MELROSE – The Melrose City Council has passed revisions to their Solid Waste & Recycling ordinance amendments that were presented by the Melrose Department of Public Works during the Council’s February 22 meeting. The DPW presented these revisions in an effort to support residents through a community-wide transition in the way solid waste is managed in Melrose.

“While preparing for the practical implementation of the City Council’s 2021 amendments to the Solid Waste and Recycling ordinance, we found a need to clarify the amendments and edit them for practicality purposes,” said DPW Director Elena Proakis Ellis. “By asking the Council to remove the two-handle requirement, increase the maximum size of barrels, and add language around bulk items, it is our hope that the transition to using lidded barrels can be made easier.”

The City Council had originally passed amendments to the City’s Solid Waste and Recycling ordinance back in September 2021. Outlined below are side-by-side comparisons of the September 2021 amendments and the February 2022 amendments:

Sept. 2021 Amendment: Residential refuse receptacles shall be watertight with tight-fitting covers of a durable rodent-proof material and shall have two intact handles

Now: Residential refuse receptacles shall be watertight with tight-fitting covers of a durable rodent-proof material (the two-handle requirement for barrels has been removed as of Feb. 22)

Sept. 2021 Amendment: Receptacles shall be no larger than forty-five (45) gallons

Now: Receptacles shall be no larger than fifty (50) gallons (the maximum barrel size has increased as of Feb. 22)

Now: Each residence is allowed to dispose of one bulky item per week in curbside trash pickup, which is not required to be contained in a receptacle (This bulk item language, which was missing from the 2021 amendments, has been added as of Feb. 22 to match the City’s current practice)

Last month, the City announced the launch of a trash barrel purchasing program, which provides residents with an affordable way to buy 35-gallon barrels that are compliant with the City’s updated trash receptacle ordinance. The 35-gallon barrel is a gray plastic square-topped toter with two wheels and an attached lid. One of the City’s barrels is currently on display for residents to view at the Melrose Public Library, located at 69 West Emerson Street.

Residents whose barrels are currently compliant do not need to purchase one. Also, those who need a new barrel are welcome to purchase a compliant barrel from a provider other than the City. The amendments made to the Solid Waste and Recycling ordinance affects trash barrels, not recycling receptacles.

To learn about the City of Melrose Barrel Purchasing Program, including how to pre-order a barrel, visit www.cityofmelrose.org/home/news/city-melrose-offers-residents-affordable-way-purchase-lidded-trash-barrels.