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Recycling results for school and town buildings

In May of 2009, Annual Town Meeting approved a capital request to acquire a “packer truck” to allow the collection of both recycling and waste from all the Town’s buildings, including the schools. Green Needham members had been following this effort and supporting it.

The truck was acquired and pickup began in the summer of 2009. All buildings went to a single-stream recycling system, allowing all recyclables – paper, cardboard, plastic and metal cans – to be placed in one recycling container.

The first year’s results (July 2009 – June 2010) are in. Here’s how our schools did:

BuildingRecyclingTrash% RecycledTotal Waste
High Rock School19,24529,00040%48,245
Pollard School22,25044,05034%66,300
High School24,15055,30030%79,450
Hillside School7,75023,95024%31,700
Eliot School8,10027,03023%35,130
Mitchell School6,81026,20021%33,010
Broadmeadow School6,75028,50019%35,250
Newman School7,90041,25016%49,150

Since the schools have cafeterias, they have a different recycling profile than that of Town buildings, which are primarily offices (the DPW, however, is both an office building and a garage facility). Here’s how our municipal buildings did:

BuildingRecyclingTrash% RecycledTotal Waste
Town Hall9,9005,85063%15,750
Emery Grover4,0003,75052%7,750
Department of Public Works5,45013,85028%19,300
Highway Barrels024,9000%24,900
Parks Barrels023,0000%23,000

Now that we know how we’re doing, perhaps we should have a competition to see which school (and which municipal building) can improve its numbers most?



  1. Eleanor Rosellini says:

    As far as making our public trash recyclable, some people from different Houses of Worship have met and are working to get recycling receptacles added in the Town Center, Needham Heights, and at sports fields. Michael Greis has done some preliminary investigation of the matter and is helping us.

    I looked back at Green Needham’s October, 2010, newsletter. It reported that Needham is in the top 3 recycling communities in the State, with a rate of 67%.

  2. Dave Hottle says:

    Looks good! As you mentioned, perhaps a competition to improve numbers would be interesting. Imagine if all of the schools and municipal buildings could match or exceed the numbers from Town Hall! Is there any way that we could make our public trash (highway and parks barrels) recycled, too? And do we have any idea of how our home trash, taken to the Needham Transfer Station, compares to these numbers?