COVID-19 update: Opportunities for donations or recycling at businesses and municipal facilities may be limited during the pandemic. Check for restrictions and changes in the RTS operations.  See details.

Medical Waste and unwanted medications


Medical “sharps” include hypodermic needles, syringes, and lancets. It is now illegal to dispose of needles, syringes, or lancets in the regular trash. See the RTS website for information about disposing of medical sharps at the RTS or other locations.


Information from the RTS website: Do not dispose of unwanted medication down a drain or toilet. Unwanted medications may be safely disposed of in Needham’s yellow trash bags. They may also be taken to Needham’s police department 24/7 for safe disposal. A drug take-back program is offered in the spring and fall sponsored by the Needham Police Department and the Public Health Department’s Needham Coalition for Youth Substance Abuse. Contact the Police Department or Public Health Department for dates and details.

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Metal, scrap and metal cans


Needham residents with an RTS sticker may place clean metal cans and lids (tin / steel / aluminum, empty aerosol) in the co-mingle bin (Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Product Containers) at the Main Drop-Off area. Any metal item that is more than 75% metal may be left at the metal scrap area in the North Area. This includes: Electrical cords and cables (including Christmas tree light strings), metal desks, file cabinets, wire hangers, bikes, aluminum doors and window frames, other metal pieces; yard and garden equipment (gasoline and oil must be removed from lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.) See details.

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Milk Cartons (updated 3/2020)

Milk and juice cartons, juice boxes, and aseptic cartons are no longer recyclable at the Needham RTS. According to a September 2018 notice of the Waste Management website, “in efforts to produce higher quality end products as a direct result of China’s National Sword waste and recycling policy, ALL Massachusetts recycling plants have ceased accepting food and beverage cartons. Food and beverage cartons are paper-based containers in refrigerated and non-refrigerated areas of food markets. Food and beverage cartons are commonly used for milk, juice, cream, soups, etc. Effective immediately, please be sure to exclude paper-based food and beverage cartons from all recycling containers and discard them with your trash. Note: This change does NOT impact food and beverage containers made from glass, plastics and metals.”

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Motor Oil

Recycle used oil by returning it to the point of purchase with your receipt. State law requires retailers to accept it and recycle it at no cost to you.


Needham residents with an RTS sticker may drop off used motor oil for recycling. See map.

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Musical Instruments

Check with your local school district or area music organizations such as the Boston Youth Symphony or the Community Music Center of Boston to see what kind of musical instruments they accept.


(800) 483-5503
They take musical instruments (no pianos or organs), clothing, household items, small working appliances, rugs, kitchen ware, etc. Call to schedule a pick up for bigger items. Pick up fees apply to many electronics so check their website or ask when scheduling a pick up. Find a drop off location.


508-647-6874 810 Worcester Street, Natick MA
They buy, refurbish, and sell used musical instruments and accessories.


(617) 323-8231, 1230 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury, MA

Savers is also a donation location for the EPILEPSY FOUNDATION, which accepts musical instruments. Savers also accepts donations of house wares, CDs, DVDs, tapes, vinyl records, as well as clothing, sports equipment, and other items for reuse. For more information click here.

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