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Newburyport –The Recycling and Energy Office Announces Community Programs

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September 05, 2017
Newburyport –The Recycling and Energy office is happy to announce the following programs for the community over the remainder of 2017.
1. Solarize Plus - The City of Newburyport announces the launch of the Solarize Newburyport Plus Program and invites residents and small business owners to attend an informational presentation at City Hall on Thursday, September 14th at 7:00 p.m.   The City of Newburyport has partnered with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Department of Energy Resources to offer a special program whereby competitively selected installers will offer reduced pricing for solar electric and efficient heat pump systems.
The City of Newburyport received an impressive 13 responses from installers for the open bid for solar electric and air source heat pumps. The evaluation team is currently reviewing all responses and will soon choose a highly qualified installer(s). Site visits (no charge and no obligation assessments) will begin immediately upon selection.  
Interested residents and parties are encouraged to sign up for a no charge, no commitment assessment for solar electric, air source heat pumps or both at and attend the informational presentation on Thursday, September 14th at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.  For additional information please see the program’s web site at or contact Solar Coach Jo Ann Clemens on 617-216-5016 or email
2. Organic (Food) Waste Diversion-  For nearly two years, the City of Newburyport has been running an organics (food) waste diversion pilot program in the city’s south end, sponsored in part by the Massachusetts DEP. Through surveys and other feedback, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.
Due to the contract cycle with our waste and recycling collection providers, the city is not currently in a position to make changes to the solid waste contract. Because of this and because of the resounding success of the pilot, the city has arranged a residential self-pay program for residents throughout the city who would like to participate with Black Earth Haulers, our partner in the pilot.
The self-pay subscription cost is $1.88/week/household. Residents can call 978-290-4610 or email to sign up. Residents who sign up will receive a curbside cart to use during their subscription on a first-come, first-serve basis. The city has also applied for a grant for more carts to serve all residents who wish to participate, but there are only a limited number available at this time. Additional carts are expected to be available later in the fall.
For residents throughout the city who would like to divert their organics but do not want to pay for the convenience of weekly curbside pick-up, a free drop-off program is being piloted at the city’s Waste Water Treatment Facility on Water Street. Residents can drop off their household/kitchen organics (no yard waste!) in carts at the end of the parking area. For more details and a map of the location of the carts, please visit
For more information on organics diversion in Newburyport, more background on the pilot, or any other questions, please visit or email
3. Recycling Right and Recycling IQ- The Recycling IQ Kit project launched two weeks ago with a valuable postcard coming to every city household. The over-sized postcard is designed to be saved and help residents do a better job of sorting their recycling. Recycling right is not only good for the environment, but good for city coffers as well.
During the last two weeks, a team of “cart checkers” started going throughout the city to ensure residents are recycling – and are not contaminating recycling with items that should not be in the recycling cart. Major contaminants of concern are plastic bags of any type, anything with food or liquid still present, clothing and linens (textiles of any type), “tanglers” (cords, hoses, chains, ribbons), and “big items” (anything that is not a container made of metal, glass or plastic.) If a recycling cart does contain any of these things, an “Oops!” card will be attached to the handle to make residents aware. We will initially start with a “grace period” where an Oops card will not mean a denial of service. But in the next month, recycling carts with any of these items will not be emptied. Residents will have to clean out the contaminants, and then hold on to their recycling for another two weeks or make arrangements to bring their recycling to the recycling center.  
If you did not receive or see the recycle postcard in your mail, please visit City Hall where extras can be picked up.
For additional information on any of these programs please see the city’s web site  or e-mail