Blog Post

According to a MassLive article, MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg testified at a hearing on landfills and solid waste to discuss progress toward the state’s goal to reduce its solid waste disposal by 2020. MassDEP set a goal in its solid waste master plan to reduce disposal by two million tons from a 2008 baseline.

Commissioner Suuberg described a variety of strategies Massachusetts is utilizing to reach this goal: “reducing contamination in recycling by keeping nonrecyclable materials out of the stream; decreasing the amount of recyclable materials that end up in the trash; increasing capacity for composting, anaerobic digestion and other alternatives; raising the rates of reuse and donation of textiles and mattresses and recycling of construction materials; and expanding access to recycling services.”

Reducing the quantity of solid waste generated has clear environmental benefits, but the economic benefits are equally compelling. Commissioner Suuberg argues that investing in reuse and recycling not only helps reduce the $500 million that the state spends in throwing things away but also promotes job creation and grows the economy. Furthermore, reducing solid waste is quickly becoming a necessity given that a spate of landfills are set to close within three years. Without increasing reuse and recycling, more materials would need to be hauled to out-of-state facilities, which increases both emissions and cost.

The MassDEP established RecyclingWorks in MA to assist businesses and institutions in increasing recycling, reuse, and food waste diversion. Recently, RecyclingWorks posted best management practices for handling one of the biggest contributors to landfills, construction & demolition waste. RecyclingWorks has also emphasized helping the commercial sector divert food waste from landfills through donating surplus food, complying with the commercial organics ban, and giving businesses and institutions a tool to estimate the amount of food waste they generate.

RecyclingWorks assists businesses and institutions with recycling and food waste reduction through composting and food donation. To speak to a recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at