Statement: With stronger regulations, Massachusetts takes step to reduce waste disposal

Media Contacts


Photo by TPIN staff | TPIN

BOSTON – With new waste ban regulations set to take effect on November 1, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) takes an important step towards reducing waste in the Commonwealth. The addition of mattresses and textiles to existing waste bans, and the lowering of the threshold for commercial organic and food waste from one ton to a half-ton, will decrease waste going to landfills and incinerators.

Zero Waste Massachusetts, the coalition pushing to reduce and ultimately phase out waste disposal, invest in a reuse economy and create a cleaner, greener state, issued the following statements:

“We could drastically reduce waste in Massachusetts by doing the basics: banning waste from disposal—like mattresses, textiles, and food—and then enforcing those bans,” said Elizabeth Saunders of Clean Water Massachusetts. “We hope DEP has a robust plan to educate the public and enforce these bans so we continue to reduce what we send to landfills and incinerators.”.

“We need to move away from burying and burning, and towards reducing, reusing, and composting,” said Staci Rubin of Conservation Law Foundation. “These new bans represent progress. Communities of color and low-income residents shoulder the brunt of waste disposal, and every step we take towards reducing disposal means a cleaner, more equitable Commonwealth.”

“There are communities all over Massachusetts that suffer from the pollution that comes from landfills and incinerators, “ said Leigh-Anne Cole, acting director of Community Action Works. “For their sake and for the future of our planet, we need to reduce waste, and these bans help get us there.”

“Burning or burying items that can be recycled or composted is like throwing away our future,” said Janet Domenitz, director of MASSPIRG. “Incinerators and landfills pollute our air and water, emit greenhouse gas emissions and harm our communities. There is no ‘away’ in throwing things away, and we’re glad DEP is moving toward less disposal.”

“This is not a new idea or high tech invention—reducing trash and reusing materials,” said Kirstie Pecci of Just Zero. “But we are behind the curve in Massachusetts and we need to continue to take steps like these new waste ban regulations–towards a zero waste Commonwealth.”