217 communities receive recycling grants

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The Baker administration on Sept. 7 announced the award of $1.6 million in Sustainable Materials Recovery Program grants.
 
The program, administered by the Department of Environmental Protection, provides funding for cities, towns, regional entities and some nonprofit organizations to assist with recycling, composting, reuse and solid waste reduction initiatives. Grants are available for recycling and composting equipment; mattress recycling; pay-as-you-throw programs; waste reduction enforcement; school recycling; and organics capacity development projects.
 
The latest round of grants will go to 217 municipalities and regional solid waste districts, including 166 communities that qualify for the Recycling Dividends Program. The RDP municipalities will receive payments ranging from $1,200 to $66,000 to offset solid waste and recycling program expenses.
 
Communities can qualify for the RDP by implementing specific programs and policies to enhance waste reduction and recycling. Since the program began in 2014, the DEP has distributed $1.6 million in payments to cities and towns.
 
The Baker administration has made a commitment to reducing solid waste disposal by 30 percent below 2008 levels, or 2 million tons per year, in part through partnerships with municipalities.
 
Also under the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, Small-Scale Initiative grants, which are population-based, were awarded to 205 cities and towns. These grants range from $500 to $2,000 and will assist communities in the purchase of recycling and outreach materials.
 
The DEP had released the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program grant applications in April with a deadline of June 15.
 
The program was created by the Green Communities Act of 2008 and has distributed more than $20 million since 2010. For more information about the program’s municipal grants, visit www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/recycle/grants/smrp-grants.html.