Westford Recycling Commission (WRC)


Please practice the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) as one of your New Year's resolutions! 

Please check out this video by some of the Westford youth!

To help you achieve this resolution, 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.

You can view the video by clicking HERE.

Pickup Status

This week trash and recycling pick-up are on a NORMAL schedule (stay up to date on the schedule by view the recycling guide available via the link on the left).

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 ONLY:

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

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).

'Tis the season for holiday cards and gift giving!  

When it's time to dispose of these items, please put them in the correct bin.  As you'll see below, most traditional gift packaging is not currently recyclable in Massachusetts.  If you want to reduce the amount of trash generated from the holidays, please consider reusable gift bags and gift boxes, festive fabric, or your own creative approach.   

Currently recyclable in Massachusetts:

  • Gift bags that are 100% paper and have no other foil/plastic/glitter (please remove the string handles).
  • Holiday cards and envelopes that are 100% paper (with no metallic inks, foil, wire, plastic decorations, or glitter)

 Currently NOT recyclable in Massachusetts (Put in TRASH): 

  • Gift wrap and tissue paper
  • Ribbons, bows, and string
  • Holiday cards that have glitter, foil, metallic inks, plastic decorations, or other "mixed media"
  • Envelopes with foil or other non-paper decorations (if you can remove the foiled/decorated part, you can then recycle the pure paper part of the envelope)

Public Service Announcement

If you have purchased a hand sanitizer containing Methanol, per the FDA, STOP USING THIS PRODUCT IMMEDIATELY. If the place of purchase will not accept returns, the contents must be treated as hazardous waste. Per the FDA: … “dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain”. Likewise, do not put containers in the trash. The next Household Hazardous Waste collection in Westford will be May 8, 2021.

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.


  • Trash barrel 35 gallon max size, limit 3 barrels - if your barrels are larger than 35 gallons, you do not need to purchase barrels but the maximum allowed is 105 gallons (or 3 x 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!

Earth Machine Composters for Sale

Earth Machine composters for sale to help support our local composting efforts. To purchase an Earth Machine backyard composter for $25, call Denise Seyffert at 978-692-6986 to arrange for payment and delivery.  More details, click here for our brochure.


  • 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.

Westford Recycling and Trash Statistics

In the FY 2019, Westford trash data show overall increase of 91.3 tons of trash, hence we had 1.2% more trash removal than the previous year and trash tipping fees were increased accordingly.  Recycling data show decrease of 99.0 tons of recycling, hence we recycled 3.8% less than the prior year. 

In Westford, the 11-year trend of trash tonnage data show an overall reduction in trash generation by residents whereas the 14-year trend in recycling tonnage data shows an overall positive trend with an increase of recycling, barring the exception of the last 3 years, we’ve seen a decline in recycling activity and a slight rise in trash tonnage.  

The town budgeted $509K for the cost of collecting curbside recyclables this current fiscal year as compared to the $1.220 million budgeted for curbside collection of solid waste (trash).  During the October Special Town Meeting, voters approved an additional $80K to cover the cost of tipping fees that jumped from $45K to $125K this fiscal year. A tipping fee is the amount charged for disposal based on weight. 

For additional information view the Trends in Westford Recycling Efforts (PDF).

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.
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Westford Recycling Videos

Summer Recycling Tips


ABCs of Recycling


Electronics Recycling


WA Composting