Trash and Recycling Guide (FAQs)

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If you are looking for a way to donate your furniture and other home goods to a new home, ReSupply, a Boston-based & Veteran-operated company, provides high service fee-based home pickup option. ReSupply works with local charities to give your unwanted furniture and household goods a second life. ReSupply will go into the home, go up and down stairs, and even disassemble items if needed! Residents receive a tax credit for their donation as well.

Location and Contact Information:

Watertown Department of Public Works (DPW)
124 Orchard Street
Hours: Monday Through Friday 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Forms of payment accepted at DPW include cash, check, or money order.

Recycling Center
76 Stanley Avenue – Accessible from Green River Way
Hours: Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Dumping outside operational hours is prohibited) Service accessible to Watertown Residents only – ID required. No businesses.

Trash and Recycling services provided by the City

Curbside trash and recycling pickup of the City is completed by Republic Services. City-issued trash containers (black) are picked up weekly. City-issued recycling containers (green) are picked up every other week on the same day as your trash collection. See Trash and Recycling Day Look Up.

Yard waste is collected curbside on your designated trash collection day on designated weeks throughout the year. See the Trash and Recycling Calendar (PDF) for yard waste collection weeks. 

Excess recycling and yard waste may also be dropped off at the Recycling Center year-round.

Trash and Recycling Facts


Styrofoam is not collected at the curb or at the Recycling Center.

Trash and Recycling containers must be placed at the opening of your driveway for pick up in a manner that avoids parked vehicles.

All trash and recycling must be captured within the containers. No overflow. Flatten boxes to save space.

All trash must be bagged. Recycling products may NOT be bagged.

A legal holiday will delay trash and or recycling by one day.

We are currently not selling additional recycle totes due to supply chain delays. We will notify once we are able to start again. Thank you for your understanding.

Hard plastics, household metals, textiles, and electronics are NOT collected at the curb. These items may be brought to the Recycling Center. See material descriptions below.

Construction debris and miscellaneous pieces of wood or carpet will not be collected by the Town either curbside or at the recycling center. 

The City is not responsible for a cleanout related to moving in or out of any residential, commercial, or other facilities. Residents may bring packing boxes to the recycling center as necessary. Additional trash and recycling must be handled by the individual(s) involved.

The City of Watertown is a member of the Minuteman Regional Household Hazardous Products (MHHP) Facility. The MHHP Facility is in Lexington. The MHHP Facility is open one weekend day from April through November each year and accepts a wide variety of household hazardous waste. Watertown residents may help protect the environment by taking common household hazardous waste products to the MHHP Facility for disposal. 


Guide to Trash, Recycling, Compost by Material/Category (A-Z)

Aluminum – Beverage cans and food cans may be collected curbside and at the Recycling Center.

Automobile Batteries – Contact Atlantic Battery at 309 Main Street, Watertown (617-924-2868).

Automobile Parts – Contact Carroll’s Used Auto Body Parts in Lexington (781-861-6060) or Schiavone Brothers Salvage in Newton (617-332-9074)

Batteries – Alkaline Batteries (i.e., AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt batteries) may be disposed of in regular trash. Rechargeable Batteries may be dropped off at the Recycling Center, Radio Shack, or Staples.  Lithium, Button Cell, or Nicad Batteries are hazardous materials and should be brought to the Recycling Center.

Burnable Bulk Items/ Household Furniture – Wooden and upholstered household furniture that need to be disposed of must be paid for and scheduled through Republic Services. To schedule a pickup, please call 781-289-0500 or 844-737-8254. The price per item will depend on the size, shape, and type. Collections happen weekly on Wednesdays. Acceptable items include couches, chairs, tables, bookcases, dressers, and rugs. Do not disassemble furniture. Sleeper sofas and futons are accepted as burnable items. No miscellaneous pieces of wood or construction debris.

Cardboard – Corrugated cardboard, file folders, poster board, frozen food boxes, cereal boxes, pizza boxes, egg cartons, paper towel rolls, and show boxes may be recycled curbside or at the Recycling Center. NO wax-coated cartons (i.e., Wax-based milk/juice containers). 

Christmas Trees – Items are picked up curbside on your trash day during the month of January. The trees are chipped and recycled by the City. No ornaments or plastic bags.

Compost Bins – Backyard composters are available for purchase at DPW. Each bin costs $40.00. Call DPW at 617-972-6420 to schedule a 24-hour notice prior to pick up.

Compost Recycling/Organics -  Please visit our compost page to learn more about how to enroll in the City’s curbside program or how to use our community drop off bins at the recycle center.

Electronics – CD’s, cell phones, house phones, cameras, hard drives, keyboards, printers, fax machines, cassette tapes, VHS tapes may be dropped off at the recycling center. Please note that there is NO curbside pickup for Electronics.

Fire Extinguisher – Contact Keane Fire and Safety Equipment (1500 Main Street, Waltham, MA) at 781-899-6565. Extinguishers will be picked up for a $10.00 fee.

Florescent Bulbs and Mercury containing products – Items must be brough to the recycling center.

Gas Grills and Treadmills – Items may be brought to the Recycling Center to the “mixed metals” dumpster. Remove the tank on the grill prior to drop off.

Glass – Items include colored or clear food and beverage containers, sauce jars, condiment jars, liquor, and wine bottles (remove the cork) may be recycled. You do not have to remove labels. No light bulbs, Pyrex, or ceramics. Fluorescent light bulbs may be dropped off at the Recycling Center.

Hard Plastics – Items such as kiddie pools, Tyke toys, and resin outdoor furniture may be dropped off at the Recycling Center. Please note that there is NO curbside pickup for Hard Plastics.

Hazardous Household Waste – To dispose of oil-based paint and stains or other hazardous materials, please register for a hazardous waste event.

Latex Paint – Paints must be completely dried out and placed in your trash container double bagged. To dry out latex paint, leave the cover off until the paint dries. Alternatively, you may add kitty litter to speed up the process of solidification.

Lawn Mowers and Snow Blowers – Remove all fluids (leave the caps off) and bring them to the Recycling Center.

Mattresses – Must be scheduled and paid for collection through HandUp, a mattress recycler. Please visit the mattress recycling page for more information on how to schedule a curbside collection.

Metals – Items are only accepted at the Recycling Center. Please note that there is NO curbside pickup for Metals.

Paper – Newspapers, inserts, magazines, paperback books, catalogs, junk mail, phone books, brochures, and office paper (any color), window envelopes may be recycled. Paper items with staples are OK. NO soiled napkins, paper towels, paper plates, coffee cups, hardcover books, or shredded paper are permitted for recycling. 

Plastic – Plastic bottles, jars, jugs, and tubs must be rinsed with caps replaced to be recycled. Water, soda, detergent bottles, and plastic milk jugs (not wax-coated cartons) may be recycled. PLASTICS #5 (i.e., Yogurt cups, hummus tubs, cottage cheese containers, and medicine bottles) are recyclable. Replace the cap for all plastic bottles to recycle. Styrofoam is NOT recyclable even if designated with a #6!

To check if an item can go into your curbside recycling tote, please use the Massachusetts Recyclopedia at the bottom of this page. The database will tell you exactly what items can go into the green bin.

Plastic Bags – You may bring plastic bags back to the supermarket for recycling. NO plastic bags are recycled at the curb or at the Recycling Center. To learn more about plastic bag and film recycling, visit Plastic Film Recycling.

Propane Tanks – Empty propane tanks may be brought to Pizzi Farm Market & Deli in Waltham (781-891-1032). For not completely empty tanks, contact the City Health Department at 617-972-6446.

Rain Barrels – Items are available for purchase at DPW. Rain Barrel cost is $65.00 and an optional drainpipe diverter may be purchased for an additional $16.00. Call DPW at 617-972-6420 to schedule a 24-hour notice prior to pick up.

TextilesAcceptable textile items may be dropped off at the Recycling Center or scheduled through Helpsy for a free curbside pickup.

TV’s and Computer Monitors  – Items are collected curbside every Thursday. Items must be scheduled and paid for through Republic Services. The cost per item will depend on the size, shape, and type of item. To schedule a pickup, please call 781-289-0500 or 844-737-8254.

White Goods – Stoves, refrigerators (remove the door, it’s the law), freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, humidifier, dishwasher, washer machine, dryer, hot water heater and microwave may be picked up curbside on Thursdays after scheduling and paying through Republic Services. The cost per item will depend on the size, shape, and type of appliance. To schedule a pickup, please call 781-289-0500 or 844-737-8254.

Yard Waste – Leaves, grass clippings, weeds, twigs, and brush. Dirt and rocks are NOT acceptable. Branches must be less than three (3) inches in diameter and branches should be bundled in three-foot lengths. Yard waste must be placed in paper yard waste bags or loosely in a trash barrel. Do not put yard waste in plastic bags or in Town trash or recycling containers.