Town of Lexington, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted August 1991 by the Board of Selectmen]
A. 
Recycling is mandatory in Lexington.
B. 
The Town of Lexington is committed to reducing the generation of solid waste within the community by working to:
(1) 
Educate residents to reduce the solid waste they generate;
(2) 
Accelerate recycling and composting efforts;
(3) 
Commit the remainder of solid waste to waste-to-energy (resource recovery) disposal; and
(4) 
Reduce the toxicity of the waste stream.
C. 
The Town Meeting has established a requirement for the mandatory separation of certain recyclable materials from the rubbish of Lexington residents. School buildings and public buildings are included in this program. Apartments and condominiums also participate. Residents are encouraged to reduce the volume of packaging they bring home and to buy and use recycled products in order to support markets for recyclable materials.
The Town of Lexington collects the following categories of solid waste:
A. 
Recyclable waste (every other week curbside collection). The following materials should be included in the Lex-Recycle bin. Consult the recycling brochure for an up-to-date listing or see § 181-60 for details on preparation.
(1) 
Glass. Clear, green and brown food and beverage containers only.
(2) 
Metal. Food and beverage cans.
(3) 
Plastic. Narrow-neck bottles with No. 1 or No. 2 inside the recycling symbol.
(4) 
Aseptic cartons. Milk and juice cartons/boxes.
(5) 
Mixed paper. Newspapers, office papers, junk mail, chipboard, magazines, etc.
B. 
Nonrecyclable solid waste (regular weekly curbside trash collection). All garbage and rubbish that is not considered either recyclable or hazardous waste or is not listed in § 181-61E. See all of § 181-61 for details.
C. 
Household hazardous products disposal (10 collection events annually). Household hazardous waste includes any products or materials that can be toxic (poisonous), corrosive, flammable or reactive (explosive). See § 181-62 for details.
D. 
White goods pickup (curbside appliance pickup). Appliances are collected curbside by appointment only. See § 181-63 for details.
E. 
Yard waste (curbside, drop-off facility and home composting). Disposal options for approved yard waste include curbside collection for three weeks in the spring and 10 weeks in the fall, drop-off (see § 181-64 for details) and home composting (see § 181-66).
F. 
Christmas trees (curbside trash collection and drop-off recycling). Christmas trees may be disposed of through the curbside collection of regular trash or by dropping them off for recycling (see § 181-65).
A. 
Where to place containers. Collection occurs at the curbside. Place trash containers or recycling bins (with at least eight feet between them) parallel to the curb, not going up the driveway or walk. Waste will not be removed from inside houses, garages or other enclosures. Residents should be aware of winter plowing operations and place their refuse containers where they will not impede sidewalk plows or be toppled by street plows.
B. 
When. Place the containers at curbside no earlier than 6:00 a.m. and no later than 7:00 a.m. on the collection day. Remove empty containers within 12 hours of the collection. Collection vehicles will not return to an area after the trash or recyclables in that area have been collected.
C. 
Holiday collection. Regular waste and recyclables are not collected on legal holidays. Therefore, do not put waste at the curbside on a holiday. During a week when a holiday falls on a collection day, the weekly collection moves forward one day. For example, if a holiday falls on a Monday, waste is collected Tuesday through Saturday of that week; if a holiday falls on a Tuesday, waste is collected on Monday and Wednesday through Saturday of that week. Your recycling brochure lists all legal holidays affecting trash collection.
D. 
Sanitary conditions. Before and after collection, residents are responsible for maintaining safe and sanitary conditions at the collection site. Residents must remove refuse from spills or broken containers prior to the collection. The contractor will not collect loose refuse. Dog and/or wild animal complaints can be reported to the Animal Control Department at 862-0500 extension 240 during normal work hours.
E. 
Scavenging. Scavenging or picking through trash or recyclables is prohibited.
F. 
Penalties. Violation of these rules may subject a resident to penalty provisions under Town Bylaws and adopted regulations of the Board of Selectmen. In particular, if recyclable waste appears in a regular trash container, the Town will not collect the resident's regular trash.
Mandatory separation of certain recyclable materials from the regular trash by Lexington residents was established by Town Meeting in 1988. A detailed recycling brochure is mailed to all Lexington households annually.
A. 
Containers. As part of the Lex-Recycle programs, the Town provides each new household with a recycling bin (provide proof of new residency to pick up free bin). Every household must use at least one Lex-Recycle bin. Additional recycling bins are available for a small fee. These are available at the Public Works Building, 201 Bedford Street, weekdays from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. For information, telephone 861-2757.
B. 
Recyclable waste preparation. Follow these rules when preparing and putting out recyclables, placing glass, metal, plastic and aseptic containers in the bottom of the Lex-Recycle bin, with bagged or bundled paper on top or beside the bin.
(1) 
Glass. Clear, green and brown food and beverage containers. Rinse clean. Remove lids, caps, corks, plastic sleeves, etc. Paper labels are okay. Do not recycle broken glass.
(2) 
Metal. Aluminum and steel (tin) food and beverage cans. Rinse clean. Crush to save space. Discard cutout lids or secure within can by crushing. Labels are okay.
(3) 
Plastic. Narrow-neck bottles with No. 1 or No. 2 within the recycling symbol: water, juice, milk, soda and detergent bottles. Rinse clean, remove lids/neck rings, crush or nest. Labels are okay.
(4) 
Aseptic. Milk and juice cartons/boxes. Empty and rinse clean. Remove straws.
(5) 
Mixed paper. Place newspapers/inserts, junk mail, office paper, book pages, chipboard boxes (empty and flattened), single magazines, catalogs or phone books in brown grocery bags. Magazines, catalogs or phone books may be tied up to twelve-inch stacks. Break down and tie corrugated cardboard 30 inches square maximum. No plastic bags are recyclable.
C. 
Items that will not be collected. Recyclable waste collectors will not collect the following items (which may be disposed of in the regular trash collection):
(1) 
Plastic bags with mixed paper.
(2) 
Food remnants or wrappings.
(3) 
Soiled paper, chipboard or cardboard cartons.
(4) 
Plastic or foil cereal liners.
(5) 
Book covers or bindings.
(6) 
Waxed cardboard.
(7) 
Unflattened corrugated boxes.
(8) 
Pizza boxes.
(9) 
Window or auto glass, mirrors, Pyrex, ceramics, dishes, etc.
(10) 
Broken glass.
(11) 
Aluminum foil, pie pans or trays.
(12) 
Paint cans.
(13) 
Aerosol cans (empty).
(14) 
No wide-top food containers (yogurt, butter tubs, etc.).
(15) 
Any plastic bags.
(16) 
Motor oil containers.
(17) 
Unmarked plastics or bottles with a No. 3, 4, 5, 8 or 7 inside the recycling symbol.
(18) 
Soiled aseptic boxes or cartons.
D. 
Where. Put the recycling bin(s) at curbside, six to eight feet away from the regular trash containers.
E. 
When. Collection of recyclable waste in the Lex-Recycle bin occurs every other week, on the same day as the regular waste pickup. Consult contractor's annual brochure for calendar schedule or call DPW at 861-2757 or Waste Management, Inc., Woburn, (781) 933-2113.
F. 
When moving. The recycling bin should be turned in to the Water Billing Clerk in the Tax Collector's office, Town Office Building, when the final water bill is paid.
Regular weekly trash collection is divided into five routes, roughly coinciding with precinct lines.
A. 
Approved containers. Put all waste in approved containers only. Do not stuff containers beyond their capacity or have items protruding out of the top of the barrels. Cracked or broken containers that are empty will be collected as waste. All containers are used at the owner's risk. Approved containers include:
(1) 
Plastic bags that are at least 1.5 mils thick. The bags must not exceed three cubic feet (30 gallons) in content or 40 pounds in weight. The bags must be tightly sealed or tied.
(2) 
Metal containers should be watertight and rust-resistant and have handles and tight-fitting covers. The containers must not exceed three cubic feet (32 gallons) in content or 50 pounds in weight.
(3) 
Plastic barrels must be heat- and water-resistant and must have handles and tight-fitting covers. They must not exceed three cubic feet (32 gallons) in content or 50 pounds in weight. The waste collector is not responsible for plastic containers that crack during cold weather.
B. 
Number of containers. Waste collectors will pick up a maximum of six approved containers per week, one bulky object (see Subsection D) and five bundles of branches over one inch in diameter (for preparation see Subsection E).
C. 
When moving. The regular waste collector will pick up additional trash containers in excess of the maximums listed in Paragraph B when residents are moving or cleaning out basements, etc. Residents must call Waste Management, Inc., 933-2113 to notify them in advance of their regular collection day. The waste collector does not make special pickups.
D. 
Bulky objects. One bulky object per week will be collected at curbside on the regular collection day. A bulky object is anything that will not fit into an approved container (Subsection A), such as a television set, automobile tire (without rim), storm door, lawn furniture, barbecue grill, mattress, box spring, rugs (cut in four-foot lengths, rolled and tied), etc.
E. 
Waste preparation. Follow these rules when preparing and putting out waste:
(1) 
Drain all liquids from food waste before putting it into the waste container.
(2) 
Wrap food waste securely in plastic bags, such as old bread or supermarket bags.
(3) 
Make sure no waste material protrudes above the top of the container.
(4) 
Window glass should be taped to prevent shattering.
(5) 
Keep waste containers in a sanitary condition, covered and/or tightly sealed. A few drops of ammonia discourages animals from scavenging.
(6) 
Cut tree branches and limbs no less than one inch and no more than four inches in diameter into three-foot lengths and tie in bundles. Bundles must not exceed 50 pounds in weight and 24 inches in diameter. Maximum of five bundles per pickup.
(7) 
Wooden objects such as picnic tables, fence parts and scrap wood should also be cut into three-foot lengths and tied in bundles.
(8) 
Scrap metal such as fence posts, railings, dismantled swing sets, aluminum ladders or lawn furniture should be broken down and securely tied before putting at curbside.
(9) 
Lawn mowers should have gas tanks removed and all fluids removed as well.
(10) 
Latex paint must be completely dried out (solidified) before placing in regular trash. Use kitty litter or a similar drying agent to speed up process.
(11) 
Oil-based paints with less than two inches of residue may also be dried out and disposed in trash.
F. 
Items that will not be collected by the waste collector:
(1) 
Dead animals or animal waste.
(2) 
Hazardous waste products (see § 181-62 for description).
(3) 
Biological or infectious wastes, medicines and medical devices.
(4) 
Improperly packaged medical sharps.
(5) 
Automotive parts, such as batteries, body parts, engine blocks, fenders, frames, tire rims, gas tanks, transmissions, etc. (For disposal, see footnote under § 181-62 re: John Carrol.)
(6) 
Logs and tree stumps.
(7) 
Yard waste (see § 181-64 for disposal of yard waste).
(8) 
Any propane tank (for disposal, see § 181-62 or call Dan McCabe's Home Specialties, 862-5405).
(9) 
Recyclable waste (see § 181-60 for list of recyclable waste).
(10) 
Building and/or construction debris, e.g. wood, asphalt, concrete, etc. Building contractors are responsible for the proper disposal of all construction and building material or offer debris left from their work, such as wood, beams, shingles, plaster, asphalt, concrete, earth and gravel, etc. The Town of Lexington has no facilities for disposal of construction materials and the regular trash contractor will not remove it as residential waste. Please consult the Yellow Pages for disposal contractors.
G. 
Unacceptable containers. Waste collectors will not pick up waste in unacceptable containers. The Town of Lexington and the waste collector assume no responsibility for waste that is not put out in approved containers (see Subsection A). Unacceptable containers include:
(1) 
Cardboard barrels, cartons and crates.
(2) 
Plastic bags other than those described under Subsection A.
(3) 
Containers without handles or lids.
(4) 
Containers with waste protruding above the top.
(5) 
Lawn carts or wheelbarrows.
(6) 
Oil drums.
(7) 
Open baskets or boxes.
(8) 
Paper bags.
The Town of Lexington has joined with seven neighboring communities to address the problem of household hazardous products disposal. In order to keep these materials out of the waste stream and the environment, residents are encouraged to deposit them at the Minuteman Household Hazardous Products Facility on the scheduled event days. Some of the products that should be separated from your recyclable or regular trash are listed below. For proper disposal of any hazardous waste not listed below or listings of dates, contact the Board of Health, 862-0500 extension 200.
A. 
Location. The Minuteman Household Hazardous Products Facility is located on Hartwell Avenue, at the site of the DPW Composting Operation and the former landfill. The entrance to the facility is located opposite Maguire Road on Hartwell Avenue.
B. 
Hours of operation. Collections occur on 10 Saturdays (at least once a month) from April to November. Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Residents will receive an annual mailing indicating the dates when the facility will be open, along with instructions for bringing the waste.
C. 
Products. Hazardous waste includes any products or materials that can be toxic (poisonous), corrosive, flammable or reactive (explosive). Collection events include but may not be limited to the following products. Consult the annual mailing for up-to-date product listing and limits.
Cleaning Products
Bathroom cleaners
Drain openers
Oven cleaners
Metal or furniture polish
Spot removers
Automotive Products*
Motor oil and oil filters
Brake or transmission fluids
Antifreeze
Solvents
Auto batteries
Polishes and wax
Pesticides
Weed killers
Fungicides and herbicides
Insecticides, pest strips
Fertilizers with weed killer
Wood preservatives
Rat poisons
Paint and Paint Products
Paint and Paint Thinners**
Paint removers
Stains and varnishes
Epoxies and adhesives
Aerosol cans (with product)***
Other Products
Batteries****
Fluorescent lights
Thermostats
Driveway sealer
Pool chemicals
Hobby or photography chemicals
Propane tanks (up to 22 pounds)
Waste fuels (e.g. gasoline)
Do Not Bring
Explosives
Asbestos
Ammunition, fireworks
Commercial hazardous waste
Empty aerosol cans***
Fire extinguishers
Gas cylinders
Infectious or biological wastes
Medicines or syringes
PCBs
Radioactive materials
Smoke detectors
Tires
*John P. Carroll, 700 Waltham St., 861-6060, accepts auto parts, batteries and clean used oil.
**Latex paint can be completely dried out and placed in regular trash (kitty litter speeds up process).
***Only aerosol cans that contain paint, oil or lubricants. Empty aerosol cans may be put in regular trash.
****Household batteries may be returned any time to Theatre Camera, 1810 Mass. Ave., 862-2026.
Refrigerators, stoves, microwave ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers, water heaters, air conditioners and dehumidifiers are collected curbside by appointment only at no additional charge. Doors must be removed from refrigerators. Collections are currently scheduled once a week. Call the present contractor to schedule a pickup, Waste Management, Inc., Woburn (781) 933-2113.
A. 
State solid waste management regulations prohibit the disposal of yard waste in landfills and incinerators. Lexington has developed several options for disposal of approved yard waste. Approved yard waste includes:
(1) 
Leaves.
(2) 
Grass clippings.
(3) 
Flower and vegetable plants.
(4) 
Wood chips.
(5) 
Pine chips.
(6) 
Pine needles.
(7) 
Hedge clippings.
(8) 
Brush one inch or less in diameter.
B. 
Yard waste curbside collection. Yard waste is collected at curbside during the spring and fall collection period in a separate truck by the regular waste contractor and transported to the Town compost site at the Hartwell Avenue Recycling Facility.
(1) 
Containers. Yard waste must be placed in open trash barrels or biodegradable paper bags and must not be mixed with regular trash. Yard waste in any other containers will not be collected.
(2) 
Where and when. Place yard waste (in open barrels or biodegradable paper bags sold by local merchants) containers curbside at least eight feet away from regular trash containers on the regular trash collection day during the three-week spring or ten-week fall collection period. Consult the annual recycling brochure or local newspaper for exact collection dates. Yard waste placed at curbside prior to or after the yard waste curbside collection period will not be collected.
(3) 
Biodegradable bags. These thirty-gallon bags hold three times the weight of plastic bags and they do not pollute the environment as plastic bags do. So-called "plastic biodegradable bags" are a combination of plastic and cornstarch. They are weaker in strength than the paper bags and while the cornstarch breaks down the plastic does not. The following Lexington merchants are selling biodegradable paper bags for leaf collection, for $0.40 per bag, as a community service:
Alexander's Market
335 Woburn Street
862-7528
Lexington Gardens
91 Hancock Street
862-7000
Theater Camera Shop
1810 Mass. Avenue
862-2026
Concord Hill Market
2219 Mass. Avenue
862-9706
Lexington Hardware
327 Woburn Street
863-0100
Wagon Wheel Nursery
927 Waltham Street
862-2112
Doran's Greenhouses
150 East Street
862-5127
Seasons Four
1265 Mass. Avenue
861-1200
Wilson Farms
10 Pleasant Street
862-3900
Home Environmental
184 Bedford Street
862-2873
Stop & Shop
36 Bedford Street
861-0456
C. 
Town compost drop-off site. Residents may bring approved yard waste in any container to the Hartwell Avenue Recycling Facility across from Maguire Road. After the container is emptied, it must be removed from the area (biodegradable paper bags are the only exception to this rule).
(1) 
Hours. The recycling area is open for yard waste disposal from April to mid-December during the following hours: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is also open the Saturday before Easter Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed Easter Sunday and open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on all Saturdays in November.
(2) 
Contractors employed by Town residents may also dispose of approved yard waste at the recycling area. Contractors must purchase a yard waste permit sticker during business hours at the DPW Operations Facility at 201 Bedford Street. Permit sticker fees are dependent upon the size of the vehicle. Contractors who do not obtain a permit or who provide false information will not be allowed to enter the area. Punch cards for occasional disposal of up to 10 yards (one-yard increments) of yard waste or for dumping brush from one inch to three inches in diameter are available for $50 ($5 per yard).
D. 
Composted product available to residents. At the Recycling Facility, yard waste is composted, mixed with peat and loam, and used in park, cemetery, recreation and highway projects. Compost is also available in small amounts for home use at little or no cost to residents. Bring your own container.
Residents may dispose of Christmas trees beginning the first Monday of January by placing them curbside with their regular trash for collection and incineration or bringing them to the DPW Facility at 201 Bedford Street any time after Christmas to recycle them. Leave trees in front of dead-end driveway opposite front entrance. If recycling, please remove all foreign objects from tree: ornaments, tinsel, nails, wire, tacks, plastic bags, twine or rope. These items are dangerous to employees and equipment when trees are being chipped. No wreaths or roping may be recycled.
Lexington has received a state grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to distribute home composting bins at a reduced price of $20 (plus tax) each. Purchase bins at the DPW at 201 Bedford Street and then pick them up at the Hartwell Avenue Dump during its business hours (Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.). An information brochure is available from the Department of Public Works. To make compost:
A. 
Add:
(1) 
High carbon materials ("browns").
(a) 
Fall leaves.
(b) 
Straw.
(c) 
Salt marsh hay.
(d) 
Shredded paper.
(e) 
Cardboard.
(f) 
Paper toweling.
(g) 
Newspaper.
(h) 
Paper plates.
(i) 
Paper bags.
(j) 
Chipped brush.
(k) 
Sawdust.
(l) 
Pine needles. (Pine needles should not make up more than 10% of total material in pile.)
(2) 
High nitrogen materials ("greens").
(a) 
Grass clippings.
(b) 
Weeds (not laden with seeds).
(c) 
Vegetable and fruit wastes.
(d) 
Seaweed.
(e) 
Eggshells.
(f) 
Coffee grounds and filters.
(g) 
Tea bags.
(h) 
Manure (horse, cow, rabbit, chicken, goat, gerbil, etc.)
B. 
Mix or layer materials. After every 12 inches or so, add a few shovelfuls of rich soil or compost.
C. 
Keep it damp and aerated. Wait a few months and Voila ... black gold!
For questions or suggestions regarding Lex-Recycle programs call Public Works Operations weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (861-2757) or the E-Call Hotline 24 hours a day (1-800-800-6881).