The Department of Environmental Protection last month announced proposed regulatory changes that would add mattresses and textiles to the list of materials banned from disposal, incineration or transfer for disposal at a solid waste facility in Massachusetts.

The amendments to 310 CMR 19.000 would also lower the threshold for the existing ban on disposal of commercial organic (food) materials so that it applies to facilities that generate one-half a ton per week or more of these materials for disposal. Entities that exceed the threshold would be required to arrange for composting of the excess material.

The proposed regulatory changes would go into effect on Oct. 1, 2021.

The regulatory text, draft revised guidance, background document and public hearing notice are available on the DEP website. The background document includes anticipated impacts on municipalities.

In its fiscal impact analysis, the DEP determined that municipalities may experience increased costs due to the proposed mattress ban, but, in most cases, the cost of recycling mattresses would be minimal on a net basis, and might be less than disposal.

Some local officials are expressing concerns that the mattress ban is premature and should not be finalized before statewide mattress recycling infrastructure is in place.

Virtual public hearings on the proposed regulatory changes are scheduled for Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. The public hearing notice includes Zoom registration information.

Testimony may be presented orally at the public hearings, or in writing, by Dec. 4 at 5 p.m., to or to John Fischer, MassDEP, 1 Winter St., Boston 02108.

The MMA will be submitting comments about municipal implications and concerns.

The DEP is also working on finalizing the 2020-2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, and is reviewing comments received on the draft plan during the public comment period that closed on Sept. 15.

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