Dedicated to implementing sustainable solutions for our town, with a focus on recycling, waste elimination, composting and responsible use of our resources. Together with the other Sustainable Marblehead working groups, we work toward making our beautiful community better.

Beach Cleaning
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Volunteers meet weekly at Devereux and other beaches, weather permitting. For information, send us an email

Or grab a bucket and pair of gloves and go on your own. To participate in a global effort to track and remove waste, download the Clean Swell App from Ocean Conservancy.

Click here for a picture of an astounding amount of trash a volunteer recently collected at Devereux.

Click here for the fall schedule.

Reducing Waste
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It takes hundreds of years for plastics to degrade, and research shows most commonly used plastics never fully go away but rather break down into smaller and smaller pieces. These microplastics have been found in wildlife, in our oceans, and in all the remote corners of the planet. Ideas to reduce single use plastics can be found here.

Replace single-use plastic with reusable water bottles and fill them at Marblehead’s new hydration stations at Chandler Hovey Park, Devereux Beach, Seaside Park and Gatchell Playground. Be Green, Drink from the Sink.

Pollinator Action Plan
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  • Native plants, used by pollinators as food and shelter, are easier on the environment and require less maintenance. Click here for a list of New England native pollinator plants.

  • Choose a variety of plants that bloom from April to October and cut plants back, leaving stems at least 12 in. tall for native bees to lay their eggs.

  • Replace a patch of lawn, reclaim a border, or grow in a patio container as described here.

  • It’s important to use pesticide-free plants as described here

  • Click here for New England native plants sources.

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Composting reduces methane from landfills, saves resources, and returns nutrients to the soil.

Sign up for weekly curbside collection for $99/ year plus the cost of a bin at Black Earth and receive a free bag of compost in the spring. Food scraps can also be taken to Black Earth's bins at the Transfer Station. Or call the Board of Health at 781-631-0212 to purchase a backyard compost bin.

Composting Fact Sheet

Black Earth Compost Guide

Gardening & Lawn Care
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Tips for the garden:

  1. Plant trees, which absorb carbon from the air.

  2. Plant more native plants and be generous with plantings. Search native plants by zipcode at the National Wildlife Federation's plant finder.

  3. Shrink your lawn, or use organic lawn care practices. Some ideas for natural care are on this fact sheet.

  4. Replace the lawn under a tree with well planted beds since many caterpillars drop to the ground to pupate. 

  5. Return plant pots to local garden centers to be reused as they can not be recycled.

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Most recycling questions can be answered at Recycle Smart MA, which includes a searchable 'recyclopedia.'

Information about the town's recycling program can also be found on this fact sheet.

Watch the video from our recent webinar, Compost, Recycle, Trash?

Here's an idea for recycling clean plastic bags and 16 oz bottles: ecobricks! View the fact sheet here. For a video, click here.

Recent Accomplishments

  1. Engaged local merchants about how to improve recycling and reduce waste, especially single use plastics.

  2. Organized and delivered a well-attended talk on organic lawncare and permaculture.

  3. Ongoing weekly cleanings of Devereux Beach to reduce plastic and other debris from going into our oceans.

  4. Working with to create waste based building products.

  5. Provide up to date information about recyclng and composting via Zoom.

  6. Toured water fountains in Concord MA and learned about the town's water bottle ban.

  7. Developed a plan with Rec & Park to install new water filling stations and repair existing fountains.

  8. Promoted sustainble practices in articles in the Marblehead Reporter.

  9. Coordinated with Marblehead Health Department Recycling Committee in promoting latest information on "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," through and recyclopedia websites.

  10. Organized four well-attended webinars on pesticides, biodiversity, organic lawncare and permaculture. Click here for videos.


Join Us


Meet time:



First Monday of most months, 6-7:00 p.m. via Zoom

Jenny Morton