Westford Recycling Commission (WRC)

Happy Spring!  There lots of events this spring so please take advantage of these opportunities to keep items out of our waste stream saving the Town money and keeping it clean.  

The Westford Recycling Commission (WRC) is hosting three events on consecutive weekends this spring: (1) Brush Chipping Collection on April 24, 2021; (2) The Electronics & More Event on May 1, 2021; and (3) Household Hazardous Waste Collection event on May 8, 2021. 

In addition, the Westford Rotary Club is holding a plastic bag collection event on April 10, 2021 which kicks off a 6 month "Bags to Benches" challenge to collect as many plastic bags as possible through October 10 at four drop-off locations in Westford.

Finally, the Rotary Club is holding its periodic document shredding event also on April 10, 2021.  

Please scroll down for details on each event.

Pickup Status

This week's trash and recycling pick-up are on a NORMAL schedule.  Check the icon on the right to see if it's a blue or green week (you can confirm which week applies to your street HERE).  See the schedule for the year in our FY2021 Recycling Guide.

Brush Chipping on April 24, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm, Westford Highway Garage, 28 North Street, Westford, MA for Westford Residents

Important Covid-19 protocol: Residents are required to wear masks and social distance.  Please unload your brush as directed by the Highway Department personnel. 

 Proof of Westford residency required.

Accepted: Brush and branches up to 3 inches in diameter and 10 feet in length. Must be average residential brush categories and reasonable amounts: A load ranges from a trunk to pickup truck ­­­­­volume, includes tow behind a full trailer.

Not accepted: Building materials (e.g., fences, boards), land clearing materials and debris (e.g., roots, bushes, anything mixed with poison ivy), grass, and leaves.

Cost: $10 per load, checks only, payable to the Town of Westford, deposited in the marked container.

Electronics & More Event on May 1, 2021

Saturday, May 1, 2021, 9 am – 1 pm Westford Highway Garage, 28 North Street, Westford, MA for Westford Residents

For more information click HERE to view the flyer.

Important Covid-19 protocol: 

  • This is a fee-based collection open to Westford Residents only
  • Residents are required to stay in their vehicles and wear masks. 
  • The Northeast Materials' staff will take the items from the vehicle for them and collect fees from the driver’s side window.
  • CASH OR CHECK – No credit cards accepted.  Checks should be made out to “Northeast Materials Handling”. 
  • The Town of Westford receives no proceeds from this event arranged by the Westford Recycling Commission. 

Westford's Household Hazardous Waste Collection event is scheduled for May 8, 2021 (pre-registration is required)

To pre-register for the event, fill out the pre-registration form by May 1, 2021. 

Additional Information: 

  • Pre-registration is required for this year's event to manage the expected high volume of participation and to minimize wait times.
  • This event is for Westford households only (not businesses).
  • There is a fee of $30 or $50 per vehicle (depending on volume). Residents are encouraged to consolidate with friends and neighbors to save time and money.
  • Refer to Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event flyer for details and instructions on how to safely transport waste to the event.  
  • If you need assistance with pre-registering or have other questions about this event, please reach out to the Westford Recycling Commission:

You can find general information on hazardous waste collection by clicking the relevant link on the left side of this page.

Kickoff for the "Bags to Benches" Challenge on April 10, 2021 hosted by Westford Rotary Club

Kickoff Event: April 10, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Westford Valley Marketplace Parking Lot, 160 Littleton Road (click HERE for details)

The Recycling Challenge is hosted by the Trex Company.  Trex Outdoor Furniture will turn the collected plastic bags and wraps into a bench that will be placed at the Roudenbush Community Center playground and other places in the future. The Bags to Benches Challenge six month collection goal is a minimum of 500 pounds of plastic bags and wraps from April 10, 2021, to October 10, 2021. 

After the April 10 kickoff, there will be four Rotary/TREX collection sites for plastic bags and wraps around Westford until October 10, 2021 -- locations and other details can be found clicking HERE.

The Westford Recycling Commission has also prepared this video to help you identify what bags are accepted.

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Document Shredding on April 10, 2021 hosted by Westford Rotary Club

April 10, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Westford Valley Marketplace Parking Lot, 160 Littleton Road

Documents are shredded safely and securely on site.  The cost is $10 per banker box or 3 full paper bags, cash or check. All boxes are returned for personal recycling. Shredding service is provided by A1 Data Shred.  The event is sponsored by Padma Sonti Homes and Keller Williams Realty.

A special thanks to Wilder Group Westford for the use of the Westford Valley Marketplace parking lot

More information on both events hosted by the Westford Rotary Club: www.westfordrotary.org or call 978-692-8958.

Pickup Status

This week's trash and recycling pick-up are on a NORMAL schedule.  Check the icon on the right to see if it's a blue or green week (you can confirm which week applies to your street HERE).  See the schedule for the year in our FY2021 Recycling Guide.

Please Note: Trash and recycling holidays for the period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 are listed below. Your Trash and Recycling are DELAYED on the following holiday weeks:

  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day

Reminder: Plastic bags should not be placed in curbside recycling

Plastics bags, including shopping bags, cereal bags, and so on, cannot be thrown into recycling stream.  Both Market Basket and Donelan's are accepting plastics bags which include:

  • Bread bags
  • Case overwrap
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper sleeves
  • Ice bags
  • Wood pellet bags
  • Ziplock and other reclosable food storage bags
  • Produce bags
  • Bubble wrap and air pillow
  • Salt bags
  • Cereal box liners
  • Plastic shipping envelopes

 Currently NOT recyclable in Massachusetts (Put in TRASH): 

  • Degradable/compostable bags or film packaging
  • Pre-washed salad mix bags
  • Frozen food bags
  • Candy bar wrappers
  • Chip bags
  • Six-pack rings
  • PPE – Gloves, masks, protective wear

Need help with practicing the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle), please check out this video by the youth of Westford:

The youth of Westford have worked hard to make a difference in Westford’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle efforts through the production of the Waste Pyramid Video. In a very creative way they have driven home how we as residents can do better in this effort. Erin McEwan developed  this project as part her successful efforts to achieve the Girl Scout Gold Award with a focus on reducing single-use plastic in Westford.  The video is presented by 5 girl scouts who she recruited for this effort and their message is very compelling.  The Westford Recycling Commission is very honored to host this wonderful video and applauds this effort.

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Check How to Recycle Everything and RecycleSmartMA.org for information on recycling items that cannot be placed in curbside recycling (many operations, however, may be impacted by COVID-19).

Be sure to follow our Facebook page:

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Questions or Problems:

Issues with trash, please call:  ACME Waste Systems (781) 935-6339: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Issues with recycling, please call: Waste Management at 1-800-972-4545: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. 

Please call the phone number(s) listed above for any issues with trash or recycling.  If your issue is not resolved within 24 hours, you may contact the Town Manager’s Office at (978) 692-5501, ext. 1.

REMINDER:  

  • Trash barrel 35 gallon max size, limit 3 barrels - if your current barrels are larger than 35 gallons, you do not need to purchase new barrels but the maximum allowed is 105 gallons (or 3 x 35 gallons).  When replacing your trash barrels, please buy a barrel no larger than 35 gallons. 
  • You can also you plastic garbage bags in lieu of barrels.
  • If there are recyclables in your trash and/or there is no recycling container out on your recycling day, the trash hauler will not pick up the trash.
  • Please do not put plastic bags in recycling bins or toters, or recycle items in plastic bags as these bags will jam the recycling sorting machines.  (Both Market Basket and Donelan's are now accepting plastic bags for recycling).

Announcement Regarding Groton Transfer Station

Groton Transfer Station has been CLOSED to Westford Residents: 

Until recently, Westford residents could bring recycling to the Groton Transfer Station.  This nearby option for recycling was especially appreciated by Westford residents who missed a recycling pickup or who live in a complex that does not offer recycling services.  Last month, however, the town of Westford was notified by the town of Groton that Westford residents are no longer permitted to use the Groton Transfer station.  The reason is that Groton determined some Westford residents have been using the Groton Transfer Station inappropriately, bringing trash and construction debris which results in disposal costs to the town of Groton.  Policing Westford residents to ensure we bring only recycling would also cost Groton (as it would require additional staffing); therefore, the decision was made by the town of Groton to revoke Westford residents' access to their Transfer Station.


Better Recycling: Cardboard

A successful recycling program is the result of contributions from everyone in the Town of Westford

The market for recyclables has become stricter and, as a result, recyclers are not able to profitability recycle paper, cardboard, and plastics unless it's properly prepared.  For instance, containers need to be rinsed and cleaned in order to be recycled -- otherwise, they are diverted to the waste stream.  In this video, WRC's longest serving member, Ellen Harde, teaches us how to prepare our cardboard for recycling (cardboard is one the most valuable recycling commodities).  Ellen explains that cardboard must be:

  1. Flattened
  2. Cut down to 3’ x 3’
  3. Bundled (with packing tape or string) if it’s more than what you can carry in one go

With these small steps, we are helping to contribute to better recycling.

Keep watching to the end to learn how to recycle books!

Meetings


  • 7:00 PM
  • 2nd Thursday evening of every month
  • No meetings are held in August and December
  • Westford Town Hall
    55 Main Street
    Westford, MA 01886
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings are held virtually --- please contact us if you would like to join the meeting.
  • View all meeting minutes
Westford Recycling Commission

Recycling with our vendor, Waste Management


Both residential and municipal recycling in Westford are picked up by Waste Management. Please review the following information for our best practices in making our recycling program successful:

  • Recycling in plastic bags will be rejected. PLEASE NO PLASTIC BAGS.
  • Please rinse and clean any glass, plastic or metal containers as best as possible.
  • Recycling and trash must be at the curb no later than 7 a.m. for pick up.
  • Recycling and trash pickups may be delayed by 1 day, see the holiday schedule above for specific dates.
  • Recycling and trash must be separated (either side of the driveway is best) and clearly marked.
  • Cardboard must be flattened and cut into sizes no greater than 3' x 3', placed in a container or box. If it doesn't fit, it may be bundled with tap or string, set next to the toters.
  • Please continue to use existing yellow and black toters (owned by the Town) and other acceptable recycling bins and toters.

Westford Plastic Bag Reduction Program

Please note that Westford’s plastic bag reduction program goes into effect on January 1, 2019 and has been reinstated (after being suspending during the height of the pandemic). For more information, please contact the Westford Board of Health at (978) 692-5509.

Successful Audit for Westford Recycling

Members of the Westford Recycling Commission visited Westford’s recycling vendor, Waste Management, over 11 days in early February as part of an audit to verify if Westford’s recycling composition matched the requirement in the contract. Essentially, if the audit showed that Westford residents are putting non-recyclables in excess of 10% by weight, this would trigger penalties as removing non-recyclables from the stream incurs additional costs. However, the audit showed that only 8.4% of the recyclables contained contaminants meaning that our residents are doing a good job separating trash from recycles. 

Waste Management found some interesting “contaminants” in our recycling.

ContaminationWindshield WipersFlashlights

ClothingCan not recycle plastic bags or wraps.

Our recycling guide has helpful reminders for what can be put in the recycling. 

On behalf of the Recycling Commission, we want to thank our residents for your efforts and saving the town money. Please see the letter we sent to the Select Board.

Agendas & Minutes

 
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
         View Agendas
         View Most Recent Agenda
         View all meeting minutes

Westford Recycling Videos

Summer Recycling Tips

Video

ABCs of Recycling

Video
 

Electronics Recycling

Video

WA Composting

Video