Saturday, May 8, 2021

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1.3 Million to Support Recycling, Waste Reduction for Communities and Regional Groups

The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $1.3 million in grant funding to 34 communities, regional groups and non-profit organizations through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP). 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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By reducing the waste stream with a combination of recycling, diversion and materials re-use, we are able to work closely with our municipal partners to improve the health of communities throughout Massachusetts.”

“Massachusetts residents are committed to protecting the environment and these local recycling initiative grants play a major and important role in diverting the state's waste stream to recycling sustainability,” said State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “I am delighted that communities in our area and across the state are being recognized and supported for their efforts.”

The SMRP, created under the Green Communities Act and administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), 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.

MassDEP awarded funds in several categories, including start-up incentives for Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) 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 and recycled by one of four mattress recycling companies on Massachusetts state contract. About 75 percent of a mattress’s components are recyclable. Recycling is a preferred management method since mattresses are bulky and costly to dispose of in landfills and incinerators. 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.

“I’m pleased to see that Rockport is benefitting from the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program and will be able to offer incentives that will promote recycling, reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and incinerators, and help to create a greener Cape Ann and Commonwealth,” said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester), Vice Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.

An alphabetical list of the cities, towns, regional groups and non-profit organizations that have been awarded a grant, as well as more information about the SMRP program, can be found here.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.