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.

Paint (3/20)

RTS Needham

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Visit the RTS website for detailed information on how to dispose of latex and oil paint. Many paint 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.  NOTE: April 2020 Paint Day has been cancelled.

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:

Boston Building Resources

(617) 442-2262, 100 Terrace St, Roxbury MA 02120
Accepts full cans of latex paint  Cans must be clean and paint in good condition.

RTS Needham

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 no cost from April through October at the Paint Shed during regular RTS hours.)

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Paper Products (3/20)

RTS Needham

Anything contaminated with food cannot be recycled. Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, colored paper, paperboard, (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.

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Paper Take Out Containers  (3/20)

Wax treated paper cannot be recycled and must be thrown away. Paper plates and cups are also not recyclable at the Needham RTS.

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Pet Toys, Supplies (3/20)

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.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston has a location in Dedham at 55 Anna’s Place, 617-426-9170.  They have a wish list on their website.

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Plastic Bags (3/20)

TIP: In 2018 large retail stores in Needham voluntarily agreed to stop using plastic 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 #2 and #4 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. Click here for more details.

Clean, unbroken plastic bags can be left 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

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Plastic Bottles (3/20)

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.

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Empty Prescription Bottles (3/20)

Because of their small size, plastic pill bottles cannot be recycled at the RTS. If you have a private hauler, check with them. It is unlikely they want the pill bottles. A humanitarian aid group, Mathew25Ministries accepts clean, mailed-in prescription bottles for  inclusion in shipments of medical supplies and for shredding and recycling. See details.

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Unused Prescriptions (3/20)

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.

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Printers/Fax machines (3/20)

RTS Needham

Needham residents with an RTS sticker may bring them at no charge to the RTS.
Retail stores such as Staples and Best Buy accept printers/fax machines from their customers for no charge.

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 at the RTS. If the Re-Use-It already has a large inventory of printers they may be unable to accept more. See Re-Use-It guidelines.


(617) 202-5817 252 Brighton Ave. Allston, MA
Buys, repairs and sells a multitude of electronics. Recycles many types of electronics. No charge (except a $25 fee for CRT monitors).

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Printer Cartridges (3/20)


Staples Rewards members can bring in used ink and toner cartridges and are given $2 Staples Reward value for each. Limit 10 cartridges per month per customer. Customer must have spent at least $30 on ink or toner in-store or online in last 180 days. See details.

Best Buy

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. Recycle your old ink cartridge and receive $2 savings on your next ink purchase of $40 or more, or recycle your old toner cartridge and receive $2 savings on your next toner purchase of $100 or more. See what electronics and appliances can be recycled at Best Buy.

Office Depot/Office Max

Members of the Rewards program can turn in empty cartridges of any brand or purchased at any store. You get $2 back in rewards for each ink or toner cartridge brought to the store for recycling when you make a $10 qualifying purchase during the same month. Rewards are paid out monthly as a rewards certificate online.  See details.

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Propane Tanks (3/20)

Please observe basic safety precautions when handling compressed gas cylinders:

  • Do not throw in trash.
  • Do not remove valve from tank
  • Do not vent gas; it is both a flame hazard and a source of air pollution. Keep cylinder valve closed.

See more information on propane tanks at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs website

Disposal Options:

RTS Needham

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 has a Blue Rhino exchange display.  You can drop off any empty compressed gas cylinder for recycling at their display.


(617) 926-2030, 205 Grove St, Watertown MA (Behind Mt. Auburn Cemetery)
$5 per tank. Only accepts 20 lb. tanks or smaller.


781-274-8334 60 Hartwell Ave., Lexington, MA
Accepts propane tanks (empty or partially empty) up to 20 lbs. Must be sealed. They accept propane tanks and other household hazardous waste on specified weekend days. Check their website for collection days and fee schedule. (Needham residents must pay a fee).


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