Solid Waste District News

Pellet Bags | Agricultural Plastics | Mercury Thermostats | Bulky Waste Cleanup

Pellet Bag Recycling Program a Hit! – Preparation Instructions

The solid waste district’s new recycling program for wood pellet bags is very popular with residents at the thirteen municipal transfer stations that are offering the free program. Residents of Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Leverett, Montague, Northfield, Orange, Rowe, Shelburne, Warwick, and Wendell can bring their pellet bags to their own transfer stations. Greenfield Transfer Station accepts pellets bags for free from any Franklin County resident. Ask attendants where to put pellet bags.


Other plastic bags are not acceptable. Please no feed bags, soil bags, pesticide bags, or stretch film. All bags must be empty and dry. Wet bags will cause the entire load to be rejected by the recycling company. Pellet bags are baled and shipped to Trex to be recycled into plastic Important: shake out all wood pellets before recycling. Gill resident Ray Purington shares a tip: “I keep a pair of rugged scissors on the shelf above the pellet stove and cut open the top of the bag an inch or so below the heat-sealed area.  I cut across both sides of the bag, about ½ – ¾ the width of the bag, stopping in the middle. That way, the cut flap remains attached, and I’ve got a smooth ‘spout’ that doesn’t trap pellets when I pour from it.” When the bag is empty, cut open the bottom of the bag to fully release any pellets. Store bags flat and then roll or fold the pile into a pellet bag that has been cut at the top only. Do not ball up or crumple the bags.

For more information, see

NEW Agricultural Plastic Recycling Program

The Franklin County Solid Waste Management District has been awarded a Massachusetts Community Innovation Challenge Grant and a grant from MassDEP to implement a FREE recycling program for agricultural plastics.

Starting February 7, 2015, four Franklin County Transfer Stations will accept agricultural plastics for free. Any farmer within Franklin County may go to any of the four sites. For locations and hours, see

Acceptable items include hay bale wrap, greenhouse film, silage cover, maple tubing, and drip tape.  Shake off loose dirt, stones, hay. Keep dry. These items will not be accepted: plastic mulch, garden pots, netting, row cover, twine. Agricultural plastics will be baled and shipped to Delta Plastics in Arkansas to be recycled into 100% recycled content trash bags.

Don’t throw away Wall-Mounted Mercury Thermostats!

Updating to a programmable thermostat? Great, but your old wall-mounted thermostat should not be thrown in the trash. These thermostats contain liquid mercury, which can be hazardous to our environment and human health if not properly disposed of. Franklin County Solid Waste Management District accepts thermostats for free.

Mercury is found in many household items such as thermometers, thermostats, some button batteries, and fluorescent light bulbs, including energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). None of these mercury-containing items should be put in the trash; they can all be safely disposed of at the sites listed below.

Thermostats and thermometers are accepted at the District office at 50 Miles St. in Greenfield. Hours vary; call 413-772-2438. District residents can also bring them to Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day, held each fall, or to one of the regional hazardous waste collection sites at the transfer stations in Bernardston (first Sat. of each month; 9am-11am from Dec-April and 8am-noon from May-Nov), Colrain (every Sat., 8am-4pm), or Conway (first Sat. of each month, 11am-2pm).

It is important to return the entire thermostat, and not just the mercury-containing ampoule, since the casing provides protection for the mercury. Handle carefully and place in a sealed plastic bag.

Batteries and fluorescent light bulbs, including CFLs, can be brought to transfer stations for recycling. Transport bulbs carefully; hand to attendant. Home Depot and Lowe’s also accept fluorescent light bulbs.

“Clean Sweep” Collection for Bulky Items

Save the date: Spring “Clean Sweep” Bulky Waste Day: May 16thfrom 9 a.m. to 12 noon.  The three drop-off sites are: the Buckland Recreation Facility on Rt. 112 South, the Northfield Highway Garage, and the Whately Transfer Station. Bring tires, appliances, scrap metal, mattresses, construction debris, computers and equipment, televisions, propane gas tanks, and other large items. You can also bring clean and dry (bagged) textiles and books for reuse or recycling. New in 2015: Bring bulky rigid plastics for recycling. Materials will be recycled whenever possible. Disposal fees listed at:

For more information on any of these programs or events, contact the Franklin County Solid Waste District: 413-772-2438,, MA Relay for the hearing impaired: 711 or 1-800-439-2370 (TTY/TDD). The District is an equal opportunity provider.

Pellet Bags | Agricultural Plastics | Mercury Thermostats | Bulky Waste Cleanup