Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
To mark America Recycles Day, the Baker-Polito administration on Monday announced $3.1 million in grant funding to 268 municipalities and regional solid waste districts to help them maximize recycling, composting and waste reduction programs.
The grants are made available through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, which was created by the Green Communities Act of 2008 and has provided more than $46 million to recycling programs since 2010.
At the announcement, Gov. Charlie Baker said the new round of grant funding will aid municipal efforts “to implement innovative programs and policies” to maximize the reuse of materials, boost recycling, and reduce waste. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said the program helps municipalities and solid waste districts expand recycling and composting, while targeting new materials to remove from the waste stream.
Two hundred and twenty-six communities qualified for the Recycling Dividends Program and will receive payments ranging from $2,100 to $97,500 for a total of $3,120,300.
The Recycling Dividends Program recognizes municipalities that have implemented policies and programs proven to maximize the reuse and recycling of materials, as well as waste reduction. Communities that earn RDP payments must reinvest the funds in their recycling programs for things such as new recycling bins or carts, public education and outreach campaigns, collection of hard-to-recycle items, and the establishment of recycling programs in schools, municipal buildings, and other public spaces.
Nine municipalities will receive payments of at least $50,000: Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Chicopee, Lowell, New Bedford, Newton, Springfield and Worcester. Six municipalities are first-time recipients of Recycling Dividends Program funds, including the town of Swampscott, which adopted a Pay-As-You-Throw trash reduction program in the last year.
As part of this SMRP grant round, 42 municipalities that did not apply for or qualify for an RDP payment will be awarded a total of $46,250 for a Small-Scale Initiatives Grant. These population-based grants range from $500 to $2,000 each and help communities purchase modest but important recycling materials and outreach tools needed to sustain their existing recycling program or to facilitate new, low-cost initiatives. Each of these SMRP programs are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said recycling programs “play a vital role in limiting our dependence on landfills and incinerators, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting economic activity across the Commonwealth.” MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg noted that the recently released 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan and expanded material waste ban regulations “have established aggressive goals to reduce our waste disposal and increase recycling.”
The RDP launched in 2014 under the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program. The Green Communities Act requires that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Waste Energy Certificates be directed to recycling programs approved by MassDEP. The Waste Energy Certificates payments received by MassDEP are deposited into the SMRP Expendable Trust, which is used to fund grants, technical assistance and education to help communities, businesses and institutions increase recycling and reduce waste.
In addition to the waste-reduction goals in the 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, the Baker-Polito administration has issued regulations requiring the recycling of textiles and mattresses and increasing the requirements to divert food and organic materials. The Master Plan sets a goal to reduce disposal by 30% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.