The State of Massachusetts recently awarded $1.3 million in grant funding to 34 communities, regional groups, and nonprofit organizations through its Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) to reduce and divert materials in the solid waste stream. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) administers the SMRP, created under the Green Communities Act, which offers funding for recycling, composting, reuse, and source reduction activities to drive down the amount of waste disposed of in landfills and incinerators, which in turn helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“MassDEP continues to work with our community partners to capture more materials that can be reused and recycled, reducing the waste stream,” says MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “These grants will help provide new bins or carts, increase educational outreach efforts, and expand recycling programs to underserved community sectors.”
Of note, for six years the state has offered a mattress recycling incentive grant leveraging mattress recycling companies on Massachusetts state contract. Nineteen communities received funding to recycle residential mattresses collected and recycled by one of four mattress recycling companies. About 75 percent of a mattress’s components are recyclable, and recycling is a preferred management method since mattresses are bulky and costly to dispose of in landfills and incinerators.
Other funding highlights include establishment of a regional household hazardous waste collection center; funding to set up regional glass processing operations to crush glass bottles and jars into a construction product known as Processed Glass Aggregate, which is used for pipe drainage and other subsurface public works construction applications; funding to a nonprofit social enterprise to expand its textile donation and recovery program; and funding to cover the cost of six recycling dumpsters to expand capacity; and a dishwasher and reusable lunch trays and signage to reduce single-use plastic food service ware.
Information on all funding recipients is available here.