Recycling Commission

The mission of the Brewster Recycling Commission is to develop programs that promote recycling and waste reduction. The Commission functions as authorized by Massachusetts General Law 40, Section 8H.

The Recycling Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Board of Selectmen to serve three-year terms. The members are joined in this work by liaisons from the Board of Selectmen, Board of Health, Finance Committee and local non-profit groups. 

The Recycling Commission’s goals are to:

  • Assist in stabilizing the Town’s solid waste expenses.
  • Protect the environment by reducing solid waste.
  • Increase the Town’s recycling volume.
  • Save resources by reusing materials.
  • Educate the community about recycling, re-use, and reducing consumption.
  • Use scientific and economic data to make policy recommendations.
  • Increase public awareness about solid waste and recycling.
  • Encourage home composting

Recycling Commission Members

Susan Skidmore 6/30/2023
Annie Dugan 6/30/2024
Peter Johnson 6/30/2024
Meg Morris 6/30/2024
Griffin Ryder 6/30/2025
Katherine Scott 6/30/2025
Patricia Semple 6/30/2025

About Recycling

Recycling is the process of collecting certain unwanted materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.

  • Reduces the amount of waste
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
  • Prevents pollution caused by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations
  • Helps create new well-paying U.S. jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries
    (EPA, 2013)

Pay As You Throw

Brewster began a new solid-waste management program on October 1, 2013 called Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT).

All Brewster Recycling Center users will dispose of trash in special Brewster PAYT bags. Refuse must be placed in those bags prior to disposal. PAYT bags are available for purchase at local stores and retailers. A list of local retailers can be downloaded by clicking here. Recyclables don’t need to be bagged.

PAYT bags for refuse are available in 3 sizes:

  • $2 each for a 33 gallon bag which hold about 25 pounds; like a yard waste bag
  • $1 each for a 15 gallon bag which holds about 12 pounds; like a kitchen-sized bag
  • 50 cents each for an 8 gallon bag, similar to an office or bathroom trash bag, generally used by very small households.

There is no bag required for dropping off recyclable items, however an annual vehicle permit is required to enter and use the Brewster Recycling Center.

With PAYT, recycling paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal containers continue to be handled as they have been.

Why is PAYT Good for Brewster?

PAYT is a system where residents pay by the bag for disposing of refuse (solid waste that can’t be recycled or reused in any way). It’s similar to paying for electricity or water. You pay only for what you use and no more.

  • PAYT provides an incentive to reduce, reuse and recycle more and that reduces the amount of refuse generated by the Town.
  • You can control how many PAYT bags you buy based on how much refuse you produce and how much you recycle. The more you recycle, the fewer PAYT bags you must buy.
  • Brewster pays per ton to dispose of solid waste; PAYT helps reduce the amount of solid waste produced and helps stabilize the Town’s disposal costs.
  • Residents who recycle help the environment and the Town by reducing solid waste and its disposal costs. 

Tips to Improve Home Recycling

  1. Set up a recycling area in your home that’s easy and convenient to use.
  2. Use the Brewster Recycling Guide so you know what can be recycled.
  3. Start composting your food waste (fruit, vegetables, yard waste and grass) to keep it out of the PAYT bag.
  4. Donate items that you don’t need to a swap shop or non-profit group.
  5. Send used clothes, shoes and textiles to a consignment store.
  6. Use reusable grocery bags and avoid plastic bags.
  7. Purchase items that have less packaging to throw away.
  8. Cut down on purchasing new items and use currently owned ones as long as possible.
  9. Stop unwanted mail and catalogs.

Home Composting

Composting is a convenient, beneficial and inexpensive way to handle your organic waste and help the environment. Yard wastes such as leaves, grass clippings and weeds make excellent compost. Fruit and vegetable scraps, plus food wastes such as coffee grounds, tea bags, and eggs shells, can be composted.

Composting will remove food waste from your PAYT bags and reduce your PAYT bag costs.

Home Composting Tips

Local Reuse Opportunities

Solid waste is minimized when individual households reduce, reuse and recycle. Reusing items gives them a longer life and keeps them out of the natnion’s bloated trash stream.

A number of Cape Cod organizations will help residents donate items or find re-usable ones. Certain charities and non-profit groups will pick up items at your home and some donations are tax deductible. Consider donating to or shopping at thrift stores, consignment stores, or some of these organizations:

Habitat ReStore: A place to buy or donate used furniture, appliances, doors and windows, and building supplies. All merchandise is sold at significant discounts and sales support Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod.
Address: 28 Whites Path, Yarmouth, MA
Phone: Call ahead to drop off donations or to arrange for us to pick up, 508-394-6400

Goodwill: Goodwill makes high quality clothing and household goods available at reasonable prices through Goodwill Stores and provides job training and related services to help individuals with disabilities.
Address: 141 Corporation Plaza, Hyannis MA (behind Cape Cod Mall)
Phone: (508) 790-0046

Salvation Army: The Salvation Army Thrift shop has clothing and shoes for men, women and children, furnishings for the home, books, movies and CDs, toys and much more
Address: 105 Bassett Lane, Hyannis, MA
Phone: 508-771-8982

Craigslist: A classified advertising website that lets users post ads at no charge; a section of the website, which can be searched by local area (Cape Cod/Islands), offers items for sale.


  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection
  2. Recycling Works Massachusetts (assistance for businesses and institutions)
  3. Recycling for Kids and Teachers; Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection 
  4. Electronics Recycling, Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection 
  5. National Resources Defense Council – Recycling
  6. Earth911 Home & Garden (ideas about recycling and producing less waste) 
  7. Earth911 Recycling Search (find out where to recycle certain items near your home)
  8. 10 Ways to Go Green; Columbia University 
  9. Does Recycling Really Make a Difference? TLC 

Agendas & Minutes

For more information contact the Town Administrator's Office

508-896-3701 x1100
Brewster Town Offices
2198 Main St
Brewster, MA 02631