Departments > Public Works > Trash / Recycling > Agawam Automated Collection - Frequently Asked Questions

Town of Agawam 

Automated Collection

Frequently Asked Questions



When is the town changing to automated collection?

The town will be switching from traditional trash barrels and manual trash collection to an automated collection program, using wheeled trash and recycling carts. Automated collection will begin July 3, 2017


What is automated trash collection?

Automated collection services use a single, one person vehicle with a mechanical arm to empty town provided wheeled trash and recycling carts and returns them to their original curbside position.


What is single stream all in one” recycling?

Single stream means that all recyclables can be put in one container. Automated collection allows for single stream recycling. You no longer need to separate paper in one container and bottles/cans in a second container. This separation is now done at the recycling facility.


What is the reason for the change in trash collection?

Automated collection has shown to be very effective at reducing the amount of litter found in the streets, reducing trash disposal costs, increasing overall recycling, and making collec- tion more efficient.


Will each household get a cart for trash and recyclables?

Yes, each eligible household (single-four family properties) will receive two wheeled carts free of charge. One 65 gallon cart for trash, and one 95 gallon cart for recycling.


We live in a multi-family home. How many carts will we get?

Two, three and four family properties will get one set of carts for each living unit. As a re- minder, owners of these properties are responsible for proper placement and removal of carts on collection days.  Owners must ensure that carts remain with the property upon tenant departure.


Are carts safe for senior citizens?

The carts are easier and safer than other barrels or bags. The carts are designed for weight distribution and safety.  Check out the cart sizes at the DPW at 1000 Suffield Street.


When will I received my new carts?

All carts will be delivered during the month of June.


Will my collection day change?

Yes, there is a chance your collection day may change. All routes are being redesigned to operate more efficiently. Collections will now take place MondayFriday.

Trash will continue to be collected weekly; recycling every other week.


Where do I find my new route schedule?

Route schedules will be posted online during the month of June. In addition, each household will receive a literature bag with their recycling cart. Included in that bag will be the new route schedules.


What items should NOT be placed in the trash cart?

No loose household trash should be placed in cart, all trash needs to be bagged prior to plac- ing in cart. Bagged trash keeps the cart clean, as well as keeping the neighborhoods clean of debris when emptying the carts. Items that should NOT be placed in the trash cart include, but not limited to:  bulky waste, electronics, household hazardous waste, liquid paint, recy- cling, yard waste, etc. Spot inspections will take place to determine if the trash container contains unacceptable waste. If unacceptable waste is found, the cart will be scanned anthe driver will be notified not to collect.


Will my trash cart be collected if the cover is open?

Carts with open covers due to overflowing trash will not be collected.


What if I have trash that exceeds the 65 gallon trash cart capacity?

Any trash in excess of the 65 gallon cart will require a town official overflow bag. Town offi- cial green overflow bags are for household trash only (no recyclable materials, hazardous waste, yard waste, bulky waste, electronics, or construction debris permitted).


Where do I get the town overflow bags?

Overflow bags will be available for sale at the following retail stores:

  • Geissler's Supermarket
    830 Suffield Street
  • Rocky's Hardware
    10 Springfield Street

  •  Stop & Shop
    1282 Springfield Street
    Feeding Hills
  • Big Y
    475 East Main Street
  • Big Y - Century Shopping Plaza
    503 Memorial Ave
    West Springfield

How much do the bags cost?

Bags will be sold in rolls of 5 for $15.00 (tax exempt)

Why is there a charge for the overflow bags?

65 gallon carts are expected to hold 3-5 garbage bags per week. If home owners donate reus- able items and recycle, it has shown that this cart size is sufficient for most families. It is ex- pected that the cost of the bag will cover the cost of manufacturing the bag, collection, and disposal. It is not the intention of the town or retail stores to make a profit on bag sales.


What if I have an item that will not fit into my trash cart?

Anything that does not fit into a trash cart or overflow bag is considered a bulk item.  Bulk items are collected at the curb, six times a year, by appointment only. Any bulk items not scheduled, will not be collected and may result in a fine if left on the tree belt. To inquire about the next collection on your street or to schedule a bulk collection, call Republic Services at 413-557-6700.


What may I place in my recycling cart? There has been no change to what is allowable in the recycling streamThe only change made was that you may now combine paper, cardboard, bottles and cans in one container. For a more detailed list of recyclable materials visit the DPW section of the town website at


What is not allowed in the recycling cart?

Please DO NOT include the following items in the recycling cart: Garden hoses, Christmas lights, bagged trash or recycling, plastic bags, shrink wrap, black plastic, syringes, hazardous waste containers, Styrofoam, plastic cups, light bulbs, window glass, mirrors, pots and pans, scrap metal, dishes, electronics, toys, clothes or batteries. (this list is not all inclusive)


How do I place my cart on the curb?

Place carts no more than 2 feet from the street, 4 feet from all parked cars and permanent structures, and allow 2 feet between each other. Carts should be placed with the handles and wheels facing your house.


 What if my cart is stolen?
Stolen carts should be immediately reported to the Police Department.  A copy of the police report should be forwarded to the DPW to request a replacement cart.

How do I know which cart is mine?
The Town of Agawam retains ownership of the carts. Each cart will have an RFID tag that will be linked to the delivery address. Carts should never be removed from that location.  The carts RFID tag may be tracked through the use of a scanning technology mounted in thtruck or by a hand held scanner to identify its intended location.  You can also identify your cart by the serial number on the front of the cart. It is recommended you write this number in a safe place or take a picture of it, in the event your cart is stolen.


What if my cart has been damaged?
All carts will be inspected prior to exchange. Carts not covered under the manufacturers warranty or deemed accidental will be exchanged at a cost of $65.00

  •  Carts should not be placed in the street or on the tree belt before 7pm the evening before your scheduled collection.
  •  Carts should be removed from the tree belt by 7pm of the collection day.
  •  In the event of a snow storm, it is encouraged residents wait until the morning of their collection day to roll carts to tree belt and remove them as soon as possible.
  • Do not leave carts on the tree belt or in the road overnight.

The town is not responsible for any damage to carts left out before or after these times. Damaged carts should be reported immediately to the DPW at 821-0600
Carts requiring maintenance due to normal wear and tear (wheels and lids) should contacRepublic Services at 557-6700.


What if I sell my home, do I take my carts with me?

No, carts are to remain at the location in which they were delivered. Each cart is scanned and linked to the address it was delivered to.


What if I buy a house and there are not carts?

You are responsible to make sure carts are available at the new property. If not, replace- ment carts are $65.00 each


What do I do with my old trash barrel and recycling bins?

It is encouraged that residents find an alternate use for their trash containers and recycling bins. If you have damaged containers or no longer wish to keep your containers, the Department of Public Works will be having a collection during the month of July.

Collection week to be announced.


Additional questions?    Email