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 or donated.
Climate change, and our increasing awareness that the planet’s capacity to absorb waste is finite, are forcing us to reconsider our current approach to trash. 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).
Bulky Waste Charges
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. 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 is not just about finances, the fees also encourage people to look for alternatives to trashing their large items.
The costs to haul away solid waste and recycling are increasing and the disposal of bulkier items is expensive. 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.
Coming May 2021, the Transfer Station will start charging for certain large items, which are outlined on the Items and Fee Structure document below. These items may be paid for at the Transfer Station with one of the attendants using your credit or debit card, or in advance of your trip through our online payment website (coming soon).
What Constitutes a Bulky Item?
To help gauge what is considered a bulky item, if the item is larger than what will fit inside a tall kitchen (13 gal.) garbage bag, it is a bulky item subject to the fees as outlined.
Keep in mind that some items can be broken down into smaller pieces and placed with regular recycling, such as upholstered furniture (textiles, scrap metal, smaller wood scraps). Can the bulky item be broken down into smaller pieces for a decreased price? Check for a plastic recycling symbol on a large plastic item and if it has one then the piece can be broken down further and placed in the plastic recycling hopper. Of course, if the item still has life to it, donate or sell it rather than disposing of it. See below for organizations accepting donations - even old mattresses can be taken away and recycled.
- 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?
Organizations Accepting Donations
More Than Words (books and clothing)
56 Felton Street, Waltham
(Bins at Transfer Station)
Friends of the Weston Public Library
Used Book Sale (also audio books, CDs, DVDs)
86 School Street
donation bins are located in the parking lot when Library is open
Clean Out Your Office
Raw Material Recovery
461 West Broadway, Gardner
Surplus Technology Solutions
8 Post Office Square, Suite 3R, Acton
Household Furnishings - Large
Fresh Start Furniture Bank
16 Brent Drive, Hudson
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
310 Pond Street, Ashland
1580 VFW Parkway, W. Roxbury
Household Goods, Inc.
530 Main Street, Acton
Project Just Because
109 South Street, Hopkinton
Trophies and Medals
Lamb Awards & Engraving
Accepts old/unwanted trophies, plaques, medals to make new and keep out of the solid waste stream.
Medals 4 Mettle
Takes earned marathon, half-marathon, and triathlon medals (adults and children) to repurpose as awards to children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses who might not be able to run a race, but are in a race of their own to continue to live.
Household Furnishings - Small
Other Avenues of Disposal
Wayland-Weston Freecycle - trade it out with a neighbor
Weston (MA) Community Sale Stuff - Facebook group of Weston-only residents. Also look for regional "Curb Alert" Facebook groups where people will place a notice on the page of items they are giving away and someone will come get them
Facebook Marketplace - sell your items, which is a great avenue for old furniture or yard equipment, even some demo materials like pavers or cabinets