Welcome to the website for SalemRecycles, a volunteer committee appointed by the mayor of Salem.  This is a site where you can find recycling information, news and events happening in Salem, MA.

Recycle Right!

These are the top twelve contaminants Waste Management, Salem’s recycling provider, wants OUT of your recycling bin.  There are many ways to find out how to recycle these items properly.  You can find more information in the Recycling A-to-Z list located on the menu above or at the sidebar found at this link.

Get In The Habit – BYO (Bring Your Own) Reusable Bag

In the fall of 2016, the Salem City Council passed an ordinance that restricts the use of single use plastic checkout bags, provided at the point of sale, by all retail and food establishments in the City of Salem. With this action, Salem joins 53 cities and towns in Massachusetts, including the nearby communities of Marblehead, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Hamilton, and Ipswich, in restricting the use of these bags.

Here is some information from the City to help transition your business in Salem to Plastic Bag Free beginning January 2018.

  1. FAQ for businesses
  2. Informational letter for business owners
  3. Where to find acceptable bags: Bag vendor list for business owners
  4. Printable display flyer to remind customers to “Bring your own bag!
  5. “Plastic Bag Free Salem” Sticker for businesses to place on door or near cash registers

Artwork by Salem High School Advanced Graphics Design Class

Creating a Reusable T-shirt Bag!

SalemRecycles worked with over 50 residents on Saturday June 3rd, 2017 to make reusable bags out of a used old T-shirt. Folks had a great time, and thought this would be a great idea for the Farmers Market or a child’s birthday party. Here are the links to how to make them: No sew, bottom tied bags;  The beginning and end has 2 different ways of making a slouchy bag.

One of our participants with her new fringe-on-the-bottom T-bag! Check out our 2017 Arts Fest photo album on Facebook.

SalemRecycles Committee members and Engineering Intern:

Artwork by Salem High School Advance Graphics Design Class:



We all love using good, fertile compost to nourish our flower boxes and vegetable gardens, so why not contribute your household food scraps to create this compost? Instead of burying or burning food scraps, we can turn them into compost and complete the cycle of renewal. Watch => The Compost Story

Call Black Earth Compost (978-290-4610) or contact them online (blackearthcompost.com) to sign up. Participants of this curbside compost pick up program can receive a compost toter’s worth of finished compost every April. Here’s what the finished product looks like.


The Transfer Station at 12 Swampscott Road is now open for the season. 

Salem residents with proof of ID may drop off their yard waste at the Salem Transfer Station on Swampscott Road on Saturdays 7:00a.m. to 3:00p.m and Sundays 9:00a.m. to  5:00p.m.

Yard waste should be dropped off in a paper yard waste bag or dumped loose at the designated area on the site. Yard waste in plastic bags will not be accepted and stumps and branches greater than 2” in diameter will also not be accepted.

Yard Waste Curbside pick up Guidelines:

  1. Yard waste includes leaves, grass clippings, woodchips or other easily raked materials. Sticks must be cut in four foot lengths and tied with string. No tree stumps will be accepted.
  2. Yard waste must be placed in paper yard waste bags (purchased at local hardware stores and supermarkets) or loose open barrels.
  3. No plastic bags or cardboard boxes of any type can be used for yard waste.
  4. There are a total of 5 pickups annually – the same day as your trash pickup. Please refer to current years Holiday and Yard waste Calendar for specific weeks.
  5. Place yard waste seperately from trash.

Residential trash and construction and demolition debris will NOT be accepted at the Transfer Station at this time. Residents who need to dispose of excess residential trash may purchase the City orange overflow bags for curbside collection. Overflow bags are available for $2.50 each at the Department of Public Services, the City Collectors Office, Crosby’s Marketplace, and Winer Brothers Hardware.

Mello Transfer Station   203 E Main St, Georgetown, MA   978-352-8581
Wood Waste of Boston  85 Boston Street, Everett, MA  617-387-3700
Miles River Sand & Gravel   64 Paradise Road,  Ipswich, MA   978-356-2290
DeLoury Industries
Accepting only aggregate material    46 Lowell Junction Road, Andover, MA  978-475-8153

Reusable Bags Swap at Book Swap Event:

We collected donated bags.

We gave away over 50 bags!

DEP Beyond the Bin

Click here to find out where you can donate worn clothing, outdated electronics and other items that don’t belong in your household recycling bin

Recycling Video Highlight:

8 bits of plastic you can quit right now

White Goods Pick Up Days

Salem’s white goods are usually picked up on Thursdays.  Call Waste Management at 800-972-4545 and follow the prompts to residential service to schedule your pick up.

For more information, Click Here

For 2017 dates, Click Here

Salem launches new YouTube channel

Waste Management (WM), Salem’s New Trash & Recycling Hauler

Waste Management (WM) took over the City contract effective June 1, 2015.

Watch the SATV show: Salem Neighbors, Recycling in Salem. This interview format with the City’s representatives should help answer all your nagging Trash & Recycling pickup questions.

Watch the new WM Trash & Recycling Program PSA

SalemRecycles FAQ December 2016

WM Brochure for Trash Pick-up and Recycling Collection Services (English)



What NOT to do: Do NOT overload the bins. Overloaded bins will not get picked up as stuff would fall out when mechanical truck arms pick them up and turn them over into the truck bed.

OverFlowTrash_244-6 EssexOverFlowTrash_Harrisons

Plastic Bag Recycling Rules Updated:

Sometime recycling “rules” change, and here are additions we think you’ll like! When you recycle plastic bags, you may now include Tyvek envelopes, as well as plastic cereal bags & box liners (all CLEAN, please). Get the updated list: PlasticBagRecycling 2-15