Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Baker-Polito administration on May 6 awarded $1.3 million in grant funding to 34 communities, regional groups and nonprofit organizations through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program.
The grants will help to increase diversion, reuse, composting and recycling of materials in the solid waste stream.
“Supporting and encouraging the proactive environmental protection efforts happening at the local level is one of the most effective measures we can take to reduce waste in cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a prepared statement.
The Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, created under the Green Communities Act and administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, offers funding for recycling, composting, reuse and source reduction activities that will reduce the amount of waste disposed of in landfills and incinerators. Waste prevention and recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by capturing the embodied energy in every-day product and packaging waste and converting these sources into new products with a smaller carbon footprint.
“By partnering with cities and towns to encourage recycling, we will continue to reduce harmful emissions, create local jobs, and stimulate the economy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides.
The MassDEP awarded funds in several categories, including start-up incentives for Pay-As-You-Throw programs, wheeled-carts for curbside collection of recyclables, large containers for collection of target materials at municipal transfer stations, school recycling assistance programs, and innovative waste reduction projects.
A mattress recycling incentive grant, now in its sixth year, has been awarded to 19 communities across the state. The grants will pay for the cost of recycling residential mattresses that are collected by one of four mattress recycling companies on a Massachusetts state contract. About 75% of a mattress’s components are recyclable, according to the MassDEP. Recycling is a preferred management method since mattresses are bulky and costly to dispose of in landfills and incinerators. The MassDEP has allocated up to $438,000 to pay for recycling of mattresses in the coming year and expects the increased supply will help drive a stronger recycling market.
The MassDEP awarded $125,000 to Barnstable County/Cape Cod Cooperative Extension toward the establishment of a regional household hazardous waste collection center to serve all 15 Cape Cod municipalities. When constructed, the facility will reduce costs to local governments and provide a convenient outlet for residents and small businesses to safely dispose of unwanted household chemicals. The collection center will also provide education on less-toxic alternatives and promote reuse of household products that are still viable.
Two municipalities, Holyoke and Marlborough, were awarded grants ($100,000 and $85,000, respectively) to set up regional glass processing operations. Glass bottles and jars will be crushed into a construction product known as processed glass aggregate, which is used for pipe drainage and other subsurface public works construction applications.
More Than Words, a Boston-based nonprofit social enterprise that operates youth job training programs, was awarded $65,000 to expand its textile donation and recovery program. More Than Words partners with dozens of greater Boston municipalities to collect donated books and textiles for reuse and recovery.
The city of Medford was awarded a $30,000 school recycling assistance grant to cover the cost of six recycling dumpsters to expand recycling capacity, a dishwasher for Medford High School, reusable lunch trays, and signage. The grant includes all schools in the district and addresses infrastructure needed to expand recycling and reduce single-use plastic food service ware in the high school cafeteria.