Department of Public Works
Solid Waste & Recycling
Michael Pattavina, Waste Management Coordinator
Mailing Address: 26 Central Street, Suite 17
West Springfield, MA 01089-2763
(413) 263-3234; Fax: (413) 263-3130
The DPW Solid Waste and Recycling Program's mission is to encourage West Springfield residents and businesses to consume less, reuse and donate materials, and recycle what cannot be eliminated or reused. The DPW plans, implements and maintains cost-effective waste disposal, recycling, toxics reduction and waste prevention programs that are characterized by good customer service, efforts to communicate and high participation and recovery rates. We maintain and monitor the curbside rubbish and recycling program, a Drop-Off Station, as well as recycling in city buildings, schools, and public areas. Technical assistance is provided to all institutions and commercial businesses located in Town.
Automated Trash and Recycling Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is Automated Trash & Recycling Collection?
Automated Trash & Recycling Collection service uses a single, one person vehicle with a mechanical arm to empty the trash or recycling container and return it to its original curbside position.
2. What is Single Stream Recycling?
Single Stream mean that all recycliables can be put into one container. They do not need to be separated into paper and bottles/cans. This separation is now done at the recycling facility.
3. What is the reason for the change in Trash and Recycling Collection?
Automation has been shown to reduce operating costs, improve appearance of our neighborhoods and reduce injuries to workers. Besides a cost savings over our current system, the immediate benefit of automated collection and single stream recycling will be an increase in recycling and a reduction in waste generation.
4. How do I know which size cart I will be getting?
Every household will receive a 64 gal cart for trash and a 96 gal cart for recycling. This is the core service offering of the automated collection program. Carts will be delivered to your home approximately 2 weeks before the program starting date.
5. Where should I put my cart?
Carts must be placed at least three feet from obstacles such as utility poles, mailboxes, trees and parked cars. Carts must be within two feet of the curb edge. Cart handles must face away from the street toward your home. Click for Proper Cart Placement.
6. Why do the handles on my garbage and recycling containers need to be facing my house?
The automated collection truck cannot turn the container around as it picks it up. Dumping the container “backwards” can break or damage the lid.
7. Why do I need to keep space between my garbage cart, recycling carts and the other items out for collection?
A different vehicle collects each item, so access is important. Also, the collection arm on the automated truck requires space to make the collection safely so that it will not tip over other containers or damage your property. Please keep the containers away from mailboxes, hydrants, utility poles and other obstacles that may interfere with the collection. Click for Proper Cart Placement.
8. When should I put the cart out?
Your cart must be at the curb by 7:00am on your trash day. After your cart is emptied, remove it from the curb thata day.
9. What if my cart gets damaged or stolen?
If our collection truck caused the damage, we will replace the cart at no charge to you. If the damage is from any other cause, the resident is responsible for replacement. Wheels, lids, and axles are normally replaced at no cost to the resident. Please DO NOT write house numbers or put any other marking on the carts. If you move, please leave the cart at your home. All reports of damage or theft will be investigated and should be reported to the Police Department at 263-3210 or Click to Report Online.
10. What should I do with my old trash cans?
If you do not wish to keep your old trash container, please place a note, PLEASE TAKE, on the trash can the week of your first automated collection and a separate truck will be by to collect it. REUSE IDEA: Old trash containers can be used to hold yard waste. Just be sure to affix a “Yard Waste Only” label to the container and put it out on your designated yard waste collection day.
11. Do I need to send in a request form to get core service?
No, you will automatically receive a 64 gallon cart for trash and a 96 gallon cart for recycling.
12. How much will this cost?
There is no cost for the core service offering. There will be a cost if you want to upsize your trash cart to 96 gallons or want an extra 64 gal cart for trash. Lastly, if you have an occasional need to dispose of more trash than 64 gallon cart can handle you will be able to purchase overflow stickers.
13. What if I want a smaller cart for my trash?
In order to address the needs of people with living space limitations or health concerns, the Town will offer a 35 gal trash cart and a 35 gal recycling cart. Households needed to return a request form by February 1, 2013. This deadline has passed. To select different size carts after the April 1, 2013 start date, please click on this link for more information on Cart Exhanges. We encourage residents to try the 64 gallon cart. Even if you do not routinely
generate a lot of trash and recyclables there will likely be times throughout the year where you need the extra capacity.
14. I would like to start with a smaller cart. However, what if it turns out I need a larger one?
If you chose to have the smaller cart delivered to your address and afterward you wish to switch to the larger cart, you will be charged a $60 service fee to make the switch.
15. How can I know how much trash and recycling can go into the different sized containers?
16. What if I need a larger cart or an extra cart? How much will it cost?
To upsize to 96 gallon trash cart – The service cost is $60 annually.
For an extra 64 gallon trash cart – The service cost is $100 annually.
When the requested $60 or $100 payment is received by Republic Services, the larger or extra cart will be delivered to the household. Each July, after the initial $60 payment, Republic will send the household one invoice and two statements at 30 and 60 days. If payment is not received within 90 days of the initial invoice, Republic will retrieve the extra cart or swap the 96 gallon cart for a 64 gallon cart and will charge $60 for the retrieval.
17. When can I get a larger cart or an extra cart? Is there a Request Form for this too?
We strongly encourage residents to try the 64 gal cart for trash and the 96 gal cart for recycling before you request an upsize or extra cart. As a result, requests for larger and extra carts will be received after the implementation date of April 1, 2013 by calling Republic Customer Service at 557-6700.
18. How do I get an overflow sticker?
Over flow tag/stickers will cost $1.50 each and may be purchased in the Collector’s Office at the Municipal Office Building, 26 Central Street and at numerous, local, retail stores to be determined. The tag/sticker should be attached to a trash bag no larger than 33 gallons. This is the only trash that will be collected outside the cart.
19. What can I put in my recycling cart for trash collection?
Only bagged household trash should be put in your trash cart. Do not place yard waste, brush, or any construction debris in your cart. Automotive parts, hazardous waste and hot ashes are prohibited. All trash must be contained in the cart or it will not be collected. Please remember to keep cart lids closed to prevent rain water from getting in and windblown litter from getting out.
20. What may I put in my recycling cart?
The following items may be placed in your recycling cart: Aluminum Cans; Aluminum Foil & Pie Tins; Cardboard; Cereal Boxes& Paper Towel Rolls; Glass Jars & Bottles; Junk Mail; Plastic Bottles & Containers 1-7; Magazines & Catalogs; Newspaper & Inserts; Office Paper & File Folders; Paper Bags; Telephone Books; and Tin or Steel Cans. This information is also displayed on the lid of your recycling cart. Click for Recycling Cart Contents Yes or No.
21. What may I NOT place in my recycling cart?
The following items may NOT be placed in your recycling cart: Bubble Wrap; Ceramics or Dishes; Electronics; Toys or Packaging; Foam Packaging Peanuts; Food Waste; Hazardous Waste Containers; Light Bulbs, Window Glass or Mirrors; Motor Oil Containers; Syringes or Medical Waste; or Yard Waste. This information is also displayed on the lid of your recycling cart.
22. Where should I store my carts?
The best place to store your cart is in an indoor covered area like a garage or shed. Containers may also be stored outdoors to the side or rear of the house. Containers cannot be placed at the curb for collection prior to 24 hours before your scheduled collection day, and must be removed from the curb by the end of your scheduled collection day.
23. Is there a charge for an additional recycling cart?
You can receive an additional recycling cart at no cost, provided you are first using the 96 gal recycling cart originally delivered to you. These carts must remain at the residence if you move.
24. Are these carts animal proof? Will they blow over easily?
The carts are designed to reduce opportunities for animals to get into your trash and are made to withstand inclement weather. They are very sturdy and you should not have problems with the carts blowing over.
25. How should I care for my cart?
Bagging your trash before putting it in the cart helps keep it clean (and reduces windblown litter). Periodically cleaning the inside and outside of your cart with water will help keep it looking nice and eliminate odor. A garden hose with sprayer attachment works well for this. Also, before placing any ashes or coals inside the trash cart, make sure they are completely cool to avoid damaging the cart. Please note, under no circumstance should the carts be defaced by the use of markers, stickers or paint.
26. Can I use another container?
NO - only the carts issued by the Town can be used. Trash left outside the carts will not be collected unless it is in a trash bag no larger than 30 gallons, weighing no more than 40 lbs and, importantly, has an overflow bag /sticker attached.
27. How full should my recycling cart be when I set it out?
It is most efficient and economical for our trucks to make stops for full or nearly full carts. Also, it improves air quality when trucks don’t have to make unnecessary stops. If your cart is not full and you feel you can wait until the next collection cycle, please do not put your cart out.
28. How do I get large items collected?
Bulky items that will not fit in your cart such as furniture, mattresses, and other large items are picked up separately from household trash. Call the Town’s contractor at 789-1894 to schedule an appointment for collection of these items. Household metal items such as appliances along with TVs and all electronic items can be dropped off at the DPW Yard at 430 Westfield Street between 7:30 AM – 12 noon and 12:30 PM - 3 PM, Mon-Fri.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How do I dispose of Medical Sharps (Syringes & Lancets)?
Millions of people use syringes and lancets to manage their healthcare at home. These syringes and lancets are called HOUSEHOLD SHARPS. Those who use sharps MUST properly store and discard them after use.
SHARPS ARE NOT RECYCLABLE and SHOULD NOT BE THROWN IN THE TRASH!
The Town’s Health Department offers free containers to sharps users who bring in full ones to a collection center. Health Department staff will arrange for the collection and storage in a secure location and arrange for pick up and transportation to a medical waste incinerator.
The Town has a drop-off kiosk located in the lobby of the Municipal Office Building.
For those unable to leave their homes, the Health Department can supply you with a mail back container. Your first container is supplied at no charge. Once filled, you mail back the container for disposal and you will receive an empty container by mail. Call 413-263-3207 for more information. Click here for a brochure.
2. What do I do with old paint?
Please look at the kind of paint you have. Latex paint is not hazardous. The way you dispose of paint is to harden it in the can. To do this you must open the lid of the can and expose it to the open air. If there is a lot of paint in the can, then you can put in some paint hardener purchased from a hardware store. Kitty litter can also work as a hardener. Oil based paint can also be discarded in regular trash if it is hardened in the can. If you have a lot of oil based paint (which is flammable) then you can bring it to hazardous waste collection day on the last Saturday of September at the DPW Yard. Lastly, if you put hardened paint in with your trash, make sure it is not too heavy for collection crews. Please mix it in with regular trash. Again I repeat, do not put liquid paint in your trash, make sure it is hardened.
3. What types of items can I drop-off at the DPW Yard?
Proof of residency is required to use the drop-off at the DPW Yard at 430 Westfield Street. The drop-off program only accepts items that can be recycled because of state permitting restrictions. Trash (including bulk items) cannot be dropped-off at the DPW Yard. Acceptable items include: CRTs (cathode ray tubes) in computer monitors and in all sizes of televisions, computer hard drives and all peripherals, household electronics, all sizes of fluorescent lamps, lamp ballasts, cadmium and lithium batteries (alkaline can go in with rubbish), household scrap metal and appliances, and all the same recyclable materials that are collected at the curb. Call DPW Customer Service with any questions (413) 263 –3246.
4. When is yard waste collection and what is accepted?
Yard waste is collected during spring and fall off the curb on dates to be determined by the DPW Director. Yard waste must be set out by 7:00am on your collection day, or as early as 3:00pm the day before. Place the following yard waste materials in paper composting bags or loosely in labeled barrels: leaves, grass, plants, shrub prunings and twigs. Branches should be no longer than 4' and no wider than 4". Do not include food, soil, rocks, tree limbs, or trash. Yard waste is not accepted in plastic bags and will not be picked up by rubbish or recycling crews. Yard waste may be dropped-off at the West Springfield Transfer Station (See Yardwaste Calendar for Directions).Click here for a Yardwaste Calendar.
5. I would like to get rid of some furniture, what are my options?
Help us reduce waste and encourage reuse by donating furniture in good condition. Bulk Waste items (i.e. furniture, mattresses, carpets, appliances, etc) will be collected at the curb by appointment. This service is available to those households that receive Town services. Residents in condos and apartment buildings should contact their landlords. Eligible households are allowed 5 items no more than three times per year. Appointments for bulk pickup can be made by calling (413) 789-1894.
6. What should I do with appliances?
Most appliances have value as scrap metal and can be dropped off at the DPW Yard. Some appliance contain CFCs (Freon) and these can also be dropped off at the DPW Yard at no cost. Appliances with CFCs include air conditioners, humidifiers, de-humidifiers and refrigerators. Appliances can also be picked up at the curb by calling the DPW's contractor for an appointment at 789-1894
7. There are abandoned appliances in the street, how can we get them picked up?
Please call the DPW Customer Service at (413) 263-3246 and report the location and type of appliance. Littering and illegal dumping is strictly enforced through fines and municipal liens.
8. How can I get rid of a computer or television?
Help us reduce waste and encourage reuse by donating your working computer and/or television. Non-working computer monitors or televisions can be recycled at the DPW Yard (430 Westfield St) at no cost during regular business hours Monday - Friday 7:30am-noon and 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Hard drives, keyboards, other computer peripherals and household electronics are also accepted.