Rubbish, Recycling, Items that don't fit in carts- (Bulk[y]) items

The City of Fitchburg provides curbside rubbish and recycling for single family and multi-family dwellings up to 8 units.

The carts available for rubbish and recycling collection are:
  Rubbish Recycling
35 gallon
64 gallon
96 gallon
One set per household is delivered free of charge.  Additional carts can be requested to the Health Department as well as replacement carts if one is damaged or stolen. Additional rubbish carts can be leased from the city for an annual fee of $100.  Additional recycling carts can be obtained for a one-time fee of $60.  Replacement carts can be requested for a one-time $60 fee.  You can pay for your additional or replacement carts online or at the Health Department at City Hall.

Please click here to order your carts online.


Our community is plagued by recycling contamination.  Contamination occurs when non-recyclable items are put in your recycling cart.  The biggest offenders are:

  •  Plastic Bags: Although they have a recycling symbol on them, they are not accepted in the City recycling program.  They can, however, be returned to the retailers that have a bag recycling deposit box.
  • Pizza Boxes:  Can be recycled, even with grease on them but no food inside please and no plastic or wax wrap!
  • Clothing and textiles:  Clothing and other fabrics should be dropped off at donation boxes around the city or at the Salvation Army.  Effective November 1, 2022, textiles can no longer be placed in normal trash.
  • Mattresses and Box springs must be recycled as of November 1, 2022.  See bottom of this page for disposal options.
  • Non-recyclable plastics: Plastic films, shrink wrap and any plastic item that does not have a numbered recycling symbol (1 through 7) are not recyclable and should go in your trash cart.  These include toys, shovels, storage bins, laundry baskets, vacuum cleaners, etc.  
  • Metals: The only metals acceptable in your recycling cart are aluminum cans, steel cans, aerosol cans, aluminum foil wrap, aluminum pie plates and aluminum baking trays.  Any other metal item such as bikes, mop and broom handles and brake disks should be dropped off at the metal pile at the landfill.  You will need a landfill or recycling pass from the Health Department to do so.
  • Styrofoam: Styrofoam packing material and food containers are not accepted in the City recycling program and should be put in your trash cart.
  • Wood, carpets, and other large items:  these items should go in your trash cart.
  • Bags of trash:  Your recycling cart is not an extension of your trash cart.  Bags of trash do not belong in your recycling cart.  If you need an additional trash cart, they can be leased from the City for $100 per year following this link.
  • Visit the Recycling Do's and Don'ts page by clicking the link

Please follow the guideline below to limit recycling contamination.  A PDF version is available here.

Proper Recycling Guidelines

​Trash & Recycling Calendar

The Trash and Recycling calendar is now in electronic form on this page. Just enter your address below to obtain your collection schedule.  There will be an option to download and print your collection calendar.  You can also download it as an app on your smartphone or tablet by going to your app store and searching for the Fitchburg Trash & Recycling Tool.  To sign up to receive notifications such as a collection day reminder or receive information such as special collections or collection delays!  No smart phone required, if you sign up online, to receive notifications.  Enter your address below and sign up now!

​Waste Wizard

Not sure on how to dispose of an item?  In the tool below is a Waste Wizard tab that allows you to research how to dispose off or recycle most items.  Just type in what you want to dispose of to find out how to dispose of it.   The Waste Wizard is also included in the smartphone app.

Mattresses and Box springs

Effective November 1st, 2022, per Massachusetts law these items will no longer be accepted as trash and must be recycled.  There will be three options for disposal:

  1. Tough Stuff Recycling  (978-307-4118) located at 145 Authority Drive in Fitchburg will accept your mattresses and box springs for recycling and the fee for this option is $25.00 per item. Click the link to schedule drop off: Tough Stuff Recycling
  2. They can be brought to the landfill transfer station where a drop-off container is located.  The fee for this option is $35 per item.  An application and payment can be done here for this option.
  3. They can be collected at curb-side at your home for a $45 fee through Tough Stuff Recycling's online portal.  The Health Department will supply storage bags to protect mattresses and boxsprings so you can store them until collection.  Click the link to schedule a curbside collection:   Collection at Your Residence

The prices above are subject to change.  The fees are payable in advance online or at the Health Department (Landfill transport Disposal or Tough Stuff curbside collection only).  Your receipt will need to be shown for both drop-off options.

Items That Don't Fit in Carts (Bulk Items)

The Waste Wizard in the Fitchburg Trash & Recycling Tool above allows you to research options to dispose of items that don't fit or shouldn't belong in your cart.  We recommend it as your first source of information.

Items that don't fit in the rubbish cart such as household furniture, couches, chairs, rugs are considered Bulk items.  Please do not put these at the curb unless they have been scheduled for pick up with the Health Department.  You can scheduled a pick up by the City for a $20 per item fee.  Bulk Items can also be brought to the Landfill Drop off with a free Bulk Item Pass.  To obtain a pass, simply request one at the Health Department counter at City Hall or use the on-line permitting system.  A proof of residency will be required.

Please note that televisions, computer monitors, cathode ray tubes, asphalt, pavement, bricks, metals, lead acid batteries, glass table tops, white goods (large appliances) and tires are not considered Bulk Items as they are Waste Bans.  Waste Ban material must be brought to a recycling facility and disposal options are available by clicking the link below.  Please do not put these at the curb! 

 Want to schedule a bulk item pickup? Click Here! (Login required for fee payment)

Recycling Options for Items That Don't Belong in Your Recycling Cart


MassDEP is hosting on their website a directory on where to recycle practically everything.  It's called Beyond the Recycle Bin.  Click the link to access the directory. Fitchburg is also a member of MassDEP Recycle Smart. Click on the link to access Recycle Smart which now has combined efforts with Beyond the Recycle Bin