Recycling Know No’s: Wheeled Carts 101

July 7, 2023

Submitted by Liz Antanavica, DPW Refuse & Recycling Administrator

Wheeled carts have been part of the Town’s trash day landscape since 2011, when Bedford first began the transition to automated collection with the introduction of 48-gallon trash carts. 64-gallon recycling carts were added in 2019 to complete this transition. 

Automated carts are rugged and durable, designed to hold up for at least 10 years of continuous use and to withstand repeated lifting and setting down by the trash truck. Over time, the wheeled carts can start to show signs of wear. 

Here are some tips for keeping your wheeled carts in good working order:

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  • Set it out facing the street – Make sure to set your trash cart with the serial number facing the street. Backwards carts tend to cause breakage to the lid, handle or cart body when emptied.
  • Keep it clean – Public Works receives a fair amount of calls about how to clean the inside of the wheeled carts. Hot, soapy water or a pressure washer usually does a good job of removing built up residue on the inside of the cart. 
  • Keep the lid closed – Squirrels and other rodents are especially attracted to smelly garbage in the summer months. If carts are stored outside, make sure the lid is fully closed to prevent animals from getting into the cart. A heavy rock can also help keep the lid down, just make sure to remove the rock before trash day. 
  • Bag your trash – Avoid putting food or food-soiled trash, diapers or cat litter directly into the cart without a bag. These materials are strongly attractive to animals, especially in the heat of the summer, and can cause rodents to chew into the lid or cart body. Bagging your trash will help keep the cart cleaner and make it less attractive to rodents. 

Damage does sometimes happen. Public Works is happy to assist residents with damaged trash carts. The Department stocks repair and replacement parts to make simple repairs, like lid and wheel replacements. If the lid of the cart is broken or chewed, or if the cart body is damaged, residents should email [email protected] or call (781)275-7605 x4261 to request a cart repair. Please leave a message that includes your name, property address, contact information, and a brief description of the issue. 

trash truck
Courtesy Image Republic Services

Other common trash cart questions:

Q: Can I request an additional trash cart?

A: Residents may request an additional cart for an annual fee by submitting an online permit application. The current annual fee is $185, plus a $75 one-time administrative fee per application.  

Q: Can I request an additional recycling cart?

A: Not at this time. Public Works is working to expand the offerings at the Compost & Recycling Center. Residents can currently drop off excess cardboard and glass every Wednesday and Saturday from 8Am-1PM.

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July 8, 2023 5:16 pm

Don’t bag your recycling with plastic bags

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