Yearly Landfill Permit now available for Renters!

NEW! in Fitchburg! Effective July 1, 2019 occupants and renters (Orange) are eligible to obtain an annual Landfill Permit for $50.00.
Occupants need to prove residency by submitting a Drivers License and the Registration to the vehicle the permit/sticker will be attached to.
Property owner permits (Purple) are also currently for sale. Property owners stickers are $35.00 and property owners must submit a copy of the registration the sticker will be attached to.
The Health Department reserves the right to request additional information.


NEW Landfill Option for Fitchburg Residents that are NOT Property Owners starting July 1st, 2019.

To obtain a permit sticker you can mail or visit the Board of Health office and supply a:
Copy of Vehicle Registration – Must be registered to Fitchburg Address; MA and a MA Driver’s License with Fitchburg Address. Health office reserves the right to request additional proof of residency:

Must be a resident/tenant in Fitchburg with adequate proof of residency/occupancy
Effective July 1 and expires on June 30 each year
Permits are Non-Transferable - 1 Year Suspension
No Dump Trucks or Box Trucks

Can bring to Landfill with no additional fees:
Normal household Trash, includes bulk items (Furniture)
Yard Waste-Leaves & Brush;
2 Barrels Limit of Construction Debris per Week
Drop off Recycling – Car Batteries, Scrap Metal, Waste Oil, Corrugated Cardboard, Phone Books, High-Grade Paper, All Other Recycled Materials

The following requires additional fees to dispose and must be paid at Board of Health in advance:
Waste Ban items, White goods (stoves, washers etc.), Tires, and CRT’s (Televisions* & Computer monitors)

How do I dispose of expired Fire Extinguishers?

Question from resident: How do I dispose of expired Fire Extinguishers? Does the Fitchburg Fire Department Accept Dropoffs?

Answer from the Fitchburg Fire Department: The Fire Dept does not accept dropoffs. You can wait for the free Hazardous Waste dropoff days, (4) per year in June/November. Or Liberty Supply Inc. at 195 Hamilton Street in Leominster will take old fire extinguishers. They charge $10.00 to dispose of them.

----Notes from the Board of Health:

If they are empty and they are open with no pressure, they can go in the trash.

Not empty they can go to the HHW waste day on June 22 at the landfill.

I would call Frank Sepiol in advance at WM (413)519-3916 if there is a charge for these at the event


Curbside Trash Cart Overflow--- Working on solutions.

Question to Residents: Working on solutions to the curbside overflow trash cart problem. Curbside 64gal trash pickup is currently a free weekly service.
The current best option for overflow is an additional trash cart at $100/yr.
If the City lowered the cost of the 2nd trash cart to say $50/yr... would you opt for a 2nd cart to handle overflow?
--- Overflow bags (Yellow City Bags) were discussed as messy looking, easily breakable, and cost ineffective for automated trucks.
To compare:
---Fitchburg, MA offers Curbside 64gal trash pickup as a free weekly service & offers $100/yr for an additional 64gal trash cart for curbside pickup.
---Gardner, MA charges $200/yr. for Single Family/Apartment for trash carts and offers $3.50 overflow trash bags.
---Leominster, MA offers Curbside 64gal trash pickup as a free weekly service & offers $3.00 overflow trash bags.
---Westminster, MA has no municipal run curbside trash collection. Residents can bring trash to dispose at the Landfill at no charge.
---Lunenburg, MA charges per bag for curbside pickup. $1.25/13 gal, $2.55/33 gal, or $4.06/40 gal.
---Townsend, MA offers free curbside pickup of 64gal max trash bins and offers $3.50 overflow trash bags.
---Ashby has no municipal run curbside trash collection. Residents can bring trash to dispose at the ARCTS for $4.00 per 33 gal bag.
---Ashburnham has no municipal run curbside trash collection. Residents can must purchase stickers to place on their bags and bring to the Transfer Station at $5 per 32-35gal.


Overloaded Trash and Recycling Carts is a "major" problem in Fitchburg.

Overloaded Trash and Recycling Carts is a "major" problem in Fitchburg.
I have some examples of carts that were recently refused as they were so overloaded that dumping them in the truck would cause refuse to dump in the street. 
-----> Here is the general system per the Fitchburg Board of Health:
1. If the cart is overloaded Waste Management drivers will call it in and the resident gets a warning. 
2. After 2 warnings the resident will get a fine (1st $50, 2nd $100, 3rd $200, 4th and subsequent $250)
3. If the cart is so overloaded WM cannot get it in the truck without 'making a mess', they take a picture and refuse the stop. WM "has been a lot more lenient around the holidays", but in reality if the lid is open they are supposed to refuse it.

Christmas Tree Collection 2019

Christmas Tree Collection ***Curbside & Landfill: This holiday season's curbside collection will be Monday January 7th through Friday January 11th on your regularly scheduled collection day. 
If you have a recycling permit (available for free to residents), you can bring your Christmas tree to the landfill without having to wait for curbside collection. 
Trees in plastic or contained ornaments/tinsel will not be accepted.
***Farm for Goat & Horse Feed: 
---Recycle your Christmas tree into a goat treat! The goats and sheep at Carraig Farm and Apothecary nibble on both the bark and needles while the tree gives them needed fiber during the winter months. Drop off at the farm, 179 West Rd, Ashby (no tinsel/hairspray/ornament wire please), and Happy New Year!
--- Shay's Showbirds Flock of fun farm is asking for your Christmas Trees to feed the Goats and Horses. Trees can dropped off at 188 Fitchburg Road, Townsend MA. No tinsel, ornament wire or hairspray-treated trees.
***Tree not picked up? 
Report at or call the BOH at 978-829-1870 or email me at

christmas tree.jpg

What to do with all that Wrapping Paper??

What to do with all that Wrapping Paper??
Standard Christmas and other Holiday Wrapping Paper should be thrown in the trash cart. Many coatings and inks used in these papers make them non-recyclable and or too expensive to recycle.
---Try alternatives to expensive disposable wrapping papers that cannot be recycled: 
Decorative boxes, gift bags, and tins can be reused.
Use paper bags, brown paper or newspaper to wrap 
your gift and then use a reusable ribbon, bow, twine or natural sprig of evergreen to decorate it. 
Other ideas:
Use old gourmet or home and garden magazines to wrap a gift for someone who likes to cook (or eat!) or garden. A traveler might like a gift that is wrapped in maps you no longer use. The Sunday comics wrapped around the gift gives great color and they’re fun to read. Wrap a sports fan’s gift in a sports magazine. A quilter would enjoy a gift
wrapped in a piece of fabric that you might have at home and never used. Wrap a child’s gift in a brown paper bag and add a small box of crayons for the little artist to create a brown bag masterpiece. Empty (or full) seed packets make a colorful gift tag. String, yarn, and even the one odd shoestring in the junk drawer can bring a unique touch to a gift package. Once you have given the gift, the person who receives it can recycle the wrapping!

wrapping paper.jpg

Help reduce litter! Stop the OVERFLOW!

Help reduce litter! Stop the OVERFLOW!
In an effort to reduce litter in the city, our hauler and the Health Department have teamed to enforce city ordinances regarding overflow of trash and recycling carts.

If the holidays are producing more trash and recycling or you just cannot seem to stay within the limits of the carts, do not overflow your carts at curbside or they will be rejected.

Arrangements for additional disposal options are available and can be arranged by calling the Health Department at 978-829-1870.

Lets work together to keep our great city clean and free of litter and debris!


New hires, protocols for Fitchburg trash pickup

Waste Management officials told city councilors that recent staffing changes and newly implemented protocols will improve curbside pickup service.

"We're working to get better. Again, to be frank, I kind of took on a large mess when I took over in this waste management facility, but again I think we're making headway," Waste Management's Manager of Collections Operations Matt Hill told councilors Thursday.

...the company has "turned over" its staff of drivers on the Fitchburg route. Employees were forced to resign, he said, and Waste Management is in the process of hiring replacements.

A new fleet of trucks is expected to hit city streets, and this winter they will have snow tires to ensure the vehicles don't get stuck in hilly neighborhoods, said Hill.

The volume of yard waste collected this fall is 25 percent greater than last year, according to Hill. He said yard waste pickups have been delayed recently because the collection truck reaches capacity before finishing its route.

Health Director Stephen Curry encouraged residents to report missed pickups using the ReCollect app or the website SeeClickFix, which forwards the complaint to Waste Management.

Ed Pacek, with Waste Management Public Sector Solutions Division, updated councilors on progress made to cut down on rates of contaminated recycling in the city.

He said a "recycling crisis" was precipitated by China's decision to effectively stop accepting recyclables from oversees, boosting the cost of recycling disposal domestically.

An initial audit of 11 truckloads of recyclables tossed by Fitchburg residents found 44 percent of the waste was contaminants, said Pacek. An acceptable rate of contamination is between 5 to 10 percent, he said.

Plastic bags and plastic shrink wrap are the most common contaminate found in the city's recycling, said Pacek. The bags jam equipment used to sort recycling, and should instead be thrown in the trash or dropped off at a supermarket that collects them.
"On our end that's probably the single most important point," he said.

Other items that are not recyclable are hoses, electrical cords, pill bottles, cartons with aseptic lining and "organic matter."

Waste Management won't collect visibly contaminated recycling. Curry said residents risk a ticket it they overfill their recycling bins to the point where the lid will not shut, a violation of city ordinance.

"Barrels that have the potential, in the dumping process, to spill all over the ground, (barrels) that are so overflowing, are rejected," he said.

Recycling IQ Audit & Mass DEP Recycling Rules Updates

I joined in with the Waste Management team for one of the last Audits of our Recycling IQ program in Fitchburg this morning! Since the resale market for many recyclables have dropped to near zero--- Recyclers have been forced to up standards and levels of contamination in our recycling. Fitchburg was charged $175K last year due in part to the high levels of contamination in our recycling.
I am waiting on the results of our audit... but the numbers look like we are IMPROVING! They 'measure' the amount of contamination by percentage trash vs recycling in LBS (Pounds baby...pounds)... so the percentage started at 79% trash to recycle in April....and we are down to about 45% trash to recycle in November! I also took a bunch of I'll post that in a bit... and I also have some info on PIZZA BOXES I am awaiting the final word on.... 
at TONIGHT's city council meeting the reps from WM will be there to TRASH-TALK and answer questions.... so if you have any questions you'd like me to ask...let me know here and I'll try to answer or get them answered =)

New Recycling news for PIZZA BOXES

As noted in Thursdays Council meeting per presentation by Waste Management--- we have a new Universal Recycling list as approved by Mass DEP.
A few notes of recycling:
Yes---Clean Pizza Boxes (grease ok but no food residue)
Yes- Plastic bottles, jars, tubs and lids, Clear plastic egg cartons
No---Plastic Bags of any kind
No--Plastic Film, bubble wrap etc.
No--Prescription Bottles, nips,take out cartons
**See list for more