Climate change and the planet’s finite capacity to absorb waste are forcing us to reconsider our current approach to trash. A broken freezer, a broken chair, or an old ratty couch are examples of bulky waste that have become increasingly expensive to dispose of at the Transfer Station. An old dresser or armoire, an old mattress or bedframe, a computer monitor or TV, and old books and a bookshelf are a few examples of bulky items that can be repurposed, recycled, or donated.
Reuse, Recycle or Donate Before Disposal
Any bulky item that is usable can find a good home with an organization that offers used goods to those who need them or they can be given away or sold through one of many social media or mobile app avenues. When those reusable goods find another home, there is less solid waste getting hauled away, less expenses that need to be covered by permit fees and taxes, and best of all there is reduced material getting burned up in the incinerator (polluting the atmosphere and creating toxic ash in the process).
Keep in mind that some items can be taken apart and placed with regular recycling, such as upholstered furniture, mattresses, and box springs (textiles, scrap metal, small wood scraps).
Some bulky items can also be broken down into smaller pieces for a decreased price or for no charge. A wood pallet, for example, can be broken down into smaller wood pieces. If you have an oversized plastic bulky item, check for a recycling symbol and break it down for the plastic recycling hopper.
Why Charge for Bulky Waste?
The purpose of charging for bulky waste is to help cover the cost of running the Transfer Station while taking an equitable approach to those costs. Currently, taxpayers are subsidizing the cost of disposing large bulky waste. The best way to reduce bulky waste and keep costs down for the user -- and therefore the cost of running the Transfer Station -- is to charge for it at the individual level.
Several of our neighboring town such as Action, Arlington, Concord, Newton, Sudbury, Wayland, and Wellesley all charge for bulky waste disposal, too. And these municipalities have found that charging for bulky waste keep costs down and encourage people to look for alternatives to trashing their large items.
Fee Schedule and Online Payment
Review the Fee Structure document below for a list of common bulky waste and the associated fee. The fee can be paid for in advance online or at the Transfer Station with an attendant. Only credit/debit cards are accepted.
- Why are we being charged for bulky waste?
- Instead of charging for bulky items, why not raise the permit fee?
- I paid for my Transfer Station permit for the year expecting it would cover everything I want to drop off at the Transfer Station. Why isn’t bulky waste included in the fee I paid?
- Why isn’t this being implemented on the new permit cycle?
- How were the fees determined?
- What qualifies as a bulky item?
- Is this related to Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT)?
- How will the Swap Shed function? Will items left there be charged?
- Will I be charged for items that can be recycled, such as wood or metal?
- What about plastic? Isn’t it recyclable?
- How does the Transfer Station intend to manage this new program?
- How does the payment work?
- What is the difference between a rug and a carpet?
- Can residents with private haulers dispose of bulky waste at the Transfer Station?