Recycling Becomes Mandatory Today for Curbside Trash Pickup in Westford

Today's the big day we've all been waiting for when it comes to trash pickup.


We've warned you once, we've warned you twice, and now the big day is here.

Folks in Nabnasset on Cheasapeake Drive, Marie Ann Drive and all the streets between Newport Drive, Williams Avenue, Plain Road and Lake Shore Drive South will see the garbage trucks head by their house today, but if the operators of those garbage trucks don't see a recycling bin of some kind next to the trash bins or if they see recyclables inside the trash bins, they'll just leave the trash where it is.

The recycling requirement will alternate each week, shifting between "blue weeks" (this week is blue) and "green weeks", with a map from the town website we've attached below indicating which streets are on which weeks and which days of the week for the recycling pickup.

More information on the policy is on the town website as well.

As the policy goes into effect today, we want to get your take on how it's going, and what your thoughts are as it comes to your house within the next few days. Is this a good idea? A bad idea? Got pictures? (click on the upload photos and videos!)

Let us know how it's going today, Westford. We'll check back in a few weeks.

Jamaal February 01, 2013 at 11:08 AM
I can't believe we still have ANY trash pickup funded by town tax dollars... Many towns cut this luxury years ago so why complain about a little mandatory recycle? Wouldn't be surprised if this is cut down the road entirely to help fund new spending (parking lots, EBC, new school administration positions)
Steve Cavanagh February 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Althought not enforced before, it has been the official policy for a long time, and for those that followed it, this is a non-event. The only thing that may change is that you might be wise not to pull your empty recycle bins back before the trash is picked up. I do hope that the recyclers do a better job of making sure the recycle bins are not obstructing the roadway after they are emptied. Sloppy in our naighborhood, to be sure.
Gunars Zagars February 01, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Yesterday was very windy and some trash and recylables were strewn some distance from the curbs where the trash and recylable bins were located. I don't know whether the trash people picked up any of the strewn items but I did see the recycling people pick up the recycled items, sometimes far from the curb, and I think their efforts should be highly commended. Gunars Zagars
Kristina Greene February 01, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Recycling in Westford has been mandatory since 1994. All that changes today is that the town will begin to enforce that mandate. Then we won't be paying tax dollars to burn recyclables with our trash. The original 1994 policy is attached to this article: http://westford.patch.com/articles/want-your-trash-picked-up-recycle
David February 01, 2013 at 07:06 PM
The recycling guys will also pick out stuff that shouldn't be recycled. One time I made the mistake of putting a stryofoam food tray in with the plastic recyclables (it does have a number in a diamond inscribed on it), and they dutifully took it out and left it on the sidewalk.
Randy Winslow February 01, 2013 at 10:19 PM
The Feds will give the town more money if they recycle, plus it costs less for the town to recycle per pound than to pay for waste removal per pound. More money for the town coffers that the taxpayers will never hear of or see again.
Bodie Zypher February 02, 2013 at 01:06 AM
Maybe those funds disappear into the same town black hole that the money budgeted for teacher steps that was 'given back' to the town last year..seems there is a mysterious monster in the town hall basement eating through unaccounted funds
Bill M February 03, 2013 at 03:03 AM
So how will they deal with condos and apartments which have multiple barrels for both recycles and trash at the ends of their "streets". Will they look through my stuff for evidence? I sure hope not. An OK idea in principle, but not very practical to turn trach collectors into recycle police.. Let's get real here.
Kristina Greene February 03, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Bill M this method of enforcement has been very successful in Reading and another MA town(can't remember which one). You are correct in that this method may not be the best approach with condos and apartments. However, not all condos/apartments are serviced by the Town and the majority of housing in Westford is single family. As the Recycling Commission has stated, no one will be going through your trash. This approach is simple and low cost. Something more "real" may involve limiting the amount of trash that will be collected and paying for the overflow.


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