes. Donate usable goods to Boy Scout Troop 74 or one of the many nearby organizations listed in the annual flyer (p.7). Drop-off bins for clothing are located in parking areas around the town, and the Friends of the Library are interested in your books (including recent text books) and CDs/DVDs. 

Please beware of electronics recycling fundraisers conducted by local organizations; in most cases these groups aren't responsible for proper disposal of the toxic materials collected, and the recyclables may end up as unintended pollution in a third world country.

Finally, please consider buying recycled and re-used goods to support our efforts at waste reduction. Your consumer dollars make a difference in the choices everyone makes to reduce, reuse, and recycle!