Rubbish & Recycling

Where do recycled items go?
All recyclables are collected in Ashland and hauled to a sorting center. The process may vary from one facility to another, but each Materials Recovery Facility has one goal: to separate and recycle different materials so they can be made into new products. The costs for the sorting process will go up as we face many challenges - Click here to read about why the costs go up
 Hence it is important to not contaminate your recycling materials with garbage. It is very important to follow the instructions on the lids of the Town's recycling carts and in the charts that are mailed out every year.

What can I do with Clothing, Shoes and Home goods?
The Town of Ashland is excited to provide an additional outlet for recyclable materials   to our current recycling programs. Curbside pickup of Clothing, Shoes and Home Goods for recycling. 

Simple Recycling provides residents with a free, convenient way to dispose of unwanted clothing and other goods and protect the environment.  
Although collection was suspended during the pandemic. It resumes with a few key differences:
The following changes in service will take effect starting on Wednesday, June 1, 2022

  •  Residents no longer have to wait for their scheduled recycle day to put their unwanted clothing and household goods out for pickup. 
  •  Pickups must be scheduled online at or call 866-835-5068. A reminder email will be sent the day before the scheduled pickup.
  •  Residents no longer need to use the dedicated pink Simple Recycling bags for collection. Items must be placed in any waterproof bag(s) or box(es), clearly marked Simple Recycling.
  •  With pickup no longer tied to a resident’s recycling day, the placement of items for pickup has changed as well. Clearly marked waterproof bag(s) or box(es) can be placed on the front porch or in front of the garage door by 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled pickup day.
  •  Residents can set out items such as clothing, shoes, accessories, and other household discards such as kitchenware, tools, toys, and books or other small household goods in working condition.

Picture of Mattress with text saying "What do I do with this?"

For all Town of Ashland residents that are enrolled in the Town's solid waste and recycling collection program: Mattresses & box springs can be brought to the DPW every Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and also on the 1st Saturday of each month between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at no cost to you!

SimpleRecycling - 6-2022 UPDATE1SimpleRecycling - 6-2022 UPDATE2SimpleRecycling - 6-2022 UPDATE3

What’s Recyclable and What’s not?

Click here:  to visit the Recycle Smart - Smart Recycling Guide to find out.  While you're there, take a look around to learn other useful information and factoids about recycling and the importance of doing it right.


When is my Trash pickup day?

Ashland runs a 4-day trash week. Tuesday through Friday, which means that the schedule never changes following a Monday holiday. If there are weather related changes, it shall be posted on our website. Subscribe to our newsflashes by clicking 'Notify Me' at the homepage

Click here to see what streets are covered on what days for Trash pickup.

Waste Reduction Program

The Waste Reduction Program is intended to reduce solid waste management costs for households and the town and increase recycling. The Town of Ashland has contracted with Waste Management Inc. to provide curbside rubbish and recycling pickup for residents. The system is based upon the "Pay as you Throw" concept. The more you recycle the lower your costs will be. Click here for more program information.

New Phone Number (Bulk Item Pickup)

The telephone number for contacting Waste Management for scheduling a bulk item pickup is 800-972-4545. 

If you do not get connected to an operator fairly quickly, leave Waste Management a voicemail with your contact information.  

Instructions - How to Schedule Bulk Item Pickup

Please note:  The Waste Management (W/M) call center is open during weekdays from 7:30 AM to 4:50 PM (excluding Holidays)

Pay-As-You-Throw Bags

Effective July 1, 2023 ,the cost of the Town of Ashland official Pay-As-You-Throw orange trash bags will be as follows:

  • Small bags (14 gallon) will be $7.88 per roll of 5 bags.
  • Large bags (33 gallon) will be $13.50 per roll of 5 bags.

Each household pays a yearly base fee of $204.40. Qualifying senior citizens pay $109.20. For senior citizens age 65 or over, please complete and submit this form and you would be billed accordingly only after the approval of the Abatement Application. The online Abatement form is available here.

The increase in the rubbish and recycling collection fees is to cover increased costs associated with trash pickup and disposal and nothing else.  While no one likes to increase fees, please also take into consideration that we haven't raised trash fees since the program was implemented around 15 years ago.  

Billing – Update August 28, 2023 


The annual base fee shall be billed two times per year.  Half of the annual fee shall be billed each time.  Residents participating in the Town’s Rubbish and Recycling Program shall see their bill in late August and the other half in late February/early March.   

Other Trash Bags

Other trash will only be picked up if placed in official Town of Ashland bags. These bags are available at many locations in town (for e.g. Grocery stores). They are available for purchase in rolls of 5 in either 33-gallon size or 14-gallon size. You will still have the ability to dispose of white goods and bulky waste at no extra cost. Hard to dispose of items such as construction materials may seek alternatives such as special rates or off-site disposal alternatives.

Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day 

Click here for more information about the 2023 Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection.

The Town of Ashland works with six other local towns (Franklin, Holliston, Medfield, Norfolk, Sherborn and Walpole) to facilitate the safe and sustainable disposal of Household Hazardous Waste. Each town has designated days when residents can bring in their household hazardous waste items for disposal. Click here to view other town dates and information.


Each of the towns have slightly different restrictions, household hazardous waste typically falls into five categories: automotive, cleaning and polishing, paint and related solvents, pesticides, and miscellaneous items (batteries, fingernail polish remover, some cosmetics, shoe polish, etc.). Ashland residents are advised to check that particular town website listed to check if and when a hazardous waste collection day has been scheduled. Please note, that you may need a permission slip from our personnel to attend the participating town's waste collection day. Contact DPW at 508-532-7943.

Special Notes

  • Drop-off recycling for electronics, paints, motor oil and other materials will also continue.
  • Recycling pick-up is done on a weekly basis. Click here to view a video of a recycling processing center. Note - As of July 2016, per the regulations of the processing plant - Please do not bag your recycling. All recycling should be loose in your recycling bins/barrels. Keep all plastic bags out of your recycling.
  • All recycling of corrugated cardboard will be done at curbside.

1st Saturday of the month collections at the DPW

  • 1st Saturday of every month
  • 9 a.m. - Noon
  • Department of Public Works
    20 Ponderosa Road
    Ashland, MA 01721

The following items are collected:

  • Used motor-oil
  • Oil-base paints/stains
  • Fluorescent light bulbs (including CFLs)
  • Rechargeable and button batteries and contained Mercury (including old thermometers and thermostats)

The collection takes place outside, behind the red salt barn....not inside the DPW building/garage.

Ashland P-A-Y-T Frequently Asked Questions 

Q.  Why do I have to use the Town of Ashland orange trash bags?  

A.  The Town of Ashland adopted the Pay-As-You-Throw (P-A-Y-T) unit-based pricing system for its solid waste disposal needs back in July, 2006.  In a P-A-Y-T solid waste program, households pay a per bag fee for the disposal of household trash.  The town is not charged for trash disposal by volume, it is charged for the tonnage of trash that is presented for incineration at the processing facility. The revenue generated from the bag sales helps to defray the costs of the tonnage fees that the town incurs.  
 The major benefits of a P-A-Y-T program are: 
 1.  Waste collection costs are distributed more fairly among the population and in proportion to the amount of waste each household generates because residents pay for only the amount of trash that they generate.  Households generating less trash pay less than households that generate more.  Residences that enact measures to reduce their generation of trash, lower-income families, households with fewer members and the elderly tend to produce less waste that requires fewer trash bags and thus pay lower waste collection fees. 
 2.  It is an effective tool in overall waste minimization and increase in recycling which significantly reduces solid waste disposal costs and decreases air pollution from trash incinerators effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions 

Q.  Why do the bags break?

A.  There are two reasons why the bags break:
 1.  The bags are defective (seams aren’t sealed properly, bags are scored/perforated in inappropriate locations on the bag, etc.).   
 2.  The bags are being overloaded.  The large bags (33 gallon) are rated to contain approximately 35 lbs. and the small bags (14 gallon bags) are rated to contain approximately 18 lbs.  
 Bag weight should never exceed the OSHA Regulated weight of 50lbs.  If you need a dolly or wagon to bring your bag to the curb, it is probably overloaded.  If you are having a hard time lifting a bag or fear that a bag is going to tear due to being overloaded, the waste hauler that is coming by to pick up that bag at curbside will have the same issues as he attempts to pick up the bag and deposit it into the truck. 

Q.  Where can I purchase the Town of Ashland trash bags? 

A. The following stores sell Town bags:

Ashland Convenience Store; 
 E-Z Convenience Food Mart; 
 Lucky Farms; 
 Main Street Wine & Spirits; 
 Shaw’s Supermarket; Market Basket; 
 Rite Aid;
 and CVS 

Q  How much do the Town of Ashland trash bags cost? 

A.  There are 2 different size P-A-Y-T bags available (14 gallon or 33 gallon) and both sizes come in a package of 5 bags each.  The package of 14 gallon bags is $7.88.  The package of 33 gallon bags is $13.50. 

Q.  What do I do if I purchase a defective roll of Town of Ashland trash bags? 

A.  Do not return the bags to the store.  Contact David Miller at the DPW via email at or by calling: 508-532-7943.  
 Please be ready to provide the following information:  
 - Where/when did you purchase the bags (having a receipt is ideal)?   
 - How many rolls of defective bags did you purchase?   
 - What size bags are they?   
 - What is wrong with the bags (sending a picture or providing a defective bag as a sample is extremely helpful)? 

Q.  What is the Town of Ashland doing to ensure better quality bags from WasteZero (bag manufacturer)? 

A.  The town relies on feedback from its residents with regards to the quality of the P-A-Y-T bags so that if there are any defective bags that are being purchased, the town can report the defects to WasteZero.  By reporting the defect and providing the necessary information about any defective bags that you may have purchased, WasteZero can decipher what production run the bags came from and correct the problem and also remove any remaining defective bags from that production run from the warehouse before they are shipped to Ashland stores and sold to more residents. 
 In response to concerns from Ashland and a number of cities and towns, WasteZero has invested $1.6 million in new equipment to ensure better quality. Ashland can also improve quality consistency by reducing the amount of recycled product that WasteZero uses to make bags as well. The town is currently weighing the customer service versus environmental impact of this option. 

Q.   Is the Town of Ashland considering alternative methods of trash disposal in the future? 

A.   Ashland’s current contract with Waste Management runs through 2022. In anticipation of the next waste contract we will look at several alternatives, including a hybrid system that utilizes a smaller (32 gallon) cart with the ability to purchase bags for any trash not being able to fit into the cart system.