Our 2016 Community Tag Sale and Swap Meet will be held on Saturday October 1 at Smith Vocational High School. Click on the link in the Coming Events box (above) for details, including access to the seller registration form.
The ReCenter Swap Shop is Open Through October!
There is still time to visit the ReCenter this season! Come explore our zero-waste/zero-cost swap shop where people donate useful household items in good repair, and collect other free of charge! For details visit the Reuse tab (below). Interested in volunteering? Email Susan. "Like" our Facebook page and/or request to to keep updated.
The 2016 Reduce Reuse Recycle Guide was published in the Hampshire Gazette in April 2016. The annual Guide is a handy year-round resource for anyone interested in reducing their waste footprint. Hard copies are available from the DPW office. View an online version via this link.
Massachusetts residents discard over 200 thousand tons of textiles (clothing & accessories, bedding, etc.) annually. Because only 15% of that amount is currently recovered for reuse or recycling, and 95% of the discards can be reused or repurposed, change is afoot! Clean, dry and odorless textiles--even if worn or torn--are now welcomed at many clothing donation sites. To learn about local sites that welcome all textile donations, Email us after reviewing the and List of Acceptable Items
Don't Toss Textiles!
.For additional details, visit the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's Textile Recovery webpage.
Compost Aides & Recycling Bins Available at Wholesale Prices
- Earth Machine Compost Bin Order Form
- Turning Compost Bin Order Form
- Rain Barrel Order Form
- Blue Curbside Recycling Bin
- Kitchen Food Scrap Collection Container
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT DEPARTMENT SERVICES, SELECT A TAB (BELOW):
Participants using the do-it-yourself household trash disposal option must place their trash inside pre-paid, blue SMART (Save Money and Reduce Trash) bags, which are available from participating SMART trash bag retailers. Please contact Deb Laizer with questions.
Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) Disposal
A citywide HHW collection event is held for residents annually in mid May. Preregistration is required, and arrangements may be made for small business participation. Contact us in April or during the first week of May to preregister.
Some Pioneer Valley communities offer a reciprocal guest arrangement, which allows Northampton residents to participate in other collection events at cost. There is also a permanent HHW handling facility in Westfield, MA which accepts material year-round, and offers a pick-up service (link below).
Which household materials are considered hazardous (partial list)
NEDT Household Hazardous Products Collection Center
Locust Street Transfer Station
125 Locust St, Northampton, MA 01060
Hours: Monday - Saturday 7am - 4pm
Closed Sundays and major holidays
The Locust Street Transfer Station is the only location which accepts household trash and common recyclables (e.g., paper, cardboard, bottles & cans). All household trash must be inside of pre-paid, blue SMART bags (list of retailers below). The Station also collects compostable food scraps/non-recyclable paper, small scrap metal items, used automotive and vegetable oils, antifreeze, rechargeable batteries, vehicle batteries, used books, textiles/clothing, shoes and accessories.
Glendale Road Transfer Station
170 Glendale Rd, off Route 66, Northampton, MA 01062
Hours: Wednesdays 8am -Noon and Saturdays 7am - Noon.
Please note: Expanded hours took effect on April 1, 2014
Closed on major holidays
The Glendale Road Transfer Station accepts bulky waste (mattresses, tires, large metal items, appliances, bulky rigid plastics, electronics, and propane tanks), mercury waste (light bulbs, thermostats, etc.), leaves and grass clippings (no brush).
Glendale Road Gate 2
A special leaf and yard waste collection area is open seasonally on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month between April 1st and November 30th from 7AM to 3:45PM for large loads of yard waste, brush, and leaves. This area is accessed from Glendale Road through Gate 2, North of the main entrance to the Glendale Road Transfer Station.
Household recycling of paper, cardboard and non-toxic household containers (bottles, tubs, jars, cans, cartons and jugs) is required in Northampton.
Which household items are recyclable (Springfield Materials Recycling Facility)
The purchase of a Transfer Station sticker allows residents to bring their own material for recycling and grants access to other free recycling programs, such as automotive and vegetable oil, bulky rigid plastic, and scrap metal recycling. Free food scrap composting is also available. All residential waste haulers provide curbside recycling in their service package, and several offer curbside food and paper waste composting.
The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Guide, an annual insert in the Daily Hampshire Gazette each spring, presents recycling opportunities for many other materials. Please consider the entire carbon footprint (or cost) of recycling of non-traditional recyclables; depending on the material, mailing something to a distant state may not be ecologically sensible.
Free Recycling Assistance for Small Businesses
Recycling Works in Massachusetts is a recycling assistance program that helps businesses and institutions maximize recycling, reuse, and composting opportunities.
Use their "Find a Recycler" database to locate processors and haulers or contact their hotline to speak to in-house experts. Call (888) 254-5525 or email for more information
Northampton’s Reuse Opportunities:
The ReCenter Swap Shop
At the Glendale Road Transfer Station (map)
Open Saturday mornings from 8–11:30 AM April through October, the ReCenter provides a location for individuals and organizations to donate durable, useful items for others to use. Donated items are available to ReCenter members free of charge. Membership is automatic for all owners of city transfer station permits (needs-based discounts available). For those who do not want access to other transfer station services, or those who live outside of Northampton, an annual ReCenter permit may be purchased ($10). Both permits are available via city transfer stations and the Public Works office on Locust Street.
The ReCenter differs from other swap shops in that our zero-waste and zero-cost pledge requires that we accept material selectively; we can't take anything and everything. Our goal is to avoid trash generation and its financial drain on City resources. When high demand items are quickly adopted, or unadopted items are recyclable (e.g. bicycles and books), ReCenter exchanges are cost and waste-free. If an item is not recyclable (e.g. a varnished wooden table) or is not in great demand, the donor must pay the normal disposal fee up upon delivery to the ReCenter. This allows us to accept more risky items without the City of Northampton being saddled with landfill tonnage costs.
Pop-up Collection and Swap Events
The City's transfer station permit program allows year-round access to recycling opportunities and the ReCenter. An annual series of pop-up events is held to make reuse and recycling accessible to ALL Northampton residents on a limited basis.
April 30: Spring Recycling & Reuse Rally (pellet fuel bags, large chunks of white Styrofoam, bicycles, clothing and textiles, and bulky rigid plastic items, with a public BRP swap. Free document shredding-limits apply.)
May 7: Garden Pot Swap (in conjunction with the SOS Plant Sale)
October 1: Community Tailgate Tag Sale (Rain date 10/8)
November 5: Autumn Reuse & Recycling Rally (collecting pumpkins, large chunks of white Styrofoam, bicycles, and bulky rigid plastic items, with a public BRP swap. Free secure document shredding-limits apply)
December 10: Holiday Toy Exchange
"Who Takes What" Directory-Coming Soon!
We're in the process of identifying regional organizations that accept and reuse or recycle all types of items...from car seats to yard waste. Capturing this information is an ongoing process--anticipate updates!
Shopping Bag Reuse
Northampton’s single-use plastic bag ban took effect on January 1, 2016, but Northampton residents have long been supporters of shopping bag reuse. When the Stop and Shop Supermarket Company gave customers cash back for reusable bag use, the Northampton store had the biggest participation of any store in the entire U.S. The local Bagshare Project organizes volunteers to sew shopping bags that are offered in local stores for use free of charge.
A Growing Collection of Retail and Repair Opportunities
Greater Northampton is home to many organizations promoting reuse and repair. We have businesses specializing in repair, vintage, consignment and charity clothing, furniture and decorative item stores, used book, CD and DVD stores, antique stores, and stores selling furniture and décor fashioned out of repurposed items. Search the Yellow Pages under repair, used clothing, used furniture, used records and antique stores to learn more.
A Volunteer Committee
The ReUse Committee, a subcommittee of the Northampton Public Works Commission, works with the Department of Public Works to promote reuse in Northampton. The nine-member committee provides the volunteer energy and talent that powers the ReCenter and our pop-up events. Visitors are welcome to attend our meetings, typically held on the second or third Thursday of each month from 8:30-9:30 am. For more information, call 413-587-1059 or visit the Agenda Center.
Residential Composting Options
- The Locust Street Transfer Station offers a free food scrap/compostable material drop-off program (details below).
- Outdoor compost bins, worm bins, and counter-top collection buckets for backyard and household composting are available at wholesale or reduced prices via the DPW.
- Some residential waste haulers offer curbside compost collection.
Food and non-recyclable paper waste is collected at the Locust Street Transfer Station free of charge to everyone with a valid vehicle permit. The material is processed at a local farm where it turns into a rich, natural soil amendment. Details about the items accepted in the Locust Street program.
Yard & Leaf Waste Collection
The city’s only leaf and yard waste collection site, located at the Glendale Road facility, is open on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month between April and November). Small quantities of leaves and clippings may be deposited in the Main Gate area. Truckloads and larger material must be taken to a designated area accessible only through Gate 2 off of Glendale Road, which is North of the transfer station's main entrance. There is no charge to deliver leaf and yard waste, but residential vehicle permits are required, and material must meet the guidelines presented below.
Leaf and Yard Waste Requirements
- Brush must be less than four feet in length and less than six inches in diameter, and must be kept separate from other yard wastes.
- Leaves will be accepted loose or in brown paper leaf bags.
- Plastic bags and tree stumps will not be accepted.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps account for 14% of the 250 million tons of waste Americans produced in 2010. Yard trimmings account for 13%. Adding the estimated 6% of paper that is not recyclable, 33% of our municipal waste stream is compostable. Composting creates jobs and a natural, nutrient-rich soil enhancer (and alternative to synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers) while conserving landfill space and reducing the amount of climate-changing gases generated in landfills.
Business & Industry Composting
A statewide food waste ban, effective 10/1/2014, will affect businesses, organizations and industries producing one ton or more of food scraps per week.
Recycling Works is a statewide recycling assistance program which helps businesses and institutions maximize recycling, reuse, and composting opportunities. Contact their hotline to speak to in-house experts: call (888) 254-5525 or email for more information.
- Composting is Easy (Massachusetts DEP)
- PVPC Regional Composting Report (December 2010)
- Massachusetts DEP Solid Waste Master Plan (July 2010)
- Organics section of Northampton Landfill Alternatives Study (July 2009)
- CET School and Restaurant Composting Guide (May 2003)
- CET On-Farm Composting Project Report (Sept 2000)