Lynn Sees Reduced Recycling Tonnage

The City of Lynn has seen a decrease in the amount of recycling tonnage, but it has also seen an increase in the amount of trash just being thrown out. In 2017 there were 7,104 tons recycled; 6,722 tons in FY18 and the same for FY19.

“There can be a couple of reasons for reduced recycling,” said Ed Pacek of Waste Management, which has the city’s trash and recycling contract. “The last three years there has been a downward trend,” he added.

One factor is the amount of contaminated recycling could be stopping collectors from picking up the good recycled materials.

Pacek said the city launched an aggressive and successful education campaign in the spring called the Recycle IQ Program. It is a grant program through the Department of Environmental Protection.

“Workers go around and check the recycling carts, if it’s contaminated it’s no good and a note is left behind explaining what was wrong,” Pacek said. “We also have to look for material that may injure someone or damage our equipment. People have put in propane tanks and even a lawnmower blade probably thinking of metals’ recycling.”

The City of Lynn has been recycling for the past 17 years and spent about $7 million in outreach. It continues in outreach to educate people on recycling.

By weight the most common item recycling is “mixed” paper, 30 percent; cardboard, 15 percent; glass, 15 percent, plastic, six percent and metal (and cans), 2 percent.

“Contamination – trash – makes up the remainder. Plastic bags must be placed in the trash,” Lynn’s Associate DPW Commissioner Lisa Nerich said.

For a complete list of recyclable materials can be found on the city website

Trash, however is on the rise with 24,756 tons in FY17 to 25,206 tons in FY18 and FY19 based on figures and data supplied by the Department of Public Works.

Back in April the city launched an effort to bolster education in the schools. Recently the city held a National Public Works Week and visited the Ford, Tracy and Sission schools to spread the word about recycling.

Waste Management’s Lynn Recycling truck drivers are now enforcing correct curbside recycling rules.

If you have found a yellow Waste Management tag, please read it carefully.

If you have any questions please call Customer Service at 1-(800) -972-4545 or you may call the Lynn DPW at (781) 268-8000

The current trash and recycling contract with Waste Management expires on June 30, 2024.

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