Blog Post

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Recycle Smart MA initiative is celebrating its second birthday this month, as highlighted by Waste360. Since 2018, this initiative has been increasing awareness around recycling in Massachusetts and empowering Bay Staters to collect the proper materials for recycling at home, school, and work, without introducing contamination from problem materials.

Recycle Smart MA is the culmination of several MassDEP-led discussions about contamination in recycling with stakeholders from all nine Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in the state. This process helped develop a consensus on the materials that should go into the recycling bin, and identified a few key materials that are especially notorious for creating problems at MRFs. These problem materials—including plastic bags, food and liquids, textiles, and tanglers—drive up the cost of recycling and create dangerous conditions for the workers who sort recyclables. MassDEP checks in with MRF stakeholders each year to make sure that Recycle Smart MA guidance remains up-to-date.

The Recycle Smart MA website is now a central hub for consistent information about how to recycle in Massachusetts. Here are a few key components to the initiative: 

  • The website includes a Recyclopedia search tool that allows users to search for specific items to determine whether they should be collected for recycling, managed through donation or drop-off, or placed in the trash.
  • Businesses, institutions, non-profits, community groups, and municipalities can show their commitment to recycling and spread the word to their networks by becoming a Recycle Smart partner. Partners gain access to the Recyclopedia search widget to use on their websites, and can receive recognition for their work through Partner Spotlights.
  • The website’s resource page features customizable materials for print and digital outreach, and users can also test their recycling knowledge through the new Recycle Smart quiz.
  • Recycle Smart MA shares engaging and timely recycling information through its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts can help your business align its recycling program with Recycle Smart MA guidance, provide example waste bin signage, assist with staff training, and identify potential outlets for materials that cannot be included in single stream recycling. Contact our hotline at 888-254-5525 or to get started.