RecycleSmart logo 300x115Single stream recyclables from SSRC towns are sorted at the Waste Management Avon plant.  Workers and machines separate it into individual materials, baled and sold to manufacturers to be made into new products. 

In our drop-off towns, residents do some of the sorting, but many of the same rules apply.

Items that don't belong make it harder, and even dangerous, to sort into useful feedstock.  This devalues the good material, and has driven costs up a lot.  

To make sure what you put in the bin doesn't end up in the landfill, make sure it is:

  • Dry - wet materials stick to each other and can't be properly sorted. Glass shards stuck to paper is especially troublesome. 
  • Clean - dirty material mucks up everything around it, is sticky, and can stink up the whole load.  Most material travels a distance, sometimes in extreme heat. Think ketchup. 
  • Loose, single, easily separable materials -  Paper can't be made from plastic.  Plastic can't be made from metal.  Items that have multiple materials stuck together can't be made into a new product. End users can deal with tape, windows and labels, but they can't pull cardboard out of overwrap, foam packing out of boxes, or embedded plastic from a paper cup. 
  • Size matters - tiny = trash. Containers smaller than 3 oz. often fall through the first screen with the glass. Think prescription bottles.  Foam packing and shredded paper get into everything.
  • Shape matters -  3D = bottles, cans, containers.  Flattened containers can end up with the paper.
  • Only certain plastics are marketable - Don't let the misleading recycling symbol on plastics fool you
    • Rigid plastic containers #1,2,5 - Bottles, tubs, clear cups and yogurt-type containers are the ONLY plastics with value in the single stream
    • Non-containers, black plastic, and plastics #3,4,6 and 7 are NOT marketable.
    • Plastic bags (and metal hangers, ribbons, string lights...) get tangled in the sorting equipment, creating hazards and causing costly shutdowns.

To search for specific materials, go to the RecycleSmart Recycling Guide.  For local outlets, go to Recycling A-Z.

Discover the proper way to recycle plastic bags and other tanglers (holiday lights, clothing, etc.)  This does not just go for Chicago, but for everywhere. 


Take a video tour of the Waste Management recycling plant in Avon, where many of our towns’ recyclables go. Rosemary Nolan narrates.







A Message from our Director:

The SSRC is seeking an Assistant Recycling Education and Compliance Officer.  It iwll be part time through the spring.  Please see details here.

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News & Media

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September Updates

Norwell implements new recycling program, Kate Walsh, WickedLocal Norwell, 7/12/18

A case for producer responsibility, Claire Galkowski, Resource Recycling, 6/5/18

New China policies spark disarray in region's recycling industry, David Abel, Boston Globe, 6/5/18

Why recycling costs more than garbage, Stephanie Leydon, WGBH, featuring Rockland's Janice McCarthy, 5/25/18

More News   Videos

On this website:

Visit Recycling A-Z to find the answer to "What should I do with...." 

The Town Program pages provide contact information and links to Member Town's recycling programs.

Learn more about recycling dos and don'ts by visiting Recycling 101 and Advanced Recycling.

Hazardous Waste Days

Click here for the Schedule of Hazardous Waste Days and collection details

Upcoming Meetings & Events

23 Oct 2018
06:00PM - 08:00PM
MASSRECYCLE 4th Annual Celebration & Fundraiser
25 Oct 2018
08:50AM - 10:30AM
SSRC Breakfast Meeting
03 Nov 2018
01:00PM - 04:00PM
Litter Prevention & Cleanup Summit