Phyllis Theermann

Sustainable Wellesley would like to thank DPW Director Mike Pakstis for all he has done during the nearly 19 years working in Wellesley.

Heading a staff of 119 people from multiple divisions, including Engineering, Park and Tree, Highway, Water and Sewer, and the Recycling and Disposal Facility, Pakstis has over seen many projects including the North 40, and the new DPW office.–

These photos are from a recent event honoring him and all he has done for Wellesley — including the town recycling more than 115,000 tons. That is enough recycled material to fill Fenway Park 2.5 times!

We are most grateful for his partnership in Wellesley’s 3R (Reduce Reuse Recycle) Working Group which conducted a series of initiatives to rescue surplus food and to reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfills. One of the programs, the food rescue initiative, which takes edible, surplus and leftover food and passes it on to people in need, was recently awarded the 2018 Environmental Merit Award the New England Region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The collaborative program — which donated an estimated 20,000 meals in its first year — was created to keep organic waste, including food waste, out of landfills.

Best wishes Mike, you have left big shoes to fill. Enjoy retirement!

Phyllis Theermann

Many Wellesley High School Seniors take on a Senior Project during the last quarter of the year before graduation and once again, the sustainability theme was highly represented.

From educating the public on the importance of bees, and getting WHS teachers off 400+ junk mail lists, to collecting data on the gas leaks effect on trees in town, and creating a video capturing all that Wellesley Students have done over the years, student’s projects show that sustainability resonates with many. Other projects included collecting WHS recycling data, a campaign to keep the playing fields clean, digital artwork creation, as well as green certifying classrooms.

These are our future generation, and we are grateful.


ewasteIt’s time for some spring cleaning!  Did you know – just one cell phone, if thrown away, can pollute 40,000 gallons of groundwater?  Cell phones contain lead, arsenic, beryllium and other hazardous toxins that leach into our environment through our landfills.  Wellesley Middle School PTO and the Wellesley Green Team are partnering to run a CELL PHONE RECYCLING fundraiser!

Monday, June 5 – Friday, June 9, turn your old, dead, cracked consumer electronics into proceeds for our schools, and protect the environment!  Your used item(s) will be recycled in accordance with EPA regulations (link here to webpage  After collection, your recycled phones and devices will go through a triage process to determine its status for reuse. At that time customer data is removed. It will either be refurbished or shredded for precious metals reclamation.  In this process, devices are shredded and metals are extracted for asset recovery.  By doing this you help the environment and prevent further mining of resources necessary to produce new devices.

Wellesley Middle School will be collecting the following items:

Cell phones of any age or condition  *  Wall or car chargers  *  iPods  *  Digital Cameras  *  Bluetooths  *  Air Cards  *  Leather Cases  *  Plastic Cases  *  Paper or CD Manuals

During the week of 6/5 – 6/9, please drop off any items you would like to recycle in the drop bins at the Wellesley Middle School, Kingsbury Street and Donizetti Street entrances, in the main office. There will be a team collecting items from your car at school pickup between 3:00 p.m. and 3:20 pm. after school at WMS.