Amherst Recycling Guidelines

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. This Annual Guide  put out by the Hampshire Gazette also lists reuse and recycling options for just about every item and material you can think of.

Paper Products 

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.

Mixed Containers 

Please empty and rinse all containers. They do not need to be completely clean. 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 Storage

Haulers provide free recycling bins along with trash carts when residents purchase their services, but they may charge for replacement bins. Durable blue plastic recycling bins are also available for purchase at the Transfer Station and the Department of Public Works. While the use of 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.