Around 30 Tons of Trash Collected at Saturday’s Special Collection Event

May 8, 2024

684 cars passed through the Bedford Recycling and Compost Center on Carlisle Road as part of the town’s half day Spring Special Recycling Event on Saturday. 

That’s over 6 percent of the 11,078 passenger cars reports as licensed in Bedford. 

Liz Antanavica, DPW Refuse and Recycling Administrator, reported that there were 144 more cars at the spring event than at last fall’s special recycling event. In addition, more than 80 residents scheduled an appointment and participated in early drop-off, which was a new option this year.

The spring special event offered collection of electronics and small appliances, propane tanks and fire extinguishers, EPS #6 Styrofoam, and tires. 

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Over 25 bags of Styrofoam were collected in Saturday’s Special Collection Event. Courtesy Image.

After a large attendance at the fall event, a resident survey was sent out in search of suggestions on the organization of special events. Based on feedback, this spring event made adjustments such as changes to the drop-off schedules and the addition of early appointments. 

“I don’t think we could have accommodated such a huge number of residents if we had not made those changes,” Antanavica said. 

The line of cars extended outside the compost center on Saturday morning with the DPW reporting a wait time of seven minutes in the first hour, 13 minutes in the second, a 44-minute wait in the third hour, and 32 minutes as the event closed out.  

The estimated collection was 40 pallets of electronics (likely 25-30 tons), 75 tires, around 70 fire extinguishers, 50-60 propane tanks, and over 25 large bags of Styrofoam. 

Antanavica said that the regular drop-off areas of the compost center were also “busier than normal.” 

  • The scrap metal, bulky plastic, and cardboard dumpsters were all full following the event, along with an increase in drop-off of rechargeable batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and mercury-containing devices. Bedford residents can drop off these items as well as yard waste and brush during regular Wednesday and Saturday Compost Center hours. 

The next Bedford DPW Special Event scheduled is Paper Shredding on Wednesday, May 15 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Compost and Recycling Center. Residents are limited to five boxes per household of paper (no binders, hanging folders, plastic report covers, or hard drives allowed.)

Expect the fall Special Recycling Event to take place on or around the first week in October. Courtesy Image.

Residents who missed the special collection event or are still working on spring cleaning can use the Waste Wizard tool on the town website ( to find resources and suggestions for responsible disposal of goods. 

“DPW will continue to look at ways to improve how we meet residents’ needs,” Antanavica said. “Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to participate.” 

Questions and feedback about regular and missed pick-ups, curbside yard waste pickup, hazardous waste drop-off events in Lexington and future special events can also be found at or by contacting Liz Antanavica at [email protected].

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