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Hingham Massachusetts, Incorporated 1635, History & Pride

Town Government &


Committees: Long Range Waste Disposal and Recycling Committee

Transfer Station Hours:
Thursday- Sunday

If you have a question you'd like ask or would like to contact us, please email us at

Important Documents & Links:

Learn how you can stop Junk Mail (pdf, 12k) Adobe Acrobat Document

November 23, 2010 Report to the Town of Hingham Board of Selectmen: "Evaluation of Waste Disposal and Recycling System Alternatives for the Town of Hingham" (pdf, 114k) Adobe Acrobat Document

Information about possible waste disposal and recycling models

South Shore Recycling Cooperative

Recycling and Trash Transfer Facility Information


To promote and encourage efficient long-range waste planning with a focus on recycling through the use of communication/education, facilitation, and best practices. 

Communication/Education - Facilitation -  Best Practices

Communication/Education Goals

  • Set benchmarks and goals
  • Update body of knowledge
  • Update website
  • Update flyers
  • Create distribution lists
  • Involve each of the schools and develop education program
  • Involve recreational programs by creating recycling education program for kids involved
  • Involve cable television and local media 

Facilitation Goals

  • Full recycling throughout the town, including all schools and municipal buildings
  • Enforcing recycling and transfer station rules, including resident permits and mandatory recycling
  • Develop compost program

Best Practices Goals

  • Determine what works for other towns around SWAP areas and implement best practices
  • Incorporate recycling and green practices into developments around town - set an example for other towns
  • Partner with Hingham League of Women's Voters, ICLE, and DEP
  • Analyze commodity contracts

2012 Annual Report

2012 was a year of continued and improved service at the Hingham Transfer Station. Overall costs and revenues from Hingham's waste disposal and recycling operations can be found in the Department of Public Works' summary and financial report in this Town Annual Report. For 2012, the Long Range Waste Disposal and Recycling Committee (LRWDRC) is pleased to report the following developments at the Transfer Station:

• The town's waste tonnage was 7,055.6 tons, or 502 tons less than 2011, yielding a savings of $41,000 in waste disposal cost.

• A total of 2,607 tons of common recyclables (paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal) were collected, yielding a recycling rate of 26.46%, a 3% increase from last year. However, there is considerable room for improvement in recycling as comparable towns' recycling rates are at 40%. An audit at SEMASS, the waste to energy incinerator operation that handles Hingham's waste, revealed that 20% of Hingham's waste consists of easily recyclable materials. Specifically, Hingham's waste loads contained 5.1% paper, 5.5% corrugated cardboard, 3% recyclable plastic and 7% textiles, all waste-ban items that do not belong in household trash.

• Hingham received final approval of the cap on the former landfill from the MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

• The yard and leaf waste composting area was reopened in April atop the cap. In contrast to the shortcomings on common recyclables, Hingham continued to do a good job with diverting compostable yard waste (brush, grass and leaves), with residents diverting 3,798 tons of leaves, grass and brush to the composting bays. Removing yard waste and recyclables from household trash matters, saving $82 per ton.

• The charity clothing and textile container bin area was reorganized. These bins accept both re-usable and worn out clothing (shoes, undergarments, socks, etc.) and re-usable and worn out textiles (blankets, linens, rags, stuffed animals, seat cushions) - all have an afterlife and generate revenue for the town of Hingham.

• A new, larger and volunteer-run Swap Shop was opened in October, complete with parking, space to hold items for a longer time, and a shed for overnight storage. The LRWDRC will continue to recruit volunteers who are trained by Transfer Station management. The volunteers have been critical to the effective day-to-day operations of a safe and accessible swap area dedicated to accepting and redistributing reusable items.

• 4,804 residential green stickers or permits to use Transfer Station were issued to residents and an additional 34 permits were issued to part-time residents; 42 resident commercial permits were issued.

• Hingham's redeemable bottle and can collection fundraising program added a community service component, with the recipient youth groups (a total of 26 for 2012) performing community service in exchange for the redemption value of the bottles and cans.

• A new Massachusetts DEP "Sharps and Lancets" Waste Ban called for the separate disposal of medical needles and their containers, therefore these sharps and lancets must be deposited in the collection bin located in the Transfer Station's Baler building. The LRWDRC continues its advocacy of the economic and environmental benefits of recycling and the cost savings associated with diverting recyclable, reusable, and waste ban materials from the residential household waste stream. Additionally, the LRWDRC works with other Town Departments, specifically, the Board of Health, the School Department and the Energy Action Committee, supporting these groups' efforts for increased recycling, waste reduction, re-use awareness and energy use reduction. The LRWDRC's endeavors in 2012 included:

• Submission of articles and a quarterly recycling rate graph in the Hingham Journal, as well as informational displays at the Hingham Library and Town Hall on: 1. recycling textiles and electronics; 2. household hazardous waste collection; 3. proposed legislation regarding an updated Bottle Bill; and, 4. proper disposal of prescription medicines.

• Working with and supporting the Board of Health's (BOH) new Recycling and Dumpster Regulations, which require business and commercial properties to separate recyclables from household waste. The LRWDRC and DPW applied for and received a $50,000 grant from MA DEP for a Commercial Recycling Compliance Officer, who will assist waste and recycling haulers and business owners comply with the recycling and dumpster regulations. Members of the LRWDRC met with the Hingham Downtown Business Association to provide initial information to businesses about the new regulations.

• Supporting and assisting recycling efforts in the Hingham Public Schools. Schools recycle paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, cans, glass, ink and toner cartridges, and fluorescent light bulbs and ballasts, and hold individual re-use and recycling drives for sneakers, costumes, books, sports clothing and equipment, and computers on a regular basis. Five of the six schools collect food scraps for on site composting and the LRWDRC supported school food service director, Kim Smyth's, efforts to replace the cafeterias' Styrofoam plates and bowls with compostable plates and trays. The high school began on-site composting of its paper plates and trays and the Transfer Station is testing the capacity of the town's compost pile to accept some of the schools' plates and trays. Finished compost is used in school gardens and excess compost from the high school was sold to generate revenue for its Green Committee.

• Supporting and assisting the Energy Action Committee's work to bring Earth Hour to Hingham, a growing worldwide hour without lights to raise awareness about energy use and climate change. The Long Range Waste Disposal Planning and Recycling Committee will continue to educate residents about the economic and environmental benefits achieved via recycling efforts. Recycling saves $82 per ton in disposal costs and generates revenue - paper, cardboard, corrugated cardboard, metal and batteries all have after-market value and generated $107,000 in revenue for 2012. Consistent with the financial and environmental benefits associated with prudent waste disposal and full compliance with recycling laws, the LRWDRC's 2013 goals include:

• Developing an ongoing system to compost paper plates and trays, and other compostable paper waste from the schools. • Supporting the completion and local cable broadcast of an Eagle Scout video project on how to recycle at the Transfer Station.

• Continuing to recruit volunteers for the Swap Shop to: 1. expand the hours of operation, and 2. enhance the display areas.

• Supporting efforts to educate Hingham business and commercial property owners and their respective waste and recycling haulers on the benefits of cost effective and consistent recycling.

Cheryl Alexander Bierwirth Janice McPhillips Brenda P. Black Lisa Perdue Elizabeth A. Dewire Peter Stathopoulos Kimberly Juric David White

(Appt. By Moderator, ART 25, ATM 1974)

Karen Flynn Thompson

Kimberly Juric

Leon J. Merian

Marianne MacDonald

David P. White

Peter G. Stathopoulos

Elizabeth A. Dewire

Cheryl Alexander Bierwirth

Brenda P. Black


Assistant Superintendent Public Works