Recycling - Solid Waste

Department Mission
To operate a solid waste transfer and recycling facility and to promote programs that are viable alternatives to landfilling.
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.  
Rain Barrel & Rotating Composters Still Available!
A small number of rain barrels and composters are available at the Transfer Station and may be purchased by Amherst, Pelham and Shutesbury residents with and without a sticker.  

Both items are made in Vermont from reclaimed plastic food-grade barrels (about 55 gallon), and are offered at a special (below-retail) price.
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The rain barrel has an overflow valve which can be used to direct water away from a building's foundation and a solid brass, garden hose-friendly spigot.  The composter stand is made of rot-resistant white cedar and has a screw-top lid.
2014 Waste Reduction Guide
The annual Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Guide was distributed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Amherst Bulletin in Spring 2014. 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 guide today! 
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. 
Disposable Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Food Container Ban 
Food establishments and town facility users are banned from dispensing prepared food in disposable food containers made from expanded polystyrene (commonly referred to as Styrofoam®) in the Town of Amherst as of January 1, 2014. More information
Take-Back Program for Discarded Electronics
Consumers may now drop off TVs, Monitors, DVD players, audio and video cables, cell phones and other items at Best Buy (Hadley) free of charge, regardless of where the item was purchased. CRT TV screens can be as large as 32 inches and flat panels screens can be as large as 60 inches. This is a significant move toward manufacturers and retailers accepting end-of-life disposal responsibility (and costs) for the products from which they derive profits. Best Buy works only with certified third-party electronics recycling companies. More information
Plastic Bag Recycling
Plastic bags cannot be placed in normal household recycling bins because they cause major litter problems and clog sorting machinery. The good news is that several area grocery stores serve as plastic bag recycling collection sites. Learn more about plastic bag recycling, including which types of bags are recyclable.
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.