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- Recycling & Solid Waste Division
- Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
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How do I recycle plastic bags?
Plastic bags are a valuable recyclable material and are best returned to your local grocery store for recycling. When plastic bags are mixed with other household product containers for recycling they frequently create a problem at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). At the MRF recyclables travel along a conveyor belt as part of the sorting process and plastic bags and film can get caught in the gears of the conveyor belt, causing the entire process to shut down while bags and film are removed from the gear system.
Grocery stores are ideally set up for recycling plastic bags. Most grocery stores have baling machines for their cardboard, these are machines that scrunch
Many different types of plastic bags and film are recyclable. Not just grocery and retail shopping bags, but all bags labeled #2 and #4, a well as dry cleaning bags, bread and produce bags, food storage bags (such as Ziploc bags), toilet paper, napkin and paper towel wraps, plastic cereal box liners, newspaper bags, and air pillows. Remove string and hard plastic handles from shopping bags. Do not recycle cling wrap (e.g. saran wrap), frozen food bags, prewashed salad bags, or degradable bags.
Products made from recycled plastic bags and film include plastic lumber (55%) and new plastic bags (16%). The remainder (29%) is used to make a variety of other products such as garden products, crates, buckets, pallets, and piping.
Getting Rid of Paint
Look in almost any home and you'll find a basement full of cans of unused paint. Over the years, the cans accumulate until one day they seem to have taken over. What to do with all that paint?
For municipalities, managing unused paint is neither easy nor cheap. Disposal costs can run up to $4 per gallon can. To avoid these high costs, some states are implementing product stewardship laws that require paint
So far, no such program is on the horizon for Massachusetts. Until that day, we are left to manage unwanted paint and cover the costs on our own. So how should Needham residents manage their paint? To begin with, it depends on the type of paint.
Latex paint is not a hazardous product; it is just a messy product.
If a can of Latex paint is close to full residents that have a sticker to Needham's Recycling and Transfer Station (RTS) can bring it to any Paint Collection Day held at the RTS on the third Saturday of the month, April through October from 8:00 – 3:30 (the next collection day is Saturday, June 15). Residents that do not have a sticker to the RTS may bring paint to the October paint collection day only. Paint that is in good, reusable condition – i.e., reasonably new, not rusty, and has never been frozen, will be placed in the paint reuse shed for other residents to take away for free,
All other cans of Latex paint can be disposed of with regular household trash IF paint in the can
Unlike Latex paints, oil-based and alkyd paints, stains and polyurethanes can be hazardous when in their liquid form. Empty cans and cans with dried out or almost dried out product should be disposed of with regular household trash. However, cans that are more than a quarter full of liquid should be brought to the monthly Paint Collection Days.
Paint strippers, thinners, removes and similar products may also be brought to the monthly collection day as long as they are in their original containers. Products that are not in their original containers, or do not have their original label, must be brought to the annual Household Hazardous Waste Day in October.
Empty metal paint cans, even with some dry paint residue, can be recycled in the scrap metal area.
Free surplus paint, stain, and related products are available at the Surplus Paint Shed at the RTS every
This is part one of a series on What Can Be Recycled, Town of Needham Public Works Department. View additional information about recycling.