IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Visit the RTS website for detailed information on how to dispose of latex and oil paint. Many paints (such as latex) and related products are not hazardous and can safely be disposed of with regular household trash. Please read the information on the website before bringing materials to a paint collection day.
Paint collection days are held on the third Saturday of each month, April – October. Needham residents who do not have an RTS sticker may attend the October Paint Collection Day only. Other dates are open only to residents with stickers.
Oil Based Paint: Never dispose of liquid oil or alkyd paints or stains with regular trash. These can be taken to the Surplus Paint Collection Days. See the RTS website for information and collection dates.
Residents are encouraged to dry out unwanted latex paint and dispose of it with regular trash. See the RTS website for instructions on drying out latex paint.
Local Paint Donation Outlets for large quantities of good, usable latex paint:
(617) 442-2262, 100 Terrace St, Roxbury MA 02120
Accepts full cans of latex paint. Cans must be clean and paint in good condition. If you plan to drop off your donation, they recommend contacting them first to make sure that they will be able to accept the materials. See their drop-off instructions and hours.
For large quantities of good, usable latex paint – bring to paint collection days for sharing in the surplus paint shed. (Surplus paint and related materials collected from residents in good, usable condition is available at no cost from May through November at the Paint Shed during regular RTS hours. See the Surplus Paint Collection Day Flier.)
Anything contaminated with food cannot be recycled. Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, colored paper, paperboard (e.g., cereal and shoe boxes), brown paper bags, hard and soft cover books, (remove hard covers if possible), junk mail, envelopes of all types (plastic windows ok) can all be recycled at the Needham RTS main drop off area. There is a separate collection bin for corrugated cardboard (no waxed cardboard). See details.
Wax treated paper cannot be recycled and must be thrown away. Paper plates and cups are also not recyclable. Take-out containers that are marked “compostable” or “compostable in commercial facilities” are not recyclable. They might be accepted by a composting service which offers foodscrap pick-up.
Waste Reduction tip: Depending on the size of your gathering, you can try to use regular reusable dishes and cups. When eating in restaurants, simply bring along a container from home for restaurant leftovers and fill it yourself. That way you can avoid getting a single-use container in the first place.
Many pet shelters in the area need donations. Call a pet shelter close to you and inquire if they are looking for any used pet goods. Also, for Needham residents with an RTS sticker, clean leashes, crates, collars and unopened pet food, litter, etc. are accepted at the Re-Use-It shed. There are Needham residents who regularly collect these items for use in shelters in the Greater Boston Area.
According to RecycleSmartMA), empty prescription bottles are considered to be medical waste and cannot be recycled at the RTS or by a private hauler, but there may be recycling opportunities beyond municipal recycling. A humanitarian aid group, Mathew25Ministries accepts clean, mailed-in prescription bottles for inclusion in shipments of medical supplies or for shredding and recycling. See details.
Empty over-the-counter pill bottles (vitamin bottles, aspirin, etc) are okay to put them in the recycling as long as they are bigger than a credit card. Anything smaller than a credit card will fall through the cracks and will not be recovered. See RecycleSmartMA
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. Click here for more information.
Plastic Bags (11/2022)
TIP: Some large retail stores in Needham voluntarily agreed to stop using plastic grocery bags (but still use plastic bags for produce). Paper bags also have a carbon footprint, however, so reusable bags are the best choice. Most grocery stores sell reusable grocery bags and reusable produce bags.
Bring no. 2 and 4 plastic bags back to your local grocery store for recycling. This includes dry cleaning bags, bread/produce bags which are clean, newspaper bags, and zip lock bags. See RecycleSmartMA. and RTS Frequently Asked Questions.
Clean, unbroken plastic bags might be accepted at the Re-Use-It shed at the RTS.
DO NOT put plastic bags into the commingled recycling at the RTS or into your recycling containers for single-stream curbside pick-up at your home. Plastic bags are a serious contaminant, getting caught in the machinery used to sort commingled recyclables
Needham residents with an RTS sticker: Bring plastic bottles (milk, water, juice, salad dressing, laundry detergent, shampoo, dish soap, etc.) of any number to the Needham RTS main drop-off area. Leave caps on. If you use a private hauler, carefully follow the guidelines provided to customers.
For Needham residents with an RTS sticker, working Wi-Fi enabled printers with all their ink cartridges are accepted at the Re-Use-It Swap Shop shed. If the Re-Use-It Shop already has a large inventory of printers they may be unable to accept more. See Re-Use-It guidelines.
Staples Rewards members can bring in used ink and toner cartridges and are given $2 Staples Reward value for each. Limit 20 cartridges per month per customer. Customer must have spent at least $50 on ink or toner in-store or online in last 180 days. See details.
Ink and toner cartridges are accepted for free. Limit three items per household per day. Recycling is intended for residents only. Products from businesses and organizations, or items that present a health or safety hazard are not accepted. See what electronics and appliances can be recycled at Best Buy.
RTS Needham residents with an RTS sticker may drop off 20 gallon and small camping propane tanks at the RTS for a fee.
SPEEDWAY 207 Highland Ave., Needham, 781-433-8683
The Speedway at 207 Highland Ave. in Needham and Walgreens have Blue Rhino exchange displays. Drop off any brand of empty compressed gas cylinder for recycling at their display and you can get a reduced price for a new tank. You can leave a tank for recycling even if you don’t buy a new one. From their website “Blue Rhino will happily take your unused propane cylinders and recycle them at no cost to you. If you have a propane tank that you don’t want, place your old tank beside a Blue Rhino display and we’ll take care of the rest.”
IGO’S Welding Supply Co
(617) 926-2030, 205 Grove St, Watertown MA (Behind Mt. Auburn Cemetery)
$5 per tank. Only accepts 20 lb. tanks or smaller.