Recycling - Solid Waste




To operate a solid waste transfer and recycling facility and to promote programs that are viable alternatives to landfilling.

Additional changes as of March 20, 2020

The Transfer Station will only accept trash in pre-paid blue bags, paper recycling, food waste compost, cardboard, and container recycling

This change is due to the closure of facilities that receive the other items collected at the Transfer Station.  We also ask that residents minimize their time spent at the Transfer Station as follows:

  • Minimize trips to the Transfer Station as much as possible to reduce the number of customers on-site at any time.
  • Hold items that do not need to be disposed of right away – store TVs, electronics, brush, furniture, mattresses, etc. for future disposal.. These items will not be accepted at this time.
  • Organize materials prior to arriving at the facility to minimize the time spent on-site.  Have things presorted and ready to be disposed of.
  • Do not linger at the Transfer Station; it is not a location to catch up with neighbors or friends.

Changes at the Amherst Transfer Station as of March 14, 2020

To bring our operations into conformance with recommendations from the CDC for employee and customer safety the following services are suspended as of March 13, 2020 at the Transfer station.

The “Take it or Leave it” and “The Book Shed” – This material is handled by many people over several days and is not cleaned between people.  This presents a risk to the employees and the public.

Returnable bottles – This material has to be re-handled by the employees before it can be processed out of the facility.  Please put bottles in the bottle and container roll-offs, store them at home until later or take them to a redemption center.

Styrofoam and bubble wrap collection – Again this material has to be re-handled by the employees before it can be processed out of the facility.  Please put this material in your trash or store them at home until later.

In addition, we also recommend thinking about your trip to the facility. 

Do you need to come every day or week? Minimizing your trips to the Transfer Station reduces exposure to both customers and employees. Maybe a bi-weekly or monthly trip will work for your household needs.

Hold items that do not need to be disposed of right now.  Items like TV’s, electronics, brush, furniture, mattresses could wait a month or two before coming to the Transfer Station.

  • Organize your materials prior to arriving at the facility.  Have things presorted and ready to be disposed of so you limit your time at the facility.
  • Have your payment ready to go to limit time in the office.
  • Catch up with your neighbors in your neighborhood, phone or email.
  • These changes will stay in effect until further notice. Remember the protection of our employees and facility users are most important to us.

Please call 413-259-3050 if you have any questions

Special Student Information

Students with a valid student I.D. can bring items into the Transfer Station without a sticker, they just need to pay for what they drop off- in most cases (see Special Student Information for more details).  See Fee Schedule.

Please note the hours for the Transfer Station are: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.

​Pay-As-You-Throw Program

The Pay-As-You-Throw program is available to Amherst residents who generate a small quantity of trash and recycling and are willing to transport it to the Amherst Transfer Station and Recycling Center as needed.

Participants agree to purchase and use only prepaid bags for trash. There is no cost for disposal of recyclable paper and mixed containers. Conscientious recycling can significantly reduce the amount of trash generated, reducing dependency on (and cost of) prepaid trash bags.

Purchase of a 
Vehicle Sticker for the Transfer Station is required

Plastic Bag Recycling

Plastic bags cannot be placed in household recycling bins because they clog sorting machinery. However you CAN return them clean and dry to many retailers for recycling, including Stop and Shop, Big Y, Whole Foods, Lowe's, and Wal-Mart.  The Amherst Transfer Station does not accept plastic bags for recycling. All of the types of plastic bags and film shown below can be recycled:

Plastic Film Recycling

Styrofoam Recycling Program


Amherst Transfer Station accepts clean, white, “block” & “preformed” Styrofoam for recycling, which is collected by Gold Circuit E-Cycling. Styrofoam must be free of any tape or labels and should be placed in the appropriate bin located near the book shed. If possible, please break down any pieces larger than 36 inches prior to bringing them in. This program is in addition to our already successful Styrofoam “packing peanut” re-use program. If you wish to recycle packing peanuts place them in a tightly closed bag or box and turn them in to an attendant. You must hold a current Transfer Station vehicle sticker to participate in both these programs. Vehicle Stickers may be purchased in the Transfer Station Office Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays 8am – 2pm.

Compost Drop-Off

Free composting is available to Amherst, Pelham & Shutesbury residents who hold a current Transfer Station vehicle sticker. Compost collection totes are located in the recycling section of the Transfer Station near the Cardboard chute. Alternative Recycling Systems, a locally based compost service provider, collects the compost. Simply dump your compost directly into a tote, or use a biodegradable compost bag (available at local retailers). Do Not leave your compost in a traditional plastic bag. Handy home compost collection pails may be purchased in the Transfer Station office for a discount rate of $5. This program is for residential use only. Transfer Station vehicle stickers permit access to many services including: free household recycling, access to the book shed and swap shop and inexpensive household trash disposal. They may be purchased in the Transfer Station Office Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays 8am – 2pm. Please see attached links for more information on what you can and cannot compost at the Transfer Station, as well as more information about Alternative Recycling Systems.
Recycling & Refuse Management Committee
The charge of the Recycling and Refuse Management Committee is to develop and maintain a comprehensive, long-term solid waste plan for the Town.

Receive Email Alerts and Reminders about Waste and Recycling 

If you would like notification about waste and recycling-related news and events, sign up for one of the waste-related options of the Town's "Notify Me" feature. Residents and stakeholders who have signed up will receive email or text messages when related information is released.  

2019 Waste Reduction Guide

The annual Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Guide was distributed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Amherst Bulletin in Spring 2018. The Guide will help you reduce your trash, reuse valuable items and recycle everything you can here in the Pioneer Valley. Copies are available in the Transfer Station's scalehouse and at the Department of Public Works on South Pleasant Street. Get the 2019 Guide Today!
Cell Phone Collection
Cell phones collected at the Transfer Station are donated to the Cell Phones for Soldiers non-profit program. A collection bin for this program is also available at the Amherst VFW at 457 Main Street. Cell phones collected at the Amherst Senior Center are donated to an aging-related non-profit.