The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has developed a number of resources to help municipalities reduce solid waste and increase recycling and composting in light of recently implemented bans on mattress and textile disposal and a lowered limit on organic waste from commercial settings.

Resources include a fact sheet for municipal compliance, a mattress ban guidance brief for municipalities, and an FAQ on the mattress and textile waste bans (including how to find recycling vendors).

Municipalities and mattress recycling facilities that encounter mattresses that are contaminated to the point where they cannot be accepted for recycling are required to complete a contaminated mattress certification form to certify that the mattresses are unrecyclable and may be transported and accepted for disposal.

The mattress and textile ban, and the lowered limit on organic waste from commercial settings, took effect on Nov. 1.

Waste bans are one tool used by the state to reduce reliance on landfills and incinerators. Waste bans prohibit the disposal and transfer for disposal of certain toxic or recyclable items, such as glass and plastic containers, yard waste and tires. According to MassDEP, waste bans are intended to encourage reuse or recycling of certain waste materials, conserve disposal capacity, and reduce adverse environmental impacts from waste materials containing toxic substances.

The state’s 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan set goals for reducing solid waste disposal, including a long-term goal to achieve a 90% reduction in disposal by 2050.

RecyclingWorks, a free business assistance program run under contract to MassDEP, offers a collection of waste ban compliance tips for retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, colleges and universities, and property managers.

The MassDEP released an update on waste ban enforcement actions from 2022 (Excel file), and plans to post updated listings of enforcement actions every six months.

For more information, visit the MassDEP waste ban website.

Written by