Organic Waste Program
Hamilton was the first community in Massachusetts to implement a town-wide composting program 🙂
We did it for many reasons, here are two:
- The compostable portion of our waste accounts for about 25% of the weight. And since we pay by the ton, every pound of compost we take to Brick Ends Farm is money saved.
- Everything we put in the trash is taken to a facility in North Andover and burned. The wet garbage takes the most energy to burn, and it adds significantly to carbon emissions.
Each residence should have one official 13 gallon compost container. If you don’t have one, please visit the DPW office on the second floor of Town Hall.
Each week, when your regular trash is picked up, a separate truck will collect your organic waste (aka compost). It’s taken to Brick Ends Farm here in Hamilton, and turned into a Premium Organic Compost, and Loam Compost Mix.
You can compost a lot more than just kitchen scraps in your curbside compost bin. Here’s a breakdown of what’s acceptable:
|Low-Grade Paper||Kitchen Scraps|
|* Tissues||* Lobster / crab shells (no clam / oyster shells)|
|* Paper towels & napkins||* Fruit & vegetable scraps, including pits / seeds|
|* Paper towel & toilet paper rolls||* Meat & fish, including bones|
|* Greasy pizza boxes||* Dairy products|
|* Cardboard paper, wet or waxed||* Breads, rolls|
|* Paper takeout containers, all metal removed||* Egg shells|
|* Small paper items, pill bottle boxes, price tags||* Chopsticks and wooden stir sticks|
|* Tissue paper||* Coffee grounds and paper filters|
|* Paper plates & bowls without plastic coating||* Loose tea and tea bags, no wrappers / plastic|
|* Shredded paper|
|* Wrapping paper, no foil or glitter|
|Yard Waste||Other Waste|
|* Weeds, flowers||* Hair|
|* Dirt||* #7 PLA bioplastic made from corn (cups, lids)|
|* Potted plants (without the container)||* Plates, bowls, containers made of sugarcane|
|* Small amounts of oil|
|* BPI certified compostable bags|
|* Ash from wood fires in compostable bags|
Here’s what is not allowed in your curbside compost bin:
|* NO Plastic of any kind, including plastic bags||* NO Styrofoam|
|* NO Plastic-coated paper plates, cups, etc.||* NO Plastic, metal or “compostable” utensils|
|* NO Straws||* NO Popcorn bags|
|* NO Sugar packets||* NO Liquids, including cooking oil or grease|
|* NO Milk or juice containers||* NO Dryer lint|
|* NO Foil or metal||* NO Tape|
|* NO Biohazards||* NO Diapers or sanitary items|
|* NO Soap||* NO Dog waste|
|* NO Kitty waste or Kitty litter||* NO Fabric|
|* NO String||* NO Plastic or nylon twine|
|* NO Construction debris||* NO Clam / oyster shells|
|* NO Yard waste – see note below|
Brick Ends Farm takes leaves and grass clippings for free, and will take brush (twigs and branches) for a fee. See their website at https://www.brickendsfarm.com.
Organic waste must be placed curbside inside your 13 gallon organic waste container.
You may line your container with newspapers, use paper bags to contain the waste or use BPI certified compostable bags.
Frequently Asked Questions
Starting in April 2012, the Town of Hamilton began picking up organic waste curbside weekly from all households.
The Town issued one official 13 Gallon Compost Container and one kitchen counter collection container per eligible property. The 13 Gallon Organic Waste Container has the MassDEP’s hot stamped on the side.
For residences, businesses and private roads that share driveways and trash pick up sites it is strongly recommended that you mark your containers with an identifier easy for you to see and hard to remove so that your containers do not get confused with your neighbors. (Street No., etc.)
You may use paper bags or a compostable bag certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).
The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) is a not-for-profit association of key individuals and groups from government, industry and academia. For more information visit www.bpiworld.org
To ensure that the products you buy and use are truly compostable, look for the BPI logo to provide assurance of compost ability or biodegradability.
You may purchase additional 13 gallon waste containers at the Hamilton Town Hall for $29.00. Please do NOT put additional waste in paper bags next to your organic waste container. They will NOT be picked up.