Recycling Know No’s: Game Day

February 5, 2024

By Liz Antanavica, Bedford Trash & Recycling Administrator 

What do pizza, chicken wings, and Taylor Swift all have in common? If you guessed Super Bowl party, you’ve got it! Get ready for the party and prepare for the clean-up with these timely waste and recycling tips. 

Eat the Pizza, Recycle the box. 

The pizza box question continues to be a source of recycling controversy. Recyclers want your pizza box, even if it’s a little greasy. Paper manufacturing has come a long way to be able to handle these boxes. Remove any solid food or cheese and put the rest of the box in the blue cart. Throw out any plastic pizza tables or wax paper sheets. Some residents opt to turn the box inside out so it’s clear that it’s empty, but this isn’t really necessary. Finish the pizza, then please recycle the box. 

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Wings, Dips and More

Uneaten party food is likely to be tossed at the end of the night. Did you know that chicken bones, half eaten dips, and stale potato chips can all be composted? If you’re not already a subscriber, consider signing up for weekly curbside compost service or register for free food waste drop off at the Recycling Center. Your black cart trash will be cleaner, lighter and less attractive to Bedford’s hungry squirrel population, too. Visit the Food Waste page on the Town’s website to learn more: https://www.bedfordma.gov/484/Food-Waste

Twin (or triple) the Bins

Make it easy for your guests to find the right bin. Place a recycling bin and compost bin in plain sight, ideally right next to your trash can so everything is in the same location. Guests visiting won’t need to ask where to find your recycling over the yelling of TOUCHDOWN! 

Aluminum Cans vs. Solo Cups 

Did you know, according to Recycle Smart MA, Super Bowl fans spent $1.3 billion on beer and cider leading up to the big game last year? Make a smarter choice when selecting these beverages for your party. Aluminum cans are highly recyclable whereas red solo cups are not, and should go in the trash.

“Wait, what’s the deal with solo cups?” Colored single use cups are a low grade plastic and not sought after by manufacturers as a raw material for making new goods. Recycling is a commodity market that relies on both the collection side (your blue cart) and the free market side (where a manufacturer purchases those materials to be used again). If no manufacturer is interested in purchasing a material, it’s not ultimately recyclable. Buy your party beverages sold in aluminum cans. Glass bottles can also be recycled curbside or better yet, at the Town’s Recycling Center. If you need a single use plastic cup for your party, stick with a clear cup instead, which is more in demand and acceptable for curbside recycling in Massachusetts. 

Do you have other burning waste questions? Use the Waste Wizard tool at www.bedfordma.gov/recycling that now has nearly 800 common household items and information on how to best dispose of them. 

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