Hazardous and Special Waste Collections

Hazardous Household Waste Collection

Products containing lead, mercury, petroleum products, pesticides, herbicides, and some acids should NOT be poured on the ground, down the drain, or placed in household trash. To facilitate the safe disposal of these items, Amherst offers an annual collection event each Autumn. Although Vehicle Stickers are not required for participation, pre-registration is required to ensure appropriate control and containment of the hazardous waste collected.

Amherst residents may also participate in household hazardous waste collections in neighboring communities at their own expense. To participate, identify the event you would like to participate in and contact Steve Telega (telegas@amherstma.gov) about registering. A private, regional, year-round household hazardous material collection center is also available in Westfield, Massachusetts (pick-up service available).

Safe Needle Disposal Program

Amherst residents may purchase “sharps” containers (for needles, etc.) at the Transfer Station or at the Health Department (by appointment). The fee for the container includes the disposal of the filled container with a licensed medical waste hauler. Simply return your filled container to the Transfer Station or the Health Department (in Bangs Community Center).

Unwanted Drug Disposal

A Medreturn Box is permanently sited in the lobby of Amherst's Police Station (111 Main Street).  This allows for free, safe,  disposal of prescription, non-prescription and veterinary medications with no questions asked. No liquids, syringes, IV equipment or chemotherapy drugs will be accepted.  Medicines may remain in their original containers. Those with privacy concerns may ink out personal information on labels. Similar programs are in effect at other police stations (Belchertown, Hadley, South Hadley, and Northampton).  Program brochure

CVS Pharmacy offers a mail-in program for customers to safely mail unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication to a Texas facility for proper disposal. Controlled substances are excluded from the program.  The postage-paid envelopes cost $3.99 each.  More about CVS program
Alternative Instructions for disposal of unwanted medication. 

Curbside Christmas Tree Pick-up

Amherst waste haulers conduct an annual curbside Christmas (pine) tree pick-up for their clients on a Friday in early January (typically after January 6). Tinsel and decoration-free trees must be curbside by 7am and those larger than 6 feet in diameter or height must be cut into smaller pieces. Contact your contracted waste hauler for pick-up date information. Information may also be available via Channel 17 and the Town website (on front page under "News & Announcements").

Tinsel and decoration-free Christmas trees are also accepted from Amherst residents (regardless of Vehicle Sticker ownership) at no charge at the Transfer Station. The same size requirements (see above) apply. Artificial trees are not included in this event and should be disposed of in your regular household trash.

Curbside Leaf Removal

The Department of Public Works conducts an annual autumn curbside pick-up of bagged leaves. Leaves must be bagged using the Town-approved, 30-gallon biodegradable paper bag. Loose leaves and leaves in non-approved bags will not be picked up. Bags are available for sale at the Transfer Station, the Department of Public Works, and at local hardware and garden stores. Watch for additional information in local newspapers, on Channel 17 and on the Town website. Loose leaves are also accepted at the Transfer Station at no charge if you have a current Vehicle Sticker.