Single-Stream Recycling

No more placing recyclable paper, cardboard, recyclable cans/bottles/plastics in a separate bin. Due to single-stream recycling, all items can now be placed into one recycling bin. The sorting technology and workers at the sorting plants do the separation with conveyor belts, carrying each type of recyclable to a different place.

Often, people feel it’s too much work to sort their recyclables and that the bins take up too much room with paper and junk mail in one bin and everything else in another. If you like, you may use an old trash barrel with a "Recycle" sticker on it (stickers available at the Department of Public Works (DPW) free of charge). Now there is absolutely no excuse not to take part in mandatory recycling.

Mandatory recycling ensures that we get recyclables out of the trash and therefore out of the incinerator in Saugus where the City pays an additional fee for every ton of trash taken there. This graphic (PDF) shows the single-stream recyclable items.

Watch this video to show how the material is sorted once it gets to the facility.

Recycling is mandatory.  What can I put in my curbside bin?

El reciclaje es obligatorio. Que puedo depositar en el contendor de la acera?

Non-Recyclables That Are Considered Trash

The following items are not recyclable and are considered trash:

  • Plastic Bags of any kind, including Pellet Bags
  • Styrofoam products of any kind
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Spray Bottle Pumps
  • Deli & Salad Plastic Containers
  • Plastic Disposable Plates, Cups, and Silverware
  • Liquid Cartons (Milk, Broth, Soup)
  • Napkins
  • 3-Ring Binders
  • CDs and Video Tapes
  • Greasy or Food-Stained Pizza Boxes
  • Paper with Food Stains

Recycling is Mandatory and Saves Money

Recycling your trash is an important way to help preserve our environment, reduce the consumption of precious natural resources, and save yourself and the City money. The more items that residents recycle, the less money they will spend on City bags. This helps Gloucester reach its recycling goals as each item removed from the waste stream reduces the City’s trash disposal costs and enables us to put those savings toward other important City services all while helping to preserve our environment!

Before you discard something into your trash container, ask yourself if the item is recyclable. Even a small change can make a difference.

Beyond The Bin

Do you have worn clothing, outdated electronics or other items that don’t belong in your household recycling bin? Don’t throw them away. Find out where to recycle, reuse, or re-purpose them in Massachusetts by using the searchable database, Beyond The Bin which is administered by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.