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 and one kitchen counter collection 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 garbage). It’s taken to Brick Ends Farm here in Hamilton, and turned into an 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|
|* Paper towel / toilet paper rolls||pits and seeds|
|* Greasy pizza boxes, wet or waxed cardboard||* Meat & fish, including bones|
|* Paper Chinese food container||* Dairy products|
|(all metal removed)||* Bread, rolls|
|* Small paper items, pill bottle boxes,||* Egg shells|
|* Paper price tags, etc||* Chopsticks and wooden stir sticks|
|* Paper wrapping paper||* Coffee grounds and paper filters|
|* Tissue paper||* Loose tea and tea bags|
|* Chinet (plain paper plates and bowls)||(no tea bag wrappers or plastic)|
|Other Waste||Yard Waste|
|* Hair||* Weeds, flowers|
|* #7 PLA bioplastic made from corn (cups, lids)||* Dirt|
|* BPI certified compostable bags||* Potted plants (without the container)|
|* Plates, bowls and containers made of||* Small amounts of oil|
Here’s what is not allowed in your curbside compost bin.
|* Plastic of any kind, including plastic bags||* Styrofoam|
|* Plastic-coated paper plates, cups or||* Plastic or metal utensils (forks, knives &|
|* Popcorn bags||* Sugar packets|
|* Liquids, including cooking oil or grease||* Milk or juice containers|
|* Dryer lint||* Foil or metal|
|* Tape||* Biohazards|
|* Diapers or sanitary items||* Soap|
|* Dog waste||* Fabric|
|* String||* Plastic or nylon twine|
|* Construction debris||* Clam / oyster shells|
|* Plastic lined cartons (milk, OJ, etc.)||* Yard waste [see note below about Brick Ends|
|* Kitty litter||Farm]|
You may line your container with newspapers, use paper bags to contain the waste or use BPI certified compostable bags.
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.
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.