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February 2023 Newsletter

Recycle Smart Article, March Book Swap, Bulk Item Update, January HELPSY Results, Repair Cafe, and Other News & Events Happening in Salem!

The SalemRecycles Mission is to reduce trash tonnage in the City of Salem by increasing recycling, diverting reusable items, and motivating city stakeholders through education and information.

Recycle Smart Article


"We get a LOT of questions about plastics here at Recycle Smart MA, and we understand why. There’s a lot of confusion about which plastics can go in the recycling and which can’t. There’s also a fair amount of confusion about why some plastics are a yes and others are a no. And finally, there’s the whole question about whether plastics get recycled at all (read The Truth About Plastics Recycling for answers).

This month, we’re taking a deep dive into how plastics are sorted at material recovery facilities and how that process determines which plastics can and can’t be recycled. There’s a method to the madness – we promise!"

Click this Link to read more: All About Plastic | Recycle Smart (

March Book Swap

The next Book Swap will be held at the Community Life Center, 401 Bridge Street on Saturday, March 18th from 10am-1pm

Drop-off donations will take place on Friday, March 17th from 4-7pm and Saturday, March 18th from 9am-12pm

We will need volunteers for each of the following three shifts:

  • #1 – Friday, March 17th 3:45pm-7:00pm
  • #2 – Saturday, March 18th 8:30am-11:00 am
  • #3 – Saturday, March 18th 11:00am – 1:30pm

If you are interested in volunteering, please email saying which shift number(s) you can volunteer!

Items that will be accepted for swapping: Books, greeting cards, puzzles, reusable bags, CD's, and DVD's.

Bulk Item Update

Salem Residents looking to schedule a bulk item pick-up will now incur a fee of $20/item for this service through Waste Management. Before scheduling a bulk item pick-up, residents are encouraged to look for alternatives to trashing large items, recognizing that it is not always an option. Thrift shops like Lifebridge, Savers, and Bootstraps, and online platforms such as Buy Nothing, Nextdoor, and Craigslist are great places to donate gently used items. The $20/bulk item fee helps offset the disposal costs and does not create a profit for the City. If a resident is unable to afford the fee, there is a hardship waiver to complete and submit to the Waste Reduction Coordinator at City Hall Annex, 98 Washington Street 2nd floor Engineering.

Schedule a bulk item pick-up by calling Waste Management at 1-800-972-4545 and follow the prompts to residential service. Two bulk items can be scheduled for pick-up on your regularly scheduled recycling day. Residents must schedule pick-up at least two days in advance of their recycling day. Please do not leave bulk items on the curb for more than 24 hours.


At this time, there is no fee for scheduling curbside white good pick-up such as dishwashers, dryers, stoves, or washing machines. For more information regarding Recycling and Trash in Salem, please visit


The new bulk item fees were approved by the City Council in January. 

January HELPSY Results

To schedule your free and easy home pickup visit:

Repair Cafe & TerraCycle Collection Success!

Over 50 residents attended the Repair Cafe on Saturday February 11th to have items repaired, (or at least attempted to be repaired!) We are thrilled to see this event growing as we welcomed new fixers and new stations to this reuse/repair event.

Attendees had nothing but wonderful things to say about their experience “Extremely grateful”, “Everyone was so helpful”, “Love it! It was my first time here!”, “Very positive”, “Thumbs up”, “This service is wonderful for our community” and many many more!

Thank you, Sam from Spells of Salem for providing coffee and sweet treats, John for playing the piano, our knife sharpening volunteers (Bruce, Jen, and Mike), Geri and Carol for working the registration table, Pat and Nancy for overseeing the general operation, and of course all of the many talented fixers! 

The Next Repair Cafe will take place on May 20th at the Community Life Center. Schedule an appointment by contacting Janelle Rolke at or 978-619-5672. Repair volunteers will be available to mend clothing, sew buttons, sharpen scissors and knives, tinker with or rewire electronics and lamps, computer diagnostics, glue wooden furniture and ceramics, repair bicycles or preform bike tune-ups, and more. Please keep in mind these services may change as we confirm volunteers. We hope to see you at this fun event where you can learn how to fix things and reduce your waste!

Other News & Events

1) Keep Salem Beautiful Cleanup

Please join the next KSB cleanup on Sunday February 26th from 10am-12pm.

We'll focus on the point neighborhood and meet next to the Palmer Cove basketball court at 10 AM. The basketball court is on Leavitt Street (across from Naumkeag Street)

Water, grabbers, gloves, buckets and bags will be provided.

Bring your family, friends, and pups for this monthly cleanup event!

In the event there is inclement weather, we will cancel by 9 AM day of the cleanup (IG post, FB post, and email sent to volunteer list)

Please email Keepsalembeautiful@gmail with any questions.

2) Clothing Swap + Slow Fashion Day

Eleventh House Vintage Shop is hosting a community clothing swap and slow fashion day, celebrating sharing, wearing, and caring for secondhand clothing!

*This event is free but registration is required; please use the Eventbrite link above.*

In addition to a good old-fashioned clothing swap, we’ll also have a variety of slow fashion offerings:

--Our studio neighbors Zakka Workshop will host an upcycling embroidery activity

--Local sustainability experts Unpacked Living will be onsite to share their plastic-free laundry tips and tools

--Sustainable stylist Laura Christensen will be available to help style your new-to-you-goodies

--Our friends from HausWitch will be providing some special Swap magic

--Our Studio will be open if you’d like to accessorize your new finds with vintage goodies

--You can make an appointment for onsite mending by our talented volunteers for a $10 donation to Re/Make Our World

--Any items left at the end of the day will be donated to Haven Project in Lynn.

--We will also accept donations of damaged textiles (stained or torn; NOT wet, moldy or soiled) to be recycled. Please bag these separate from your swap items.

3) E-Waste Recycling Event

On Saturday March 25th from 8 am – noon, Salem residents & property owners (with ID or tax bill) can recycle e-waste at Salem High School, 77 Willson St. Anything with a plug is accepted at the event.

Please bring cash or check for items that include a twenty-dollar fee. These items include: T.V.’s, computer monitors, microwaves, large exercise equipment, and appliances that contain Freon.

If your item is still in good working condition, consider donating it via one of the local Buy Nothing pages or other swap groups.

4) Salem Beautification Committee

Do you like to garden? If so, the Salem Beautification Committee is looking for vounteers to help maintain the traffic islands throughout Salem. Please email to sign up!

5) Green Living Fair

Mark your calendars for the Green Living Fair May 13th in Derby Square from 10am-1pm. More details to follow!

6) Sustainability and Resiliency February Newsletter

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