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Frequently Asked Questions
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Does Concord have a dump where I can take my trash?

No. Concord closed its landfill in 1993. To receive trash and recycling collection, residents can subscribe to the Town's muncipal curbside collection program.  To dispose of large items residents may bring them to Concord's semi-annual  drop-off days or contact Concord Public Works for additional options at 978-318-3240.



Is there  a place where I can drop off recyclable materials?

Mixed paper, glass bottles and jars, metal cans, and plastic containers are only collected at curbside. Residents must sign up for the municipal collection program to recycle these items.



Are pizza boxes recyclable?
Yes, but only if the pizza box is really clean – no oil or any other food waste at all – then turn it inside out so it looks like any other piece of cardboard and place it with your other paper for recycling.  Cut out any soiled sections.



Can old pots and pan be recycled at curbside?

Old pots and pans and other metal items can not be recycled at curbside. The only metal items that can be placed in your recycling bin are metal food cans and beverage containers, metal can and jar lids.. Any other mostly metal item, such as pots and pans, nuts and screws, drain pipes, old bicycles, lawn mowers, washing machines, etc. may be recycled at the spring and fall recycling and oversized waste DropOff Day sponsored by REUSIT and Concord Public Works.



What materials can I recycle in my green bins?

The recycling truck for the municipal collection program has two compartments: one for mixed paper and one for comingled containers. Materials must be separated into these two categories when setting materials out for collection.

Materials that go in the mixed paper compartment include any kind of clean paper item - newspaper, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, envelopes, white and colored paper, fax paper, phone books, paperback books, spiral notebooks, clasp envelopes, manila folders, shoe boxes, cereal boxes, poster board, corrugated cardboard, etc. Plastic windows, self-stick labels, and staples are ok. Cardboard must be flattened and smaller than 36" x 36" in order to fit in the compartment.

Household product containers include four types of containers: glass, metal, plastic, and aseptic cartons. All these containers may be mixed together in a single bin.

Glass containers include clear and colored bottles and jars with lids removed (you do not need to remove metal collars). Metal containers include deposit and non-deposit beverage cans, metal food cans, and metal jar and can lids. Plastic containers include any plastic bottle or jar except those used for motor oil or other chemicals. It also includes other plastic containers, such as plastic take out food containers (except those made from Styrofoam). Aseptic cartons include paper milk and juice cartons as well as empty juice boxes that have had the straws removed. Please remember that all containers must be rinsed clean.

Please do not recycle the following items: plastic bags, Styrofoam (cups, trays, block, or packaging peanuts, even if marked #6), plastic containers for motor oil or other hazardous chemicals, or soiled paper (such as paper plates, cups, towels, napkins, tissue, or paper with paint or glue). Pizza boxes can only be recycled when they have absolutely no grease or other food waste and are turned inside out so they look like a regular piece of cardboard.


Is there any place where I can recycle my plastic bags?

Plastic bags cannot be recycled at curbside because they get caught in the conveyor belt at the material sorting facility.  Many of the larger grocery store chains accept bags for recycling, such as Whole Foods, Star Market, Shaw’s, Stop and Shop, Roche Brothers, etc. In addition to shopping bags, these stores often accept other plastic bags, such as clean, dry produce bags, bread bags, sandwich bags, etc.

Better than recycling bags, of course, is reusing bags or using reusable shopping bags. It is notoriously difficult, even for those with the best of intentions, to remember to bring reusable bags on a shopping trip. Here are some tips to help you remember:

Write on your shopping list "remember to bring bags."
Hang cloth bags on your kitchen door.
Hang your purse on the same hook where you hang cloth bags.
Use a cloth bag to hold deposit bottles and cans, that way you will have at least one cloth bag with you when you get to the store.
Tape a reminder on your dashboard.
Don’t get discouraged when you keep forgetting your bags. Keep trying.


How do I recycle corrugated cardboard?

Corrugated cardboard can be recycled in the municipal collection program, but the compartment in the truck is only 3’ wide by 15" deep. To guarantee there will be no problem, we request that pieces or bundles be no larger than 30 inches square x 1 foot. If you have large pieces or quantities of cardboard you may find it easier to take it to one of our two drop-off locations that are open to subscribers to the municipal collection program. Cardboard may be recycled at the Composting Site on Walden Street (just across Route 2) on Saturdays between 9 – 3, April through November, and in the dumpsters at the public parking area at the Public Works facility, 133 Keyes Road, which are open 24 hours a day. Please flatten boxes and remove all non-cardboard materials, such as Styrofoam, wood, plastic, and other packaging. Please do not recycle pizza boxes and other types of paperboard at this location.

 


What do I do with old paint?

Concord Public Works runs the paint reuse, recycling, and disposal shed at the Composting Site (on Walden Street, just across route 2), every Saturday from 9 – 3, April through October. The shed is set up as a swap shed and is open to all Concord residents. Residents bring paint materials they no longer want, and may take away excellent quality materials for reuse at no cost. Residents are encouraged to visit the paint shed before beginning a painting project to see what materials are available for free. There are usually large quantities of primer, sealer, off-white semi-gloss (excellent for moldings and trim), off-white flat paint, wood stain, deck sealer, paint thinner, etc.

Latex paint is not a hazardous product, so the only latex paint the shed will accept is latex paint in good enough condition that you can imagine using it in your own home. If there is very little paint in the can, or the paint is dried out, throw the can away with your regular rubbish. If there is more than ¼ can but it is not in good condition, or if the paint has been frozen, you must dry it out, then dispose of it with your regular trash. To dry it out, add kitty litter or a latex paint hardener typically available at Concord Lumber, Vanderhoof Hardware or other paint suppliers, then dispose of the can with your regular trash.

Oil and alkyd-based paints and stains are hazardous products. If the can is empty you may throw it away with your regular trash. If the can is more than ¼ full, no matter what condition, bring the can to the paint shed for reuse, recycling, or proper disposal.

Other paint products, such as primer/sealer, polyurethane, shellac, wood and deck preservatives, paint remover, unused paint thinner, and unused mineral spirits, are also accepted for reuse, recycling, or proper disposal at the paint shed. These items are flammable and should never be disposed of with your regular trash unless the can is empty or the materials are dried out. Paint thinner or mineral spirits that have been used to clean brushes should be taken to the Minuteman Hazardous Waste Facility for proper disposal.

The Paint Shed does not accept any other hazardous material. Other hazardous products, such as epoxy, floor finish, etc. must be taken to the Minuteman Regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Lexington, which is open to Concord residents one Saturday per month April – November. For more information on disposing of hazardous materials call Concord Public Works at 978-318-3240.


How do I dispose of hazardous materials?

Subscribers to the municipal curbside collection program receive a pass to one event per year as part of their subscription to the curbside program. To attend an event, subscribers must first contact Concord Public Works at 978-318-3240 and fill out a registration form.

Residents that do not subscribe to the curbside program can attend the event for a fee. Ten gallons or less typically cost about $35, twenty-five gallons or less will cost about $60.  Bring identification and a check, as cash and credit cards are not accepted.  If you have any questions please contact  Concord  Public Works at 978-318-3240.




How do I safely dispose of items that contain mercury?

All of the rivers and ponds in Concord are contaminated with mercury, and residents are warned not to eat the fish because of the high levels of mercury in the fish that live in the water. The source of this contamination is mercury in rainwater. The mercury in rainwater is thought to come from coal-burning power plants in the mid west (50%), local medical incinerators (25%), and local solid waste incinerators (25%). Mercury in local solid waste incinerators comes from fluorescent bulbs, mercury fever thermometers, thermostats, button batteries, and similar mercury-containing devices. The best way to prevent mercury from ending up in our lakes and streams is to keep it out of our incinerators. Residents can recycle many mercury-containing devices at locations in Concord.

Fluorescent bulbs: All fluorescent bulbs, straight, U, circular, and compact contain mercury. They may be recycled at Concord Public Works, 133 Keyes Road, weekdays 8:30 – 4:30, at West Concord 5 & 10, during store hours, Vanderhoof Hardware and at the Composting Site, Saturdays 9 – 3, April – November.

Button Batteries: Small button batteries used in watches, hearing aids, laser pointers, etc. still contain small amounts of mercury and other heavy metals. These batteries may be recycled at the Concord Town House, Concord Free Library, Concord Public Works, Harvey Wheeler Community Center and West Concord 5 & 10.

Intact mercury-containing devices, such as thermostats and fever thermometers, may be recycled at Concord Public Works, 133 Keyes Road, weekdays 8:30 – 4:30.

Mercury that is not contained in a manufactured device, such as mercury from a broken fever thermometer, a jar of elemental mercury, etc. should be taken to the Minuteman Regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Contact Concord Public Works at 978-318-3240 for more information on hazardous waste disposal.


How do I get rid of my old TV or computer?

Concord Public Works and REUSIT sponsor a Drop-off Day each spring and fall when residents can bring TV’s, computer monitors, and other electronics for recycling.

If you cannot wait until one of the Drop-off Days, contact the manufacturer or retail outlet. BestBuy and Staples are the retailers that have electronics recycling programs.  Many computer companies now have programs in place where computers can be shipped back for proper disposal. There are also electronics recycling companies that will accept electronics for a fee. Call Concord Public Works at 978-318-3240 for more information.


What should I do with my Styrofoam?

The market for used Styrofoam in New England is very limited at this time and no curbside program collects it.

Styrofoam packaging peanuts are quite expensive to purchase, and the best way to recycle clean and dry peanuts is to take them to a business that will reuse them, such as UPS Store on Thoreau Street. If you do throw them away, they must be placed in a securely tied bag, or they may end up all over your neighborhood.

Styrofoam block that comes with new products, such as computers and small household appliances, can be recycled at the Drop-off Days sponsored by REUSIT and Concord Public Works each spring and fall if it is clean and dry. For information and Drop-off dates call Concord Public Works at 978-318-3240 or see details on this website.

Clean Styrofoam cups, trays, and takeout clamshells will also be accepted on DropOff Days.

 

How can I recycle plastic flowerpots?

Clean Plastic Flowerpots can be recycled at curbside.

 

How do I dispose of my old smoke/fire detector?

Contact the manufacturer (usually listed on the back of the detector) and find out if they have a recycling program.
 


How do I dispose of my old fire extinguisher?

Because fire extinguishers are under pressure they should not be disposed of with your regular trash. To recycle them take them to the Fire Department or bring them to REUSIT and Concord Public Works’ spring or fall DropOff Day.



What should I do with my old cell phone?

Working and non-working cell phones may be brought to the REUSIT and Concord Public Works spring and fall DropOff Days.
 


How do I get rid of furniture and household items I no longer want?

Furniture in good, usable condition may be donated to a charitable organization. These pieces must have no stains, rips, or broken parts and still be in good condition. There are no organizations that will accept furniture that needs to be reupholstered or which require a slipcover.

The Household Goods Recycling Ministry in Acton is the closest organization that accepts furniture. They also accept household goods. Call them at 978-635-1763 or visit their website at www.hgrm.org to arrange pickup or delivery. Household items and clothing may be dropped off at the Goodwill trailer at  Crosby ’s Supermarket daily between 8 – 4. Clothing may also be dropped off at the Red Cross drop boxes located at Papa Razzi and the West Concord Train Depot and at the Salvation Army clothing drop box at the  West Concord train depot. All items should be clean and in good, usable condition.

Many charitable organizations will pick up furniture, household items, and clothing at your home if you have sufficient quantities. Look in the yellow pages or contact Concord Public Works at 978-318-3240 for a list of charitable organizations that pick up at homes.



What happens to the bottle deposit when I put deposit bottles and cans in my recycling bin?

When deposit containers are recycled at curbside or thrown in the trash instead of returned for deposit, the unclaimed deposit goes into the Massachusetts General fund. Until 2002 the unclaimed bottle deposits went to a special fund called the “Clean Environment Fund” which was used to support recycling programs, hazardous waste cleanups, etc. but this fund was abolished during the state budget crisis. Since then the unclaimed deposits have gone directly into the Commonwealth of  Massachusetts General Fund.  



 
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