14 Sep 2014
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What You Can and Can't Put in the New Green Organics Bins

Town officials in Hamilton and Wenham explain the new curbside organics recycling program, which is one of the changes that is coming with the new trash, recycling and organics collection program that begins on April 2.

What You Can and Can't Put in the New Green Organics Bins

The following was submitted by Hamilton Town Manager Michael Lombardo, Wenham Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren and Sue Patrolia, sustainability coordinator for Hamilton and Wenham. It is part 3 of 3 in a series of articles in advance of the new trash, recycling and organics program, which begins on April 2.

Starting the first week of April, residents of Hamilton and Wenham will be able to take advantage of . Weekly curbside now offered to Hamilton and Wenham residents as part of the new trash program.

Waste removal is an expensive taxpayer-funded municipal program costing the towns about to $650,000 per year. The cost is split between the collection cost and the disposal cost or “tipping fees.” Tipping fees are calculated by weight. Organic waste is very heavy. By recycling it, instead of putting it out with the trash to get burned, we can greatly reduce the tipping fees and turn the organic waste into productive compost.

The benefit of composting is more than just avoiding the cost of paying to send trash to the incinerator. The end product – compost - is returned to the soil nourishing flowers and vegetables that are healthier, more disease and bug resistant, need less fertilizer and pesticides and that look and taste better. Through the Organic Recycling Program all residents of Hamilton and Wenham will have the opportunity to bring some of this “black gold” into their gardens.

Organics will be collected weekly along with the single stream recycling in a special split truck. The two towns are providing residents with both green organic composting bins for curbside use and small countertop bins for kitchen use. The organics will be delivered to in Hamilton. Because Brick Ends Farm uses a sophisticated composting system, the list of items that can be composted is much longer than what you would compost in your backyard.

Organics Pitch it IN:

• Vegetable and fruit scraps, peels and cores

• Plate scrapings including meat, bones, dairy products, oil, rice, poultry, seafood

• Coffee grounds, tea bags

• Soiled paper napkins, brown paper bags, pizza boxes too contaminated

 for recycling, paper towels, and tissues;

• Hair (human and animal)

• Cat litter

Organics Keep it OUT:

• Stick, pebbles or leaves

• Plastics of any kind

• Shells

Each and every resident has the opportunity to take the most advantage of these enhanced recycling programs and help reduce the amount of trash the towns have to pay to incinerate.

Please watch your mail for more detailed information on the new organic and single stream recycling programs including answers to questions on the new trash and organic carts, what can and can’t go into each cart and helpful tips on taking advantage of the enhanced offerings. This project is funded in part by a grant from the MassDEP.

For more information visit the town websites:


Wenham go to “Special Interest” at the bottom of the home page

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