- Massachusetts awarded $1.4 million in Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) grants to 216 municipalities and regional solid waste districts in order to help maximize recycling, composting, and waste reduction programs.
- Grants of $1,200 to $68,000 went to 137 communities that qualified for the Recycling Dividends Program, in which they have implemented policies and programs "proven to maximize materials reuse and recycling, as well as waste reduction," Recycling Today reported. Fall River and Worcester each got the largest grants of $68,000.
- Also handed out were Small-Scale Initiative Grants of $500 to $2,000, designed to help communities buy "modest, but critical recycling materials and outreach tools," according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
"Recycling and waste-reductions efforts are critical to our goal of reducing the waste stream," said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito in an announcement. "These grants bring much-needed assistance to municipalities that struggle to educate residents about why recycling can make a difference in their communities and bottom line[s]."
Education is key to making recycling programs successful, and grants can help. Nonprofits, such as Falls Church, VA-based Recycling Partnership, are gaining industry presence as they help local communities with recycling. Federal agencies are helping too — for example, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has awarded grants for projects to reduce landfill waste and eliminate unsightly dump sites.
Also in Massachusetts, MassDEP is giving $500,000 in grants to help cities and towns start mattress recycling programs, in an effort to enhance a new recycling market and to save municipalities money.