Newton is launching an educational campaign to encourage residents to clean up their recycling before putting it out on the curb, according to Mayor Ruthanne Fuller. The effort will include new decals on recycling bins designed by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s “Recycle Smart” program to help remind people about which materials should go into the containers.
The city also is seeking volunteers for a data collection effort to better understand how these services are functioning and how they can improve, Fuller said in a June 10 statement. “Help us provide recycling education to reduce recycling contamination while getting some exercise and spending time outside,” Fuller said. “[And] help us gather information that will inform decisions regarding Newton’s waste and recycling collection services.”
The city began asking residents in 2018 to make sure not to put items into recycling bins that shouldn’t be there — such as plastic bags and utensils, shredded paper, wood, and Styrofoam, Fuller said in a statement. The city’s contract with Waste Management includes fines if Newton’s recycling is more than 10 percent contaminated. But with the help of residents, Newton has not paid fines for contaminated recycling since February 2019, she said.