This site is intended to be the encyclopedia for residents and businesses of Newburyport to assist in disposing of no-longer-needed items and household solid waste in the most environmentally way possible for three purposes:

  • To bring down the costs of waste disposal for the City of Newburyport
  • To decrease the need for expanding the waste disposal infrastructure for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (which will drastically drive up both taxes and operational costs for waste disposal)
  • To make Newburyport a cleaner, safer and even more beautiful place to live

Toward Zero Waste Newburyport is a project dreamed up by local zero waste advocates to reduce the city’s tipping fee costs and decrease environmental impact through residential waste reduction.

**To reach the City’s Recycling Energy Sustainability page, please visit  https://www.cityofnewburyport.com/recycling-energy-sustainability.**


Toward Zero Waste Newburyport received a DEP SMRP grant to implement several waste diversion streams and asked volunteer households to record their trash weights before and after new diversion streams were available. There were 141 households in the pilot.

Take aways from the pilot were this:

  1. A need to increase curbside recycling awareness and compliance
    • A large percentage of residents are woefully unaware of what should and should not go in curbside recycling.
    • Many find it difficult to keep straight and do not have the interest to ask. A hotline or dedicated email would be useful as the yearly recycling guide is often misplaced
  2. Many household outcasts CAN be reused or recycled (*not curbside*) through additional education and programs (“Better outcomes for your outcasts” program)
    • Charitable donations
    • Freecycle
    • Curb Alert and other swap/sell Facebook pages
    • Terracycle brigades
    • Mattress and carpet recycling
    • Old keys, expired credit cards and gift cards, hotel key cards, etc
    • Bulky plastics
    • Broken ceramics
    • Film plastics
    • Textiles
    • Dog food bags
    • Styrofoam
  3. Organics constitute the largest WEIGHT in a typical week’s residential trash. An organics diversion program (backyard or curbside or ideally, combination) could divert as much as 80% of a household’s waste – though averages in our pilot were between 30-50% (The EPA estimates only ~20%)
    • Could become mandatory through state action and several cities have mandated
      • Vermont and many west coast cities
      • Hamilton/Wenham, Manchester, Salem pilot
      • Current statewide commercial ban on organics
  4. The single best motivator for encouraging #1-#3 and showing a real and dramatic difference in residential household waste is to implement a Pay As You Throw program
    • Immediate results (~44% decrease in 90 days)
    • With the right partner, a turnkey program is implemented smoothly and community education plans are provided months in advance with full partner support
    • Waste collection, hauling and disposal costs are brought to light – the drain on community budgets is recognized and not buried in the budget or thought of as “free”
    • Waste collection, hauling and disposal costs are treated as the utility they are – households can manage their consumption of waste disposal and the associated expense as they wish and not subsidize others.

Our purpose is to take the four points above and share with residents to help them:

      • maximize recycling
      • identify, develop and promote additional diversion streams
      • customize resource materials
      • develop education materials and plans
      • introduce Pay As You Throw and provide real estimates of effects on the community and town budget

THIS SITE IS PERPETUALLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION! If you have any questions, please email TowardZeroWasteNewburyport@outlook.com!


5 thoughts on “HOME

  1. I often see furniture by the side of the street saying ‘free’. Sometimes an odd chair or small table, etc. I wonder if their could be a volunteer process organized to collect, repair, clean up enough for it to be resalable by Goodwill, Bridge Rd shop, etc. Reuse is always better than refuse.

  2. how can i post something? totally unrelated to this subject but a new recycling opportunity for NBPT and the northshore

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