Massachusetts’ Recycle Smart Tackles Contamination With Education

Arlene Karidis | Waste360, Aug 03, 2020

Several years ago, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) convened a series of stakeholder meetings to discuss contamination of waste—ithad become apparent that levels were rising to concerning levels, especially in single stream recycling. The goal was to identify the main materials that were ending up in the wrong place, causing problems for materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and often rendering otherwise valuable materials as unmarketable. Those meetings, attended by the state’s nine MRFs, were the catalyst to what would become Recycle Smart MA, a statewide education initiative sponsored by MassDEP and funded with renewable energy credits earned through operation of the state’s waste-to-energy (combustion) facilities.

Recycle Smart MA is designed to increase public awareness about the key do’s and don’ts of recycling at home, school and work.

A program strategy is to focus on the top five problem materials as determined by the state’s MRFs, says Brooke Nash, branch chief, Municipal Waste Reduction Program, MassDEP. But the effort also targets a much more extensive universal list of what all of these MRFs accept. More

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