Fall 2019
An Update from the City of Newton DPW
Sustainable Materials Management Division
Leaf it – and reap!
Tired of raking leaves?
Traditionally, many of us rake and bag our leaves in the fall to clean up the mess because we know they won't break down over the winter. But is there an alternative that requires less effort and yields positive results?

Yes, there is: leaf-cycling! All you need is a lawn mower. On those slightly dewy mornings this fall, elevate your mower deck to the highest setting. Mow over the leaves, crossing over them once or twice. Up to 6 inches of leaves can be “mulched” at a time, depending on the type of mower you have. Push mowers will handle smaller amounts, but are still effective. The remaining leaf mulch on the surface of the lawn will only last for a few days. The tiny pieces of leaves will sift down through the grass and provide future weed control and essential nutrients that can save you money and time. Come spring, you won’t notice the leaf bits, just a healthy, green lawn.

According to research conducted by Michigan State University , the decomposing pieces of leaves cover up bare spots between turf plants that are an excellent opening for weed seeds to germinate. Their research has shown that nearly a 100 percent decrease in dandelions and crabgrass can be attained after adopting this practice of mulching leaves for as few as three years.
Green Up Your Lunch
Tips to reduce waste while packing your lunch
Send yourself or your kids off for the day with a zero-waste lunch. This means eliminating any items that cannot be recycled or reused, such as cling wrap and plastic utensils. Instead, opt for reusable lunch containers, utensils, and a reusable water bottle.

Here's what you'll need:

A reusable lunch box made of stainless steel, plastic or durable fabric.

Set of reusable utensils either from home or made from bamboo.

One reusable cloth napkin.

Several reusable containers or bags for snacks and sandwiches such as silicone pouches, mason jars, plastic containers with lids, or metal containers.

A w ater bottle made of metal, glass, or plastic.
Upcoming Events
Fall Fix-It Clinic

This Saturday! 9/21
12 pm - 4 pm

The Makerspace in The Newton Free Library
Learn to fix your broken stuff and have fun doing it. Fixing household items will extend their useful life, thus preventing broken items from being tossed out. Bring your repairable possessions such as a small appliances, toys, bikes, clothing, computers, musical instruments or other broken items and work with a coach who will troubleshoot and help you to repair it. No guarantees, but we’ll do our best to help you get your item up and running again. Sorry, no wooden furniture or jewelry repairs.
REGISTER HERE for a 30-minute time slot based on coach availability and nature of the repair.
For questions or to volunteer as a coach:  recycling@newtonma.gov
Johnny Amlie, 14, shows off the digital clock he repaired as a volunteer fixer during the last event in June. Photo credit: Susan Legere
2019 GreenEXPO
Sunday, October 20 th
10 am - 4:30 pm

Newton Center Green
Langley Rd. & Centre St.
This year, the GreenEXPO will host over 40 sustainably focused businesses and community groups that will show you the many ways you can make a positive impact on your home, community, and the world. Bring your family and friends for a day of fun and inspiration.

This year’s Expo is presented by Green Newton in collaboration with the Newton Harvest Fair.
Don’t Trash it, Smash it!
Save the Date for Newton's First Pumpkin Smash
Saturday, November 2 nd
11 am - 2 pm

Newton City Hall War Memorial Circle
1000 Commonwealth Ave.

Green your Halloween at Newton's first ever Pumpkin Smash. What will you do with your pumpkin after Halloween? You could put it in with your yard waste, but how much more fun would it be to smash it? This family friendly event will be focused on options to manage food waste in Newton. All smashed pumpkins will be composted. By composting your pumpkin, you are reducing waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating a valuable amendment for our soils.  It's going to be a smashing time.
We'll send you more details about this event soon.
Paper Shredding and Drug
Take-Back Day
November 9 th
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Newton Resource Recovery Center, located at 115 Rumford Ave.

Clean out your old files and medicine cabinets.

Shredding is for RESIDENTIAL materials only (no businesses). Staples may be left in documents, and paper bags may be shredded. Limited to 4 paper boxes OR 8 paper bags per car.

Bring your old or unused prescription medications to be properly disposed of. NO liquids, aerosols, or sharps will be accepted. Drive-through service only; we ask that residents remain in their cars during shredding and drug take-back for everyone's safety.

Cosponsored by the Newton Department of Senior Services, the Newton Department of Public Works, the Newton Police Department, and the Newton Department of Health and Human Services. 
Advanced sign-up required. Starting October 20 th , call the Newton Senior Center Front Desk at: (617) 796-1660 to register for a 15-minute time slot between
8 am - 12 pm.

*$5 suggested donation for 1-4 paper bags or 1-2 cardboard boxes, $10 suggested donation for 5-8 paper bags or 3-4 cardboard boxes
Bright Idea: Recycle Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Drop off your compact fluorescent
(CFL) light bulbs and fluorescent
light tubes at the Resource
Recovery Center.

Small amounts of mercury are
released into the environment if
fluorescent bulbs are improperly
disposed of at the end of their
useful lives. No mercury is released
when the bulbs are intact (i.e., not
broken) or in use.

home , clear the area for 5-10
minutes. Open a window, if possible. Then sweep up the broken bulb and toss in the trash. Do not vacuum up the broken bulb.
All types of fluorescent and
compact bulbs are accepted at
the Resource Recovery Center.
  • Remove bulbs from packaging
  • Do not tape bulbs together

LED and halogen bulbs also accepted. Incandescent bulbs go in the trash.
Meet Erica, Our New Waste Diversion Coordinator
As the Waste Diversion Coordinator, Erica works with the community to increase waste diversion in the City of Newton. This role creates and implements education and enforcement programs to encourage the highest and best use of unwanted materials. Erica previously worked for Newton Public Schools, and loved working in education, but what she missed the most was feeling the community impact from folk who care about the future of the Earth. In her free time, you will find her traveling, hiking, and relaxing with her cat, Andy.
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Landscape Management:
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Never miss trash day again

Want to make managing trash and recycling at home easier? Newton has an app for that.
With the Recycle Right Newton App you can:
  • View your collection calendar and set up customized reminders
  • Stay in the loop on collection delays
  • Find the right way to get rid of stuff
  • Test your recycling skills with an interactive waste sorting game—fun for kids and adults!
Download the free app today in the App Store or Google Play .

No smartphone? No problem.
Use the web application at: www.newtonma.gov/recycling
Thank you for recycling right!

Get involved:

  • Volunteer to work at the Swap Shop, the Book Shed, or another project that suits your interests
  • Attend a Solid Waste Commission meeting to engage in sustainable materials management policy
  • Request a tour for your community group to see where things go after they're picked up from the curb
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Learn about the latest news at City Hall and around Newton. We'll look forward to sharing updates with you!
City of Newton
 Department of Public Works
 Sustainable Materials Management Division
1000 Commonwealth Ave
Newton, MA 02459