Recycling in Boston
You have different options if you want to recycle. You can learn about those options below.
use a large recycling cart
If you live in a building with six units or less, you can request a free large blue recycling cart from the City. You need to make your request in the spring, and we only allow one cart per building. You can request a cart through BOS:311.
recycle paint and motor oil
From May through August, Public Works hosts swap shops for surplus paint products and dropoffs for used motor oil. It’s only open to Boston residents. Learn more about the paint swaps and motor oil dropoffs.
Please note: you can throw out latex and acrylic paint on your regular trash day. You need to make sure that the paint is completely dry inside the container before you throw it out.
You can recycle using a clear plastic bag if you live in these neighborhoods:
|Back Bay||Deluca's Market||239 Newbury Street|
|Back Bay||Marlboro Market||45 Massachusetts Ave|
|Back Bay||Shaw's Supermarket||53 Huntington Ave|
|Beacon Hill||Beacon Hill Market||55 Anderson Street|
|Beacon Hill||Deluca's Market||11 Charles Street|
|Beacon Hill||Roche Brothers||10 Summer Street|
|Beacon Hill||Whole Foods||181 Cambridge Street|
|Charlestown||Charlestown Ace Hardware||5 Austin Street|
|Charlestown||Whole Foods||50 Austin Street|
|East Boston||Walgreens||1 Central Square|
|East Boston||Shaw's Supermarket||246 Border Street|
|Mission Hill||Boston Building Resources||100 Terrace Street|
|North End||Green Cross Pharmacy||393 Hanover Street|
|South Boston||Rite Aid||710 East Broadway|
|South Boston||Stop and Shop||713 East Broadway|
|South End||Foodie's Boston||1421 Washington Street|
|South End||Food Emporium||465 Columbus Ave|
|South End||Walgreens||1603 Washington Street|
|Symphony Area||Economy True Value Hardware||219 Massachusetts Ave|
|Symphony Area||Whole Foods Symphony||15 Westland Ave|
|West End||Whole Foods||181 Cambridge Street|
If your local retailer doesn't carry the bags we recommend using, please use 15 to 30 gallon clear plastic bags with a minimum thickness of 0.85 millimeters. They must be clear plastic bags.
If you don't live in one of the neighborhoods listed on this page, please use a big blue recycling cart. You can request a cart through BOS:311.
Juice, milk, cereal, and frozen food boxes (must be empty and flattened)
Paperback and telephone books
This includes potato chips and coffee cans
All containers (#1 - #7) including food, soda, water bottles,and jars
Jars and bottles
Flattened cardboard boxes (no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet; must be bundled and tied)
Newspaper, magazines, catalogs, white and colored paper
Aluminum and tin cans
Paper bags, egg cartons, rolls
Including scrap metal
For example, Styrofoam, napkins, paper towels, tissues, straws, and coffee pods
This includes batteries and lightbulbs. We host electronic recycling dropoff events during the year for City of Boston residents.
Pots, pans, and glass
Return to nearest retail location for recycling
Including shoes and stuffed animals
Never miss yard waste collection again.
With our free Trash Day app you can view a calendar for your home's collection dates, set reminders, and get notifications of schedule changes. You can also search a directory of hundreds of household items to find out the right way to dispose of them.
We offer recycling to residents in buildings with seven or more units.
Ask your property manager, landlord, or condo trustees to call 311 and work out a recycling program for the building. Your building manager will give you a written notice about a new program.
Your building manager needs to buy recycling containers known as carts that range in size from 64 to 96 gallons. You can mix paper, bottles, cans, and plastic containers in the carts.
If you are a business interested in recycling for buildings with seven units or more, you need to contact email@example.com.