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Cambridge's New Recycling Totes: Good Idea, Not So Practical…

First of all, I would like to say that I’m SUPER happy that Cambridge has gone back to single stream recycling — I found it totally absurd that I used to have to occasionally forgo using my reusable shopping bags at Trader Joe’s, just because I needed a paper bag to use for my paper recyclables. Kinda ridiculous, no?

That said, I was not so impressed with the city’s choice of the new industrial-sized recycling totes. I guess if you live in a single family home, with a garage and a driveway, they may be nice, but for those of us who live in the more urban areas of the city, in closely-packed condos with only narrow pathways between us and our neighbors, these giant rolling dumpsters are not at all practical.

I called the city’s DPW about this and the good news is, we can still use the old, more manageable bins, or request a recycling sticker to put on any sort of trash barrel we would like. And apparently many people are electing this option, as I was told that it would take a while for the new totes to be removed from my sidewalk, as something like 800 other people had also requested this. If you’d like to be added to the list, just call Tom Riordan at the DPW at 617.349.4843 and he’ll take care of it.


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