- Massachusetts awarded $917,000 to seven businesses in the second round of its annual Recycling Business Development Grants (RBDG) program. This is funded by contributions of waste-to-energy facility renewable energy credits.
- The grants are administered by the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the goal of creating more sustainable markets for challenging materials such as glass and mattresses, and boosting local recycling efforts.
- Eligible companies must have a licensed recycling location within the state, be in compliance with state and federal environmental laws for the past three years, and meet tonnage goals over a two-year period. Recipients must also provide a minimum 25% financial match for the project.
These grants continue the state's reputation for funding innovative approaches to waste and recycling. Last year, DEP announced $500,000 in grants to help recover the one-third of mattresses which aren't recycled in the state and another $1.4 million in grants to help 216 municipalities maximize their recycling programs. The agency has also teamed up with the Recycling Partnership for a targeted campaign to change recycling behavior this year.
The recipients of this current round of grants will be handling challenging materials such as glass, polystyrene, polypropylene, and mattresses. Northstar Recycling will also receive up to $90,000 to reduce ferrous contamination of plastic pallets and Recycleworks will receive up to $200,000 for a special baler that de-packages and recovers liquids from food and beverage containers.
Food waste has also been a big focus in the state and was the subject of a recent conference at the Harvard Law School which DEP helped organize. The Reduce and Recover: Save Food for People event focused on what can be done at the top of the waste hierarchy to handle wasted food before it ever reaches a compost pile. Topics included standardizing date labels, limiting waste in the supply chain, expanding donation networks, and much more.