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Concord’s recyclables are processed at materials recovery facilities (a.k.a. MRFs) owned by Waste Management, located in Avon, Billerica, and Springfield. Mixed paper is sorted to specifications and baled. The same is true for commingled recyclables (i.e. plastic, glass and metal containers).
Cardboard (a.k.a. OCC) is converted into linerboard, medium for corrugated layer, boxboard, and cardboard cores. Mixed paper is converted into newsprint, medium, and duplex board. This material is primarily sent to regional mills: Rand Whitney, Caraustar, & Sunoco.
Glass goes almost exclusively to Patriot Recycling in Raynham, MA, where it is crushed and screened to remove contaminants like bottle caps and shredded paper; then mixed with ground asphalt and concrete for road base material. Less than one-quarter of the glass is shipped to New Hampshire and used for constructing roads in a landfill. Some recovered clear glass goes to Strategic materials in Connecticut.
Aluminum goes back into aluminum sheet used to manufacture cans. Companies like Constellium headquartered in the Netherlands and Schupan in Wixom, MI purchase this material. Tin is sent to domestic densifiers and then on to steel mills where steel is repurposed into low-grade (non-construction/automotive) products like appliances and rebar.
Plastic PET goes to Mohawk Industries in GA & PP and HDPE goes to KW Plastics in NC, and is utilized for the manufacturing of plastic bottles, plastic decking, carpeting, other plastic products, and even clothing.
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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, and more.
Plastic windows, self-stick labels, and staples are accepted. Cardboard must be flattened and smaller than 36 inches by 36 inches in order to fit in the compartment. Household product containers include 4 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.
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 1 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.
Cardboard may be recycled at the Composting Site on Walden Street (just across Route 2) on Saturdays between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., April through November, and in the dumpsters at the public parking area at the Public Works facility, 133 Keyes Road, which is 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.
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 and 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, and more must be taken to the Minuteman Regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Lexington, which is open to Concord residents 1 Saturday per month April through November. For more information on disposing of hazardous materials call Concord Public Works at 978-318-3240.
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.
Household items and clothing may be dropped off at the Goodwill trailer at Crosby ’s Supermarket daily between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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. Household Goods in Acton is the closest organization that accepts furniture. They also accept household goods. Call Household Goods in Action at 978-635-1710 or visit the Household Goods website.
If you cannot wait until 1 of the Drop-off Days, contact the manufacturer or retail outlet. Best Buy 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.
Subscribers to the program pay only for the trash that they discard. Residents save money and protect our environment by recycling and reducing their disposable trash. For further information about subscribing visit the Trash and Recycling page.
Residents that do not subscribe to the curbside program can attend the event for a fee. 10-gallons or less typically cost about $35, 25-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. View more details on the Household Hazardous Waste Facility page.
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 may be recycled at Concord Public Works located at 133 Keyes Road, Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM to 3 PM. In addition items may be recycled at Vanderhoof Hardware.
Button Batteries: Small button batteries used in watches, hearing aids, laser pointers, and more still contain small amounts of mercury and other heavy metals. These batteries may be recycled at Concord Public Works, Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM to 3 PM.
Intact mercury-containing devices, such as thermostats and fever thermometers, may be recycled at Concord Public Works located at 133 Keyes Road, Monday-Thursday 9 AM to 3 PM.
Mercury that is not contained in a manufactured device, such as mercury from a broken fever thermometer, a jar of elemental mercury, and more 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.
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. Clean Styrofoam cups, trays, and takeout clam shells will also be accepted on DropOff Days.