Appliances: Metal appliances that do not contain coolant (e.g., washers, dryers, hot water tanks) can be disposed of at Clark's Auto Wrecking (Pratt Corner Road in Shutesbury) at no cost. There is a cost, however, for appliances with coolant that must be drained (e.g., refrigerators, dehumidifiers, air conditioners).
Other appliances, including TVs, can be taken to the Leverett Transfer Station (LTS). In order to utilize the LTS, you will need to purchase a sticker either from the Shutesbury Recycling and Solid Waste Committee during the trash bag distribution period (late April through June) or at Town Hall thereafter. Here is a list of costs for disposal of various items at LTS. For more information and hours of operation, please visit the Leverett Transfer Station website.
Batteries: Car batteries can be taken to Clark Auto Body on Pratt Corner Road at no cost. Rechargeable and button (lithium) batteries are hazardous waste that can be disposed of at Town Hall. Enter Town Hall through the rear door and you’ll see buckets for batteries, ballast, thermometers, and thermostats, which will be collected for recycling by an outside vendor. Regular alkaline batteries are not hazardous and should go in the trash.
Ballasts: Ballasts can be disposed of in the appropriate bucket on the lower level of Town Hall.
Books: Books in poor condition or old encyclopedia sets that are out of date can be taken to the book shed at the Leverett Transfer Station (LTS), where they’ll be recycled. Paperback books can be recycled as is. The covers of hardcover books should be removed before recycling. If the Friends of the Library have a book sale coming up, books in good condition can be donated to the Friends of the M.N. Spear Memorial Library.
Bubble Wrap: Pop the "bubble pillows" (to reduce volume of item) and drop it off at local stores taking plastic bags (e.g., Stop & Shop, Big Y, or Walmart).
Bulky Waste: Bulky items, too large to fit in a Shutesbury trash bag, can be taken to the Leverett Transfer Station (LTS). You will need to purchase an LTS sticker either from the Shutesbury Recycling and Solid Waste Committee during the trash bag distribution period (late April through June) or at Town Hall thereafter. For more information and a list of disposal costs, go to the LTS website.
Bulky Rigid Plastics: Large plastic items (children’s toys, plant pots, large plastic buckets, etc.) are not recyclable. They can be taken to the Leverett Transfer Station.
Canning Jars: Canning jars can be recycled like other containers. Leave the lids on.
Carpet: Take old carpet to the Leverett Transfer Station. Carpets and rugs can be recycled, but because these items are made of many different kinds of materials (e.g., wool, nylon, polyester, acrylic), recycling is complicated. The MA Department of Environmental Protection is trying to encourage carpet recycling, but there are no such facilities in our area as yet.
Coat Hangers: Metal coat hangers can be taken to Clark Auto Body, Pratt Corner Road in Shutesbury as scrap metal. Take off the paper or plastic wrap that comes from the cleaners. Plastic coat hangers are not recyclable and should go in the trash.
CDs and DVDs: CDs and DVDs can be recycled at GreenDisk (see fees and items accepted here). Otherwise, they go in the trash.
Egg Cartons: Pulp-paper and clear-plastic egg cartons are recyclable.
Tip: paper egg cartons make good fire-starters.
Styrofoam cartons are not recyclable and should go out in the trash.
Electronics: Most electronics (not TVs) can be recycled at Staples, with a limit of seven items per day. Check here to see the items that Staples can and cannot accept for recycling. TVs and other electronics that are not recyclable at Staples can be taken to the Leverett Transfer Station.
Food Scraps, Organic Waste: Vegetable organics can be put in the compost (and the resulting compost will be great for your garden). The Recycling and Solid Waste Committee periodically obtains compost bins, which we are able to sell for $20 each, less than half price. When bins become available, the RSWC will send out a Town Announcement and post the news on NextDoor Shutesbury.
Fluorescent Lights: Home Depot accepts compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs but not fluorescent tube lights. Small bulbs are collected in boxes at the entry door. Lowe's takes compact bulbs and tube lights up to 6 ft. long. There are bins for the bulbs to the left in the entry (across from Returns) with buckets for tube lights next to the bins.
Glue Sticks: According to Mass DEP’s Recyclopedia, glue sticks can go in the trash as they are not hazardous waste. Other glues (e.g., epoxy and glues for plastic models) are hazardous and should be taken to the HHW collection in Amherst.
Hazardous Waste: Each year in August or September, Amherst hosts a collection day for Household Hazardous Waste. Shutesbury residents have access to this event. In early summer we will announce the date of the HHW collection day through Nextdoor Shutesbury and Town Announce. Pre-registration is required, and information about registration and what constitutes hazardous waste will be available on the Town of Amherst website.
Hazardous Waste when I can't wait for Hazardous Waste Day in Amherst: Take your waste to NEDT Household Hazardous Products Collection Center, 190 East Main Street (Route 20), Westfield, MA 01085. Check their website for hours of operation, what's accepted, and disposal costs.
Mattresses and Box Springs: Mattresses will no longer be accepted at landfills or co-generation facilities after October 31, 2022. In our area, you can recycle mattresses at Valley Recycling, 234 Easthampton Road in Northampton. Check their website for other items they recycle.
Medical Sharps (hypodermic needles): Residents of Amherst, Pelham, and Shutesbury can purchase sharps containers at the Amherst Transfer Station or the Amherst Health Department (by appointment). The price includes disposal by a licensed biohazardous waste transporter. An Amherst Transfer Station sticker is not required to participate in this program. Empty insulin pens, with the sharps removed, can go in the trash.
Medications: The Amherst Police station has a collection bin for unwanted prescription and non-prescription medications in pill form only. Veterinary pills are also acceptable.
Motor Oil: The retailer who sold you motor oil is required to accept your used oil. Hang on to your receipt so you can show that you purchased [this quantity of] oil from this retailer. If you don't reuse the quart or gallon plastic bottles to take oil back to the retailer, you should throw them in your trash. Their contamination with oil makes them ineligible for recycling.
Paints: Oil-based paint is hazardous waste and should be disposed of at Amherst’s Household Hazardous Waste collection day. Latex and acrylic paints are not hazardous waste and will not be accepted at the HHW collection day. If you have a bit of leftover paint that you want to get rid of, buy some cat litter, put enough in the remaining paint to make it solid, then put the bucket with the paint in the trash. Metal paint cans that are empty and completely dry can be recycled as scrap metal at the Leverett Transfer Station.
Packing peanuts: Some packing peanuts are made of cornstarch and are compostable. To see if a packing peanut is made of cornstarch, just wet it with a little water. If it starts to dissolve, those peanuts can go in the compost bin. If not, put them in the trash.
Paperboard beer and soda packages: These are now recyclable. Just break them down and put them in your paper/cardboard recycling.
Petfood Bags: Paper petfood bags that are lined with a plastic coating are not recyclable because the plastic can’t easily be separated from the paper. They should go in the trash.
Plastic bags and other plastic film: Plastic bags/film may NOT be placed in your Shutesbury curbside recyclables. Take all kinds of plastic film (e.g., plastic supermarket bags, pellet stove bags, plastic/shrink wrap, plastic straws, etc.) to Stop & Shop, Big Y, or Walmart for recycling. Bubble wrap and packing “pillows” are plastic film, but pop the bubbles/pillows before you take them for recycling. Fun fact: HomeDepot collects shrinkwrap and sells it to Trex, who uses it in manufacturing their composite decking.
Propane Tanks: Completely empty propane tanks can be taken to Clark Auto Body on Pratt Corner Road or to the Leverett Transfer Station and are disposed of as scrap metal at no cost.
Shoes and Belts: Shoes and belts can go where textiles go, either in collection bins or to charities like Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Styrofoam packing material: Gold Circuit E-Cycling at 2 Second Street in Palmer takes clean, white Styrofoam for $20 per vehicle load (no Styrofoam food trays or packing peanuts). Ask your neighbors if they have chunks of Styrofoam they want to get rid of, take a carload down to Palmer, and split the cost.
Textiles and Clothing: Textiles will no longer be accepted at landfills and co-generation facilities as of November 1, 2022. Clothing and other textiles may be donated to Goodwill and the Salvation Army in Hadley, and there are drop-off bins at the Leverett Transfer Station and in other locations in the area where they can be deposited. All manner of textiles are acceptable as long as they are clean and dry. The RSWC is currently working to get drop-off bins for textiles located in Shutesbury.
Thermostats and Thermometers: These items may be disposed of in the appropriate buckets on the lower level of Town Hall.
Used Furniture (and other large usable items): How about donating them to area non-profits such as the Amherst Survival Center, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army? You can also set them at roadside with a "FREE" sign. Passing neighbors may give them an extended useful life. If the items aren’t picked up in a week, you can take them to the Leverett Transfer Station.