May 27, 2014
This spring, we’re pleased to report an improvement in state waste management, following last year’s victory when our work with Clean Water Action and Massachusetts residents pushed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to step up enforcement of waste bans. These laws are designed to reduce our waste stream by preventing recyclable materials from being buried in landfills or burned in incinerators.
In October 2013, the DEP hired three waste ban inspectors to strengthen compliance guidelines at trash transfer stations. Over the past year, there have been five times as many inspections, leading the DEP to issue 101 enforcement actions: 98 noncompliance notices and three penalties. The majority of violations—83 in total—were identified after the new inspectors were hired. This increase in enforcement means that more materials will be recycled, leading to a reduced waste stream, cleaner air in our communities—especially for residents living close to incinerators and landfills—and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Thank you to everyone you wrote letters, emails and attended meetings in support of our Back the Bans campaign to get the DEP to enforce waste bans! This is one step toward our shared goal of zero waste in the Commonwealth.