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Massachusetts Upcycles and Increases Recycling Opportunities!

January 26, 2011

Thanks to many local processors and more than 330 local recycling programs Massachusetts residents recycle more than 500,000 tons per year, according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). In addition, grant funding provided by the state in 2010 is finally hitting the streets, giving individuals even more opportunities to recycle their waste.

“My tuna can became a rain gutter!”

Across the state, recycled waste is turned into everyday products that are sold to Massachusetts consumers, such as cereal boxes, book covers, and game boards. Processors in Erving, Haverhill, and Fitchburg make these recycled products from newspapers, magazines, and junk mail placed into recycling bins.

In Everett, steel cans are turned into more cans, bicycles, paper clips, and steel products while aluminum cans sent to Westport and Westborough are turned into rain gutters and window frames. In Lawrence plastic bottles are turned into polyester fleece and carpet products. In Franklin and Milford, glass gets a second chance as new bottles and jars. And in Gardner, Stoughton, Brockton, and Fall River e-waste is turned into plastics and metals.

More solar trash compacters, carts, and Pay-As-You-Throw Programs

BigBelly Web Photo

Late last year the state awarded 104 communities $1.5 million in recycling and waste reduction grants. This funding is now being spent and there are or will soon be some great new ways for individuals all over Massachusetts to increase recycling and reduce waste!

Highlights include:

  • Arlington received $15,000 in funding for wheeled food waste carts for a composting program.
  • Beverly received $1,500 and is now offering 150 large capacity paper recycling toters to residents for $25.
  • Through Green Communities Act grant funds, Lexington purchased 14 BigBelly solar trash compactors.
  • Northampton received $7,500 towards a roll-off container for bulky rigid plastics.
  • Sandwich received $27,500 to start Pay-As-You-Throw; Kingston received $21,240.
  • Sturbridge received $8,000 to start a Pay-As-You-Throw program and $9,000 for roll-off containers for clean, separated construction and demolition wood.

For more information about community recycling programs, see MassDEP’s Alphabetical List of Municipal Recycling Programs.

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