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Briefs: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things Edition

Need to dispose of cardboard or mattresses? Please don’t dump them at Town Hall

If you’re missing the cardboard recycling bins behind the old fire station, thank residents and businesses that overfilled them and left trash behind.

“The dumpsters were an extra service, and other towns who had these containers took theirs away for the same reason,” said Assistant Town Manager Steve Sadwick.

The town did install cameras, but it was difficult to read license plates. And of course, the TPD has enough to do without chasing down people who ought to know better than to leave cardboard on the ground or dump couches or mattresses, which Sadwick said happened on many occasions. 

Old furniture and junk dumped outside a carboard recycling bin

If you regularly have a large amount of cardboard or other recyclables, you can request a second recycling container through the Town Manager’s office. The second container is free; residents only need to pay a one-time delivery charge of $10. More info.

For free pickup of large items such as sofas, loveseats, chairs and carpet, contact Republic Services; there is also a fee schedule for pickup of appliances, large metal items like mowers or sheds and more.

If you have a mattress or box spring to dispose of, Tewksbury is partnering with UTEC, a non-profit based in Lowell that employs at-risk young adults. They’ll come get the mattress or box spring, disassemble it and recycle what can be reused. The youth are paid, and mattresses don’t end up on the side of the road. Each piece will cost $34, which covers the cost of recycling the 75% or so of mattress components can be reused. Learn more and schedule a delivery here.

At certain times, The Wish Project and Project Home Again will accept furniture, bedding and housewares in good condition: “A good rule of thumb is if you are tired of something, we want it. If you would not have a guest sit on it, sleep on it, or eat off of it, we kindly ask that you do not bring it to us.” Check out their websites for current needs.

Republic cannot take mattresses — under Massachusetts law, there is ban on mattress and textile disposal through the waste stream.

Speaking of trash by the side of the road, residents who want to be part of the solution are invited to join the Tewksbury Beautification Committee for a one hour mini-clean up event this Saturday, August 12, from 9 – 10 a.m. The group will walk Shawsheen St. starting at Main St. Gloves and bags will be provided.  Meet at Oakdale Plaza parking lot.

Questions? Email Send us bets on the number of Fireball nips recovered.

Citizens participating in a town cleanup effort with vests and trash bags

Lorna is a U.S. Army veteran and 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.


  1. Joanne Arsenault Joanne Arsenault August 8, 2023

    It’s nice that we can get an extra recycle bin , however the majority of households need an extra trash bin, free of charge

  2. Lois Marie Lois Marie August 8, 2023

    For the town manager to throw up his arms and allow a few inconsiderate trashers to ruin this disposal option for Tewksbury residents is disgraceful. I visited the dumpsters on three occasions trying to dispose of large boxes and the bins were overflowing with cardboard. Why weren’t the bins emptied before, or even when, they got overfilled? I feel that the town manager’s office could have made an effort to properly manage and keep this resource available for the town’s taxpayers. Pathetic level of support.

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