How To Get There > Mandatory Recycling: Reading, Massachusetts, USA

Mandatory Recycling: Reading, Massachusetts, USA

Reading, Massachusetts

All single-family households are required to participate in weekly recycling collection. Trash is not collected if the recycling bin is not set out.

Action(s) Taken

  • Recycling Policies

Who's Affected

  • Households

Population

25,000

Year Enacted

2010

Overview of Recycling Requirements

All single-family households are required to participate in weekly recycling collection. If the recycling bin is not set out for collection, the trash will not be collected.

Recyclable materials include mixed paper, milk and juice cartons, books, shredded paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, tin and steel cans, and plastic containers #1 through #7.

Recyclables are collected through a citywide contract with a private hauler. Residents sort the recycling into two bins, one for mixed paper and one for containers.

The town also limits how much trash each household can place out every week to four bags or 120 gallons.

The town instituted the program to increase the amount of materials recycled and decrease the amount of materials sent to the incinerator, as well as to decrease waste disposal costs.

Results

Reading switched to weekly recycling collection, instead of biweekly, at the same time it required residents to participate. As a result of both program changes, recycling rates rose from 18% to 35% and the town saved close to $150,000 in trash collection costs during the first year.

Downloads

Reading Recycling Ordinance

Reading Recycling Guide

More Information

Town of Reading Recycling

Reading Patch article: “Reading Trash Upgrade Comes with Limits, Mandatory Recycling

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