Recycle

PAPER

Earthworm collects and recycles most paper that is generated in the workplace. See the chart below for a list of what we can and cannot recycle. Click here to have a document that describes all of our services and pricing emailed to you. Or better yet, call us and we will be happy to explain all of our services and pricing.

Materials We Recycle

Acceptable Unacceptable
  • White paper
  • Colored paper
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Glossy brochures
  • Computer paper
  • Manila folders
  • Envelopes
  • Paperboard (e.g. cereal boxes)
  • Shredded paper (must be bagged)
  • Soft covered, glue bound documents
  • Cardboard
  • Trash
  • Paper towels and cups
  • Tissues
  • Plastic ream wrappers
  • Adhesive labels (self sticking)
  • Carbon paper
  • Hard covered, glue bound documents
  • Blueprints
  • Transparencies
  • Hanging folders

Service Area

Photo of one of Earthworm's truck cab

Our trucks make regular pick ups throughout the greater Boston area. Downtown Boston, the neighborhoods and Cambridge are at the core of our collection zone, and the Route 95/Route 128 loop is generally the outer edge of our pick up area. We do, however, make exceptions so please call us to see if we will collect from your area.

Service

Pick ups can be made on an as necessary basis, or, if a predictable pattern emerges, we can schedule pick ups. To make recycling more convenient, we are happy to make pick ups inside your office. To make recycling affordable, we offer a curbside collection service in many areas of metro Boston. Please check with us to see if this option is available in your neighborhood.

Equipment

photo of barrel

Our paper recycling programs are designed to fit your office space. For small offices, which are our specialty, we use 35 gallon, wheeled, lidded barrels (shown with Gracie the black lab for scale). The dimensions are 22” wide x 22” deep x 34” high. Earthworm will loan one barrel for use in storing paper. Additional barrels can be purchased for $49.95 each.

photo of hamper

For larger generators of paper and cardboard, we provide 18 bushel (equals 168 gallons) hampers at no cost. These hampers are 33” wide x 45” long x 37” high.

Pricing

Our pricing structure is based upon two things; how much material we collect and where we collect it from (inside vs. curbside). For example, our pick up fee for a barrel is less than for a hamper, and the pick up fee for curbside service is less than for inside service. Click here to have a document that describes all of our services and pricing emailed to you.

Free Recycling

To further encourage recycling, Earthworm will waive the collection fees associated with paper recycling if you purchase recycled copy paper from us. For specifications on the paper we carry, please see the Buy Recycled page on this website.

Where it Goes

All of the paper that we collect is delivered to a local sorting and baling facility. After the paper is prepared for shipment, it is sent to paper mills throughout North America. These mills re-process the paper into new paper products such as bathroom tissue, pizza boxes and writing paper. For more information about what happens to your paper, visit the Explore page on our website.

Environmental Benefits/Reporting

Conservation creates jobs, and it also has a quantifiable benefit to the environment. Earthworm automatically keeps track of your recycling efforts and sends you a statement at the end of the calendar year. This statement will tally the tonnage of paper you’ve recycled, as well as convert the tonnages into environmental benefits such as the number of trees saved and metric tons of carbon emissions avoided.

COMPUTERS

image of computer monitors

Earthworm will collect almost any type of office electronics. These materials are often referred to as e-scrap or e-waste. All of the material we collect is reused, salvaged for parts, or recycled. If you have information-bearing hard drives to be collected, you may be interested in the section below on Hard Drive Destruction. Please visit the About Us section of our website for our statement of Confidentiality and a discussion of our Handling Practices.

Materials We Recycle

Acceptable
  • Monitors
  • Computers
  • Servers
  • Laptops
  • Printers, faxes, scanners
  • Networking equipment
  • Phone systems and cell phones
  • TVs
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Cables
  • Copiers
  • Batteries/power supplies
  • Server racks
  • Etcetera

If you are interested in seeing some of the many places and people who use and benefit from used electronics, check out this great website created by MIT students:
http://senseable.mit.edu/backtalk/


recycle computers

Service Area

Earthworm collects computers and other scrap electronics in the greater Boston area.

Service

There is no need to box or pack your larger scrap electronics. Please do box larger amounts of small miscellaneous items. We ask that you consolidate everything you want collected in one accessible location. If you have a paper recycling program, it is efficient and potentially cheaper to combine a pick up of e-scrap with a paper pick up. We are, however, able to make e-scrap pick ups independent from any other recycling program pick up.

Pricing

Please call us for a quote, especially if you have an assortment of e-scrap. Click here to have a document that describes all of our services and pricing emailed to you.

Generally, our pricing is calculated on a per item basis. For example, there are per item pick up charges for monitors, televisions, copiers, etcetera, but other items such as laptops, computers, networking equipment, keyboards and mice are collected at no charge. A minimum service charge of $32 applies for curbside/loading dock pickups ($50 for inside pickups) when a pick up is made separately from a paper recycling pick up. Although we specialize in collecting from smaller offices, we do offer bulk rate pricing for larger loads.

Where it Goes

(For a full discussion of where our e-waste goes, click here) All of the electronic equipment that we collect is brought back to our warehouse in Somerville. Working equipment is reused through donations to local nonprofit organizations and postings on eBay. Scrap metals such as server racks, cables and battery backup (uninterrupted power supplies) are recycled at a nearby scrap metal dealer. Electronics that are not selected for local reuse or recycling are sent to an R2 certified recycling facility in Vermont.

R2 Certification

The US Environmental Protection Agency has created a set of compliance guidelines for handlers of electronic scrap. This framework, referred to as R2, is designed to:

  • Reduce the environmental and human health impacts from improper recycling.
  • Increase access to quality reusable and refurbished equipment to those who need them; and
  • Reduce energy use and other environmental impacts associated with mining and processing of virgin materials - conserving our limited natural resources.

Environmental Benefits/Reporting

Earthworm automatically keeps track of your recycling efforts and sends you a statement at the end of the calendar year. This statement will tally the tonnage of e-waste you’ve recycled, as well as convert the tonnages into quantifiable environmental benefits such as lead recovery and metric tons of carbon emissions avoided.

Hard Drive Destruction

Earthworm values reuse above recycling and we will always seek to find a reuse market for materials we collect. If you plan to have us collect information-bearing hard drives, you should consider whether or not you are comfortable with the possible reuse of these drives. If not, you can either remove them yourself, or, Earthworm can remove them for you and destroy them for a nominal fee. We will provide a Certificate of Destruction for all drives that we destroy.

BOTTLE & CAN RECYCLING

image of crushed bottles

Most workplaces generate glass, plastic, aluminum and metal in the form of used beverage and food containers. Each of these materials can be re-processed into new products more efficiently than making those same products from raw materials.

Materials We Recycle

Acceptable Unacceptable
  • All plastic beverage and food containers (#’s 1-6, except Styrofoam)*
  • Aluminum cans and foil
  • Tin and Bi-metal cans
  • Glass (lids and labels ok)
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic bags
  • Chemical containers
  • Food waste
  • Light bulbs
  • Pyrex

* The bottom side of acceptable plastic containers will display a number inside the “chasing arrows” symbol.

photo of bottle recycling

Preparation

All bottles and cans must be empty and rinsed. Badly contaminated loads attract pests and may be rejected by our drivers and left behind as trash.

Equipment

Earthworm will loan one 34 gallon, lidded barrel for use in collecting and safely storing bottles and cans. Additional barrels can be purchased for $49.95 each. The dimensions of these barrels are 22" W x 22" D x 34" H. Please refer to the equipment section of our paper recycling programs for a photo of the barrel. All barrels used to collect bottles and cans are lined with our removable, clear plastic bags that are made of recycled content. If you prefer, you may use any container you like as long as it is lined with one of our free, clear plastic bags.

Service Area

Our trucks make regular pick ups throughout the greater Boston area. The Route 128/95 corridor is generally the outer edge of our collection zone. Call us to see if we collect from your area.

Service

Bottle and can pick ups can be scheduled either with or without paper recycling pick ups. Our drivers will remove the full plastic bags from the barrel and then install a fresh bag. You may store multiple bags for collection if you prefer. We cannot accept any material that is not in a clear bag.

Pricing

When the pick up of Bottles & Cans is combined with a Paper Recycling pick up, there is a nominal charge of $10 for the first barrel/bag, and $5.00 for each additional. Click here to have a document that describes all of our services and pricing emailed to you.

Where it Goes

All of the materials we collect in this program are delivered to the same facility that handles the materials for the metro area’s residential recycling programs. The materials are sorted and prepared for efficient shipment to re-processing mills where they are remade into new products such as carpeting, fleece and food and beverage containers. For more information about what happens to your paper, visit the Explore page on our website.

Environmental Benefits/Reporting

Earthworm automatically keeps track of your recycling efforts and sends you a statement at the end of the calendar year. This statement will tally the tonnage of bottles and cans you’ve recycled, as well as convert the tonnages into quantifiable environmental benefits such as metric tons of carbon emissions avoided.

OTHER MATERIALS/CLEANOUTS

Earthworm can help you recycle your old files and find a home for unwanted furniture, equipment and supplies. If you are planning an office cleanout or purging old files, please call us. If we cannot recycle your material ourselves, we usually know who will. Call us; we can help lessen the impact of your cleanout.

Materials We Recycle/Reuse

Acceptable
  • Paper
  • Filing cabinets
  • Refrigerators
  • Microwaves
  • Air Conditioners
  • Water Coolers
  • Office supplies
  • Toner cartridges
  • Office furniture*
  • Etcetera

*Call us and we can refer you to one of our reuse partners.

Service Area

Earthworm collects materials from cleanouts or for reuse in the greater Boston area.

Service

We can provide hampers or barrels in advance of your cleanout for use in purging paper files. For the recycling or reuse of office furniture and equipment, please contact us for details on service arrangements.

Pricing

Contact our office for a quote on the pick up and recycling/reuse of miscellaneous office furniture and equipment. Please contact us with a description of the items you wish to reuse/recycle to get a price quote.

Where it Goes

Waste paper from cleanouts is brought to the same local sorting and baling facility that all of our paper is brought to. Reusable items are distributed through our network of nonprofit reuse organizations. Damaged or broken items such as file cabinets, air conditioners and refrigerators are brought to local scrap metal dealers for recycling.

GET STARTED

To get started, simply call us (617-628-1844). Tell us about your office and your interests and we will help you implement a program that suits your needs. Click here to have a document that describes all of our services and pricing emailed to you.

Here are a few tips for starting a successful recycling program in your office:

Create a Team

When considering an office recycling program, it is helpful to consider the input of your co-workers. This gets people involved in the program, allows for different points of view and helps pre-empt unforeseen problems.

Perform an Office Survey

Take a moment to consider where there is space for recycling containers, where scrap materials are typically generated (near copiers, in kitchens, etc.) and how the collected materials will exit your building. If Earthworm will be picking up materials inside your office, the pick up location must be accessible to our staff. Our collection containers are not designed to go up or down stairs. If you think that your office is not easily accessible, call us and we will help you design an alternate plan.

Select an Office Recycling Coordinator

This person will act as Earthworm’s primary contact. It is also a good idea to have an alternate contact in case the primary contact is temporarily unavailable. The Recycling Coordinator performs duties such as requesting pick ups, sending memos, maintaining signage, posting year end recycling total statements and troubleshooting storage issues.

Email or Distribute Memos

This is a very important step in the development of your recycling program. By communicating the details and objectives of the recycling program with your co-workers in advance, your program will be more likely to start off on the right foot. Your email or memo should include the following:

  • Why, where and when you company is starting a recycling program
  • Announcement of the new Recycling Coordinator and your new recycler (Earthworm)
  • Types of materials that will be recycled
  • Collection, storage and pick up details
  • Ask for feedback

Indicate Collection Areas

Good signage ensures that your program will run smoothly. Earthworm provides signs for use in identifying collection containers and recycling guidelines.

Share the Positive Results

At the end of each calendar year, Earthworm will send you a statement that totals up your recycling efforts. This statement will also convert your recycling tonnage into quantifiable environmental benefits such as trees saved and metric tons of carbon not emitted.

YEAR END REPORTING

Earthworm automatically keeps track of your recycling efforts and sends you a statement at the end of the calendar year. This statement will tally the tonnage of paper, bottles and cans and e-waste that you’ve recycled. We will also convert these tonnages into quantifiable environmental benefits such as trees saved and metric tons of carbon emissions avoided.