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North Adams, Pittsfield Receive Recycling Grants
10:00AM / Saturday, November 19, 2022
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BOSTON — To mark America Recycles Day, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced $4.2 million in grant funding to 270 municipalities and regional solid waste districts across the Commonwealth including Pittsfield and North Adams.
"One of the most effective measures we can take to reduce the waste stream in communities across the Commonwealth is to support and encourage recycling, diversion, and reuse of waste materials," said outgoing Governor Charlie Baker. "With this funding, we are ensuring that local officials, residents and small business owners can adopt practices that protect our environment and preserve Massachusetts' natural resources."
The grants, made available through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will help communities maximize their recycling, composting, and waste reduction programs.
This year, under SMRP, 265 communities qualified for the Recycling Dividends Program (RDP) and will receive payments ranging from $245 to $110,500 for a total of $3,367,290. The RDP recognizes municipalities that have implemented policies and programs proven to maximize materials reuse and recycling, as well as waste reduction. Added this year was a criterion that provided funding to municipalities that included Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in their trash and recycling programs. Reuse categories were also added that provided funds for incentivizing pilot deconstruction projects and single-use plastic bans. Curbside collection of food waste was also incentivized with additional funding.
"Our Administration partners with local communities and their residents to help recycle and reuse as much material as possible, diverting it from the waste stream and protecting our environment," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This funding will support local and state recycling efforts that help to reduce harmful emissions, create jobs and build a more sustainable future."
Funds have been awarded in several categories, including start-up incentives for Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) programs, wheeled-carts for curbside collection of recyclables, wheeled carts for curbside collection of food waste, drop-off equipment for the collection of mercury-bearing items, regional small-scale initiatives, and the Recycling Dividends Program. This year, the program listed a subset of Environmental Justice municipalities that earned additional funding, including Chelsea, Holyoke, Leominster, Medford, Pittsfield, Quincy, Randolph, Somerville, and Southbridge.
Under the program, $267,000 in PAYT funds were awarded to the Town of Westford, while $8,350 in PAYT funds were awarded to the Town of Plympton. Westford was also awarded $93,450 and the Town of Shrewsbury received $214,000 for wheeled carts for curbside collection of recyclables. The City of Taunton was awarded $20,000 and the Town of Lexington received $8,000 for pilot programs in the curbside collection of food waste. The City of Watertown was awarded $130,000 for the expansion of their existing curbside collection of food waste program. The communities of Canton, Freetown, Greenfield, Hardwick, Hudson, North Adams, Royalston, and Taunton were each awarded $5,000 for Universal Waste Sheds for their drop-off facilities for the collection of mercury-bearing items
"The Sustainable Materials Recovery Program offers vital funding for recycling, composting, reuse, and source-reduction activities that will reduce the amount of waste disposed in both landfills and incinerators," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. "Importantly, 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."
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