Recycling Know-No’s ~ Thinking about the Holidays and All that Packaging

November 18, 2021

~ Submitted by Liz Antanavica, Refuse & Recycling Administrator

This year is projected to be a mail-order Christmas with many shopping online and shopping early to make sure their gifts arrive on time.

More online shopping than ever before means you’ll likely encounter lots of packaging material. The DPW has already received several questions about how to properly recycle or dispose of this type of material ahead of the busy holiday season. 

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 Cardboard boxes ~ Yes, please! 

Recycled cardboard is living its best life right now. Domestic use for recycled cardboard boxes is on the rise. According to Recycle Smart MA, “Your used cardboard boxes are essential to our country’s supply chain and are in high demand.”

Thank you for recycling your cardboard – even pizza boxes (just keep the pizza out of the recycle cart.) 

Residents can drop off excess or large cardboard at the Compost Center, 108 Carlisle Rd. Check the DPW website for hours

Plastic or paper-backed bubble mailers ~ No, thank you!

Treat fully plastic mailers, with or without bubble wrap, like plastic bags and other flexible plastic packaging. This material clogs up the sorting equipment at the recycling facility or worse, stops the line and endangers recycling workers. Instead, bring flexible plastic packaging to most grocery retailers, like Whole Foods or Stop & Shop for proper plastic film recycling. Don’t be fooled. Look closely at the chasing arrows label on those blue and white Amazon mailers, they state “store drop-off” for recycling. Paper-backed mailers should go in the trash. 

Air Pillows ~ No way!

Air pillows are another common plastic film item that is not accepted in the blue recycle cart. Recycle at special collection bins with other plastic film or offer on Buy Nothing Bedford (a Facebook group) for re-use those who are moving or shipping gifts. 


Packing Peanuts and Styrofoam ~ Nope!

Styrofoam of any kind is not acceptable in the blue recycling cart. Try dissolving your packing peanuts in water as many are now made of cornstarch. Other types of expanded foam packing material should go in the trash. 

Another option is to consider re-use before recycling. Moving supplies such as sturdy cardboard boxes and bubble wrap are a common request on the Buy Nothing Bedford Facebook group, Freecycle, or similar websites. Reuse keeps materials out of the waste stream and reduces the resources necessary to make new things.

A mailer with full details is on the way!

Keep your eyes on the mailbox for a postcard mailer with key dates to remember and a reminder to check with your questions

About Liz Antanavica, Refuse & Recycling Administrator

Bedford’s New Recycling Administrator ~ Elizabeth (Liz) Antanavica posted in The Bedford Citizen on Oct 22, 2021





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