Separating & Sorting Recyclables
Household recyclable material in Amherst must be separated into 2 containers, 1 for paper products, and 1 for mixed containers. For detailed sorting information please consult the Household Recycling Guide.
The general rule of thumb is to put only clean, wax-free cardboard, box board, and paper into this bin. If the paper item can be easily ripped with your bare hands, it is probably recyclable. Staples, paper clips, plastic envelope windows, and spiral bindings do not need to be removed. Do not include material that has that has absorbed food, oil, paint, or pet waste.
Please empty and rinse all containers. In general, food, beverage, personal care and washing detergent containers are the only acceptable forms of plastic for recycling. Expanded polystyrene is not accepted in any form. Flattening aluminum cans and milk/juice jugs and cartons is helpful as it reduces transportation costs.
Curbside Pickup & Storage Curbside Recycling Schedule
If you have contracted for curbside waste removal, pick up of each of the 2 types of recyclables is done on alternate weeks up along with your trash. Each summer, private waste haulers distribute annual curbside recycling calendars to their clients. To find out which recyclable is being picked up each week, or to obtain a copy of the schedule, contact your contracted hauler (information provided below).
Alternative Recycling Systems: 413-587-4005 website (external link)
Durable blue plastic recycling bins are available for purchase at the Transfer Station and the Department of Public Works. While the use of these specific bins is not mandatory, a similar system employing an easily emptied box or recyclable container is required. Plastic bags cannot be used for curbside storage, as they are not recyclable, slow processing, clog machinery, and create litter. Paper bags and cardboard boxes may be used to store paper recycling at the curb. Please make an attempt to keep your paper and cardboard dry on rainy days.
Plastic Identification Numbers
The numbers surrounded by chasing arrows found on plastic items were developed by the plastics industry for resin identification. The presence of one of these symbols does not indicate that the item is recyclable. The degree plastic can be recycled is driven largely by market demand; if a resin is difficult or expensive to work with, few-if any-manufacturers will buy it. Recycled PETE (#1) and HDPE (#2) plastics tend to be in the highest demand.
In order to simplify the process for the consumer, the general guideline is that any plastic bottle, tub, or jar that is less than 2 gallons in size and has a plastic identification code of #1-#7 may be put into your container recycling bin. Trays, lids and expanded polystyrene foam objects are not accepted.