Zero Waste Info and Event Plans Shared With JPNA

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

At the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association’s (JPNA) monthly meeting on Monday, a member of the city’s Zero Waste team shared information about waste programs and some upcoming events.

Hannah Mermin is on the Zero Waste team and presented to the JPNA. Speaking about the team, Mermin said, “There’s about six of us that work to help manage waste that is produced but also to help limit the amount of residential waste that we’re all producing.”

Mermin went on to explain the idea behind Zero Waste and displayed a pyramid that provided information on limiting consumption, consuming wisely, using items more than once, and recycling. She also mentioned that the city’s trash goes to waste-to-energy facilities.

In addition to providing a waste reduction tip, which was to use cloth napkins or dish towels instead of paper towels, Mermin went through the city’s waste programs.

The first program Mermin outlined was recycling, which is done through weekly curbside pickups. Recyclable items can be placed on the curb before 6:00 A.M. on collection day or after 5:00 P.M. the night before.

“Please do not put any plastic bags in the recycling; it can damage the sorting equipment used at the recycling facilities and they’re not recyclable,” said Mermin.

The city also has two food waste collection programs — Project Oscar and curbside collection. According to Mermin, Project Oscar is a “community food waste collection” with a bin at Memorial Stadium Park. The pin to use the Project Oscar bin is 2-1-4.

Curbside pickup is an option for those living in buildings with six units or less. Visit to sign up, where you will receive a bin for your counter and an outdoor bin that can be placed outside the same day trash and recycling are picked up.

“Food waste collection is important because instead of having food waste really be waste, we can turn it into clean energy, or we can turn it into nutrient-rich soil,” said Mermin.

Mermin then touched briefly on trash collection, which, like recycling, is picked up curbside weekly and shares the same guidelines for when bins should be placed outside.

Textile collection was also discussed. Boston residents can schedule curbside pickup if they have at least three bags, but textiles can also be donated at Helpsy bins or brought to Zero Waste Day drop-offs.

East Boston has a drop-off bin at 166 London Street. “Textiles are actually a waste-ban item in Massachusetts, which means that technically they can’t go in the trash, so try to bring them to these drop-off bins,” said Mermin.

“They’re open all the time. Really, you can dump pretty much any textile in as long as it’s not like moldy,” she added.

Regarding mattress collection, curbside collection can be scheduled for those in buildings with six units or fewer. To make an appointment, call 3-1-1 or 617-635-4500.

“The important thing here is just, as you probably all know, Boston has a lot of leases that turn over on June 1st and September 1st, so if you are moving at that time, try to plan in advance and request your mattress pick-up in advance because we do get a little overwhelmed,” said Mermin.

Yard-waste collection, which started on Monday, coincides with trash and recycling days during certain weeks. There are also yard-waste drop-off days in the city. “Make sure you check the schedule,” said Mermin.

Finally, hazardous waste collection, which occurs during Zero Waste Day drop-off events, was discussed. “We accept things like electronics, textiles, hazardous liquids, paint, computers, you name it,” said Mermin.

The first Zero Waste Day event is scheduled for May 18th. However, a Zero Waste pop-up event that accepts “similar items” is scheduled for April 13th at 58 Dana Avenue in Hyde Park from 8:30 A.M. to noon. 

Other events to keep an eye out for include a free compost giveaway on April 27th from 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at Refectory Hill in Franklin Park and a Compost Certification program session, which begins on May 11th.

For more information on the compost certification program, visit

Visit to learn more about what items are accepted in each program, upcoming events, and how to schedule pick-ups for specific waste.

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