Frequently Asked Questions
In this section:
- What Should I Do If My Recycling Was Not Picked Up?
- Why Would My Recycling Be Left At The Curb?
- What Types of Items Can I Put Out In My Green Bin for Recycling Collection?
- How Do I Get a Green Bin for Recycling, and Can I Get More Than One?
- When Is Yard Waste Collection and What is Accepted?
- Why Doesn't the Trash Truck Pick Up My Yard Waste Too?
- I Would Like to Get Rid of Some Furniture, What are My Options?
- What Should I Do With Appliances?
- How Can I Get Rid of a Computer or Television?
- How Do I get rid of Latex Paint?
Recycling must be set out by 7:00am on your collection day, or as early as 4:00pm the day before. If your recycling (trash or yard waste) was missed, log on to www.egovlink.com/lowell and go to 'Action Line', then category 3 and "DPW - Missed Pickup of Trash, Recycling, and/or Yard Waste"
There are several common problems to be aware of in terms of preparing your recycling for collection. Please avoid these common problems to ensure pickup of your recycling:
- No Plastic Bags for Paper and Containers -- The recycling processing plant does not accept plastic bags. Most plastic bags can be brought to your local grocery store for recycling. Hannaford Grocery has a plastic bags drop-off container and takes any plastic grocery bag, dry cleaner bags (remove paper and staples), clean produce bags, bread bags, etc. Make sure they are clean and turned inside-out.
- Do Not Mix Paper and Containers -- The recycling truck has two separate compartments...one for paper and one for containers. All paper items should be together in paper bags, and containers should be loose in the bin.
- Unflattened and/or Large Cardboard -- Cardboard that is longer than 3' will not fit in the recycling truck, and unflattened cardboard causes the truck to fill up too quickly since the material is not compacted.
- Dirty (Contaminated) Recyclables -- Containers that are not rinsed out and paper or cardboard with food waste can contaminate the rest of the truckload and result in additional processing costs.
Curbside recyclable items include paper (newpaper, magazines, phone books, mised paper, beverage containers, paperboard such as cereal boxes, junk mail including window envelopes), cardboard (flattened and cut 3' x 3' or smaller); and glass, metal and plastic food containers #1 through #7... NO Styrofoam items please!. Click here for more information.
If you have been issued a Burgundy Trash Cart,
Please pick it up M-F 8:30- 4:30 at either:
City Hall (Rm 34) or
DPW (1365 Middlesex St).
We are able to provide one recycling bin to each household free of charge. If you need more space, that's great...it means you are recycling a lot! You can put your extra material in any other plastic container; be sure to ask us for a recycle "Bottles & Cans" sticker. Be careful to keep the weight of the container less than 30 pounds.
Yard Waste is collected curbside from the "first Monday of April" through the end of November.
Acceptable material includes: leaves, grass clippings, brush cuttings, small branches and twigs. Branches must be less than 3' in length and less than 3" in diameter at the widest end. All yard waste must be in brown paper bags, or loose in a barrel.
'curbside collection contract period' began Mon. Apr. 4th.
You can contact Jones Farm in Chelmsford at 978-937-7657; they might allow for a drop-off option (Fee Applies).
Some landscaping contractors have pick up service... they can be found in the yellow pages.
Hope you find the information helpful.
If yard waste goes into the trash truck there are two problems. First, the State Waste Bans prohibit yard waste from incinerators and landfills...so it is against the law. Second, it would be a waste of your tax dollars. Please call the Recycling Coordinator at 978-446-7277, if you see this happening.
The City of Lowell pays, by weight, for every ton delivered to the incinerator for burning. All yard waste is delivered to a composting facility. We pay a collection cost, but not a separate cost based on weight.
Help the City reduce waste and encourage reuse by donating furniture in good condition. Click here for more information. Our trash hauler will pick up 'bulky items' by appointment, a nominal fee will apply; click here for pricing. This includes a mattress, boxspring, sofa, wood filing cabinet, chair, etc.
Help the City reduce waste and encourage reuse by donating working appliances. Check here for more information. For those residents with curbside trash collection, appliances will be picked up curbside by making an appointment with BFI. Call 978-649-7564, ask for Customer Service, and tell them what you have. By making an appointment, you are reserving space on the truck. Most of the time, you will be given the Monday following your phone call.
Help the City reduce waste and encourage reuse by donating your working computer and/or television. For those residents with curbside trash collection, CRTs will be picked up curbside by making an appointment with BFI. Call 978-649-7564, ask for Customer Service, and tell them what you have. You must pre-pay, over the phone (<26 inch = $10: >26 inch =$20) By making an appointment, you are reserving space on the truck. CRTs are picked up on Thursdays of each week.
Latex paint is not considered hazardous, but needs to be dry/hardened when put out with the trash. The best thing to do is either leave the lids off the cans until the paint dries, or help the drying process along with kitty litter, or a waste paint hardener that can be purchased where paint is sold. When the paint is dry, and you put it out with the trash, leave the lids off so that the trash collectors know it is dry. They won't take it wet because it can make a real mess in a compactor truck, and subsequently on our streets!
We don't take latex at Hazardous Waste day because at the end of the day we pay the hauler by the gallon to take the stuff away, and it so it wouldn't make sense for us to add non-hazardous paint to the volume collected.
Perhaps you could even consider contributing your unused latex paint to the Lowell High School Drama Club. They can use any color of the rainbow. If your paint is uncontaminated, not drying or not rusty, please contact the Recycling Coordinator at 978-446-7277 to arrange a donation to Lowell H.S.